Adventure Building: Part 5 – Filling in the Details

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

After looking at Creating a Threat, developing Backstory, Setting and Hooks and writing our adventure outline it’s time to provide some details for the adventure. I’ll continue using the ‘Lich Weathermaster’ that I randomly rolled in Creating a Threat as my villain and a typical points of light type default D&D setting. It’s now time to take the outline and turn it into an actual adventure. For this article I am not going to write a complete adventure, but I will take the outline for one plot point and expand it with enough details for me to be able to run that portion of the adventure. I’m providing the level of detail I need to run my game. Everyone should figure out their own level of prep they need to run a great session.

WotC D&D Alumni – You Got Science in My Fantasy!

Article by Shannon Appelcline

The new Dungeon Master’s Guide is full of options for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, even going so far as to provide rules for explosives and alien tech in a D&D campaign. Sound weird?

As it turns out, both those ideas have a very long history, with the idea of science fantasy in Dungeons & Dragons dating all the way back to the creation of the game…

See the full article here: You Got Science in My Fantasy!

DCC RPG – Mercurial Magic

After playing Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, I starting to fall in love with the magic system. Casting magic in DCC can be unpredictable, dangerous and very powerful. And with great power there are also negative aspects like spell burn, corruption, misfires, and other nastiness. And then I started to think that I could start adding some of this in other game systems. Specifically the one that we are playing. I want to start out slowly, first by adding Mercurial Magic to the spells that are cast, and then add the other aspects of DCC spell casting.

The Warlock Class, Part One

Now that my series on the Sha’ir has ended… again… I’m moving on to the Warlock, a class that first formally entered D&D in 3.5e in the pages of Complete Arcane. It has undergone radical changes in mechanics from that publication in November of 2004 to its 5e incarnation, released in August of 2014. Some of the words used have survived, though they often mean different things. Thematically, the 3.5 warlock is still present in 5e, but between 4e’s builds and 5e’s subclasses, there are many alternate themes bouncing around within the class as well.

4 Fantastic Plot Twists for Roleplaying

There are few things a DM can do that will give more satisfaction than surprising the hell out of his or her players. It is a unique natural high that only a face-to-face roleplaying game can provide. That bulging eyes, open mouthed look you get when you describe something particularly nasty or overwhelmingly fantastic. When played right, it can be a genuine moment of pure roleplaying excitement and it is one of the big reasons why so many DMs stay with their games for so many years.

D&D April Survey Results & Another Survey

Another month brings another D&D feedback survey.

Wizards of the Coast has provided the results of the April survey and continues to ask for feedback on this edition with another survey, Elements Survey 4.

1) I just completed the May survey which asked questions about spells, May’s Unearthed Arcana article and Dragon+.

2) Here is a quick overview of the April survey results:

PaizoCon Product Announcements and Sneak Peeks!

PaizoCon ends today and yesterday they posted a sneak peak of upcoming products.

“One of the exciting parts about PaizoCon for a lot of our attendees, fans, and onlookers are the juicy spoilers and announcements that come out of the show (whether it comes from one our RPG or Adventure Path panels, or the Preview Banquet). So, let’s take a look at what’s coming this November and beyond!”

8 of My Favorite Things from May!

It’s been a pretty incredible month of geek. Here are a few things that are getting me talking.


Champions of Aetaltis

Most of what I have to say about this Kickstarter is covered in the video. What I can add is the talent between these covers is bordering on absurd, and there’s still more to come. If you’re a gamer and fantasy fan, I doubt there are many names involved in this project that you don’t know.


Tribal Knowledge: The Thrill of Horror

Welcome to the first in my new column, Tribal Knowledge, in which I answer questions from readers and friends about gaming, and especially about GMing.

Precipitating a Panic among Players asks:

I, and others I know, are working on horror games.  Outside of the GM stripping down, what can be done to help instill that thrill of horror in the players at the table?

Campaign Settings – Prehistoric/Lost World

This week on the Campaign Trail I’m taking a quick break from the Adventure Building series (which will continue next week) to preview a new series I’ll be sharing with our readers for most of the summer. This article is my first look at campaign settings that go beyond the typical fantasy worlds most of us play in each week. In each article in the series I’ll provide notes on running a campaign (or adventure) in a campaign setting inspired by less typical D&D settings and genres such as ancient mythology, pirates, colonial America, steampunk, gun fu, science fiction, fairy tales and more. This week we look at running a prehistoric or lost world campaign setting.