World Building – Part 3: Religion

From Asgard to Zendikar, there are countless examples of richly imagined worlds in books, games, movies and television. My favorite fantasy worlds feel like a real working place. Your tabletop RPG adventures deserve an amazing setting that feels like a real working world too. Fully working out the details for the religions of your world is an important piece of building your world. Last year, I decided it was finally time to tackle building my own fantasy world and in this article (Part 3), I share how I came up with the details of the religions of my world.

The Druid Class, Part Four

As with… most of the history of D&D, really, the 3.0 Druid is in some regards a huge break from the baby-steps of evolution that took place in the class from OD&D through 2e. The shift is thematic as well as mechanical, turning away from the Druid’s Celtic roots and increasing the overall Action Hero! quotient. I don’t see this as a bad thing; if they hadn’t done so, the Druid would feel out of place with the rest of 3.x.

(Part One, Part Two, Part Three)

Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn

I have the Marvel Dice Masters game, and was very excited to hear that a D&D Dice Masters game was being released next month.  Dice Masters is a very quick game that uses dice to build a force that you then attack the other player’s force.  It is very similar to Magic the Gathering where you have choices in your dice & cards and you build a . But there is a random factor that you don’t necessarily get in MtG game from rolling dice. The game is a collectible with random expansion dice packs, but I think the dice packs are 1$ each, which makes just the right price to get a set of dice that is very competitive. The foil packs come with 3 sets of dice and their corresponding cards.

The Koalinth: Aquatic Militants Invade 5e Waters

Koalinth (the name is both singular and plural) are marine goblinoids closely related to surface-dwelling hobgoblins. They stand about 6-1/2 feet tall, with sleek, muscular bodies. Their fingers and toes are webbed, and they have gill slits in their necks. Their skin is light green and covered with patches of dark green, aqua, or blue hair. Male koalinths also share the aggressive behavior and loud bellow of elephant seals (although female koalinths are by no means passive).

Koalinth, like surface-dwelling hobgoblins, live in a rigidly organized, militaristic society. Their tribes are fiercely territorial and war with each other and with other aquatic races when their territory is compromized. They make their homes in caverns in shallow waters, ranging from subarctic to tropical seas. Like surface hobgoblins, koalinth supplement their own numbers with trained mounts, beasts of burden and war-trained bestial allies such as orcas, whales, sharks, and giant turtles.

Survivalist Gaming: Carry the Weight

Depending on your rules system, carry weight may or may not be a big issue. And frankly, even in systems wherein carry weight is a factor (most Dungeons and Dragons variants) it is an aspect of the game that will most likely be hand-waved away. Which is a legitimate option, taking carry weight into consideration necessitates a ton of book keeping. And if it’s not fun for your table, don’t do it.

But I’m going to make my best case for why you should consider adding carry weight considerations into your game.

System Agnostic: The City of Salt in Wounds [Pt 3]

New Website for Salt in Wounds!

The 13 Meridian Houses

When the Tarrasque was first subdued, thirteen ‘immovable’ harpoons were sunk deep into it’s body, each with a long, thick chain running to a traditional iron anchor sunk magically into stones or later concrete. As the founders built the fortress SalzinWuun they appointed 13 guardians amongst their most popular and well considered number; each guardian was personally responsible for ensuring that the harpoon in their charge held fast and to make arrangements to deal with unforeseen changes.

In the last hundred years, the status of these guardians has changed. Their descendants are now referred to as Binder-Lords, each still responsible for ensuring that their harpoon remains… read more here!

[Art by VergasMike]

The Evil Campaign Quick Guide

So here’s the scenario:  your group has decided to delve into the dark side and try out a campaign where they will be playing “evil” characters. Maybe you’ve never done this before, or maybe you’ve tried in the past with less than stellar results, or maybe it was okay but you really wish you could get some advice for the next time. Well I happen to be a big advocate for letting players run with an “evil” campaign from time-to-time and here are a few pointers I’ve learned along the way:

Happy Dungeon Master Appreciation Month from Wizards of the Coast!

February is Dungeon Master Appreciation Month, and to celebrate Wizards of the Coast has released the Dungeon Masters Support Group video series! In this three-part series, DMs can find the innovation, inspiration, and flexibility they need to get their games back under control.

The final video in the series released today: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/dm-support-group.

5th edition Undead Immortals: the Soulbound

Soulbounds are beings trapped between two worlds, similar to in many ways to classic revenants though the reasons behind their existence are far more varied. Unlike common revenants, soulbounds are not fully undead and rarely have a single wrong to be avenged. Born from souls either freshly separated from their living hosts or from those preserved for centuries by powerful magic, a soulbound’s spirit is intact and has been tied back to their original body, placed inside a soulless husk or, in some cases, manifested in a new physical form.

Souldbounds go by a variety of names, including: immortals, skinwalkers, and watchers. Though not entirely accurate, spellcasting soulbounds are sometimes called liches. Soulbounds have a stronger tie to to the world of the living than other undead creatures. Some wish to return to full life, some use their unnatural endurance to further their own power and wealth, while some remove themselves from the limelight in order to fulfill some personal task they couldn’t while they were alive.