Adventure Time for D&D 5e – Part 5: Traps, Hazards & Monsters

Back in 2014, I ran a 4th edition D&D game set in the world of Adventure Time. I used a fantastic Adventure Time homebrew mod of D&D 4e, by Bloodghost, to run the game. I thought it might be a good idea to take my notes from running an Adventure Time campaign and Bloodghost’s homebrew to provide a base to run an Adventure Time campaign in 5th edition. This week we conclude the series by providing some ideas for Traps, Hazards & Monsters that can be used in an Adventure Time game or any D&D game.

The Rogue Class, Part Four

At last we come to the watershed moment of the Thief’s Rogue’s development, and I don’t just mean the name change. Up to this point, thieves have a role in combat, but that role is “mostly try to stay away, you’re terrible at combat unless you’re backstabbing.” That approach didn’t fit the source fiction when it was first implemented (cf. Gray Mouser); I’d argue that the thieves who were terrible at combat in the source fiction were terrible for reasons other than being thieves, such as hobbits being too small to be effective fighters until and unless there’s some sort of Witch-King emergency. I can’t back this up with, you know, data, but I suspect that the 90s saw a lot of new finesse-based knaves who can hold up their end of a fight, and this inspired the 3.0 designers to make the Rogue into something much more potent and varied than its predecessor.

4 Lessons Learned by a Rookie DM Before My First Session

This column is for rookie DMs by a rookie DM. As I’ve been scouring the Internet for tips and tricks to help me prepare for my first session, I noticed that there is a lot of instruction available. Much of it is great information, and will likely be very helpful. But there’s a distinct lack of narrative-based advice.

A lot of experienced DMs forget what it’s like to be new to this whole gig. Sometimes very well meaning Dungeon Masters assume a certain level of knowledge or experience when talking about the craft. “The Misadventures of a Rookie DM” will be different. It will be different because it’s a first-hand account of my giving dungeon mastering a try for the first time. No prior experience. I’ll tell some stories, and let’s see what we can learn together. Hopefully, I’ll make some mistakes so that you won’t have to.

Faerie Tales: Naiads, Pixies, and Sprites for 5e

A dear friend of mine asked me to run a 5e adventure for his kids over the holiday. It will be their first official D&D game, though since their dad is a video game designer they are more than familiar with the concept. His son wants to play a Merlin-like half-demon magician with a pet wolf. Tiefling wizard it is; with a wolf familiar because fun trumps rules. His daughter’s requests were a little more challenging: a faerie or a unicorn. I countered with a centaur-like unicorn race with plans to “borrow” Dan Dillon’s centaur rules from the brilliant Midgard Heroes, but her counter-proposal was a faerie with a pet unicorn. We landed on a pixie with a unicorn NPC friend.

Their dad decided that a PC with a leadership role would be ideal, so he could reasonably step in if they needed guidance. As a fan of the oft-overlooked Epic film and Christina Stiles’ (et al) Faery’s Tale, I suggested a sprite fighter (battlemaster) to counterpoint his daughter’s pixie sorcerer. It was an excellent excuse to expand a faerie racial build into sub-races and because I am who I am, naiads (aka nixies) made it into the mix.

5 D&D Campaigns Inspired By Reality Television

I’m thinking about the Bachelor, Hell’s Kitchen, and So You Think You Can Dance!

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Okay, I’m really not but I must admit that there’s something about the idea of combining dancing with arcane spells that makes me a bit curious. (Haste, Blur, and Mirror Image come to mind.)

However, being a bit more serious, I have conjured up five reality shows currently on television that would make excellent foundations for some very interesting D&D campaigns. These shows, with some obvious modifications to make them fit better with fantasy, have everything players are looking for in an adventure. Many of them are dramatic, suspenseful, insightful, sometimes dangerous, and often provide a great deal if insight into the human condition. And while I’m sure that they are not everyone’s cup of tea, they may provide the perfect backdrop for some groups willing to branch out and do a little experimenting.

Errata for the Monster Manual and the Dungeon Master’s Guide

Like the Player’s Handbook back in June, we now get errata for the Monster Manual and the Dungeon Master’s Guide for people who rushed out to get the books. Recent books are already fixed and have the errata in their copy. I’ve included a short overview for everyone and links to the full documents. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how impactful these changes are.

Adventure Time for D&D 5e – Part 4: Magic Items & Spells

Back in 2014, I ran a 4th edition D&D game set in the world of Adventure Time. I used a fantastic Adventure Time homebrew mod of D&D 4e, by Bloodghost, to run the game. Last week I wrote about Alignment, Feats, Weapons & Equipment for an Adventure Time campaign in 5th edition. This week I’m looking at Magic Items and Spells for a game set in Adventure Time or any setting.

The Rogue Class, Part Three

Last week in the History of the Classes, the 1e Thief, Assassin, and Thief-Acrobat came under our all-seeing eyes. This week we turn to 2e, where the Assassin and the Acrobat are kits presented in the Complete Thief’s Handbook rather than classes unto themselves. There’s also a Ninja class, presented in the Complete Ninja’s Handbook; it was one of the stranger evils visited upon 2e’s rules. I’m aware that many of you sadists would just love to see me analyze the Ninja, and to you I say for the love of God, Montresor!