4 Types of Dungeons & Building a Random Dungeon for D&D 5e

This week on the Campaign Trail I’m taking a quick look at one of the most popular adventuring environments, the dungeon. These labyrinths, full of death traps, starving monsters, and treasure hoards, test both GMs and players. Dungeons come in various forms such as lost temples, natural caverns, or even the lower hold of a sunken pirate ship. In this article, I’ll look at the four different types of dungeons and then I’ll start building a dungeon using the Dungeon Master’s Guide for D&D 5th edition.

Tribal Knowledge: Dungeon Remodeling Projects

I am a huge fan of the StoryNexus game Below. When I reviewed it in Harbinger of Doom, I talked about how much I liked the way it lets adventurers alter parts of the dungeon to their own convenience. I may have even waxed a touch loquacious about it. I can’t remember the last time I was accused of being concise, though. Anyway, I like the idea enough that I want to suggest more things in this vein that one might use in other dungeon crawls. (These aren’t specifically for Below, just dungeon-crawling games in general.)

The Almighty Johnsons, The Power of Self, and the Reverse Warlock

I had a conversation the other day regarding clerics, warlocks, and the nature of other-directed character advancement. It hadn’t ever been something I really considered, but it was a very important issue to the people I was speaking to at the time. This got me thinking about a show out of New Zealand called The Almighty Johnsons, and how the show addressed and answered this very question during its run from 2011-2013.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Do you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? (They still make them.) You had a list of options, and they indicated a page number, then you flipped through to that page number after making a choice. By making choices, you would determine your destiny as a Fantasy Adventurer  who faces enemies and dangers. Your choice would determine the outcome of the story.

D&D March Survey, Kits of Old Results & Expansion

WotC released the results of their survey that asked for feedback for Unearthered Arcana: Kits of Old. This month’s survey has some questions providing additional character options and then about the material released in the Awakened Mystic Unearthed Arcana article. Maybe they are starting to think about a Player’s Handbook 2 or something else the provides expanded player options.

Steampunk Equipment for D&D 5th Edition

Back in February, on the Campaign Trail, I looked at Steampunk Weapons and Steampunk Armor for D&D 5th Edition. My homebrew setting and a one-shot adventure I just ran (exciting news here soon!) both contain steampunk inspired tech. This week I look at Steampunk Equipment for D&D 5th Edition. You can provide these lists of Adventuring Gear and Tools to your players to add some steampunk options for your fantasy world or use them to help create your own Steampunk themed campaign.

In a Goblin Market

Backwards up the mossy glen
Turn’d and troop’d the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry,
“Come buy, come buy.”

–“Goblin Market,” Christina Rosetti

 

In the last two articles in this series on the fey, I’ve talked about courtly fey and the terror of the Wild Hunt. Today I’m moving on to goblin markets and the fey penchant for temptation and trade. Now, you can get here using the stat block of the Monster Manual goblin, just rewriting every word of their theme and story, or you can adopt the new and juicier stat block blow for the kinds of goblins that frequent fey markets, or you can go for some new creature name entirely (but then it definitely isn’t a goblin market, and that seems a shame). To be fair, I think that the Jemaa el-Fnaa, the famed Marrakech Night Market, is probably the most outstanding real-life example of an exotic, nearly-magical market in the popular imagination; I would be surprised if it were not the inspiration for a lot of goblin-market imagery and legends. With a name that might translate to “The Mosque at the End of the World,” well, awesome and legendary status is just going to happen. UNESCO agrees with me on this one.

Broad City, Player Agency, and Storyline Direction

Four and three and two and one.

One of my favorite shows on TV right now is a show about young female friends in New York. They navigate the challenges of jobs, money, relationships, and feminism, examining some of the finer points of the city. The show goes to great effort to tackle subjects generally considered taboo and push the envelope whenever possible. It isn’t ever preachy or pushy; it’s just about friends hanging out and reaching for the stars…and failing in hilarious fashion. No, it’s not Girls, It’s Broad City.

Make Maps | Leave Gaps – 3 Ways to Balance World Detail In Game

I was thinking recently about the RPG design philosophy ‘Make Maps, Leave Gaps.’ Basically, this sentiment translates to ‘have some details, but leave space for inspiration/player interest to create the environment.’ Which, for me, has me wondering what level of granular detail is appropriate (or even desirable) for a world building project. This is especially true as I continue to write about my setting (originally posted here on Tribality) The City of Salt in Wounds.

On the one hand, I don’t want Salt in Wounds (or any world I build) to feel

WotC Sage Advice – Rules Answers: March 2016

There is a new Sage Advice article on the Wizards of the Coast D&D website by Jeremy Crawford. The focus of this month’s Sage Advice is on rules answers about druids wearing metal armor, bonus actions and spellcasting, and some answers concerning dispel magic and mage armor.