Get to Know the Azer

One of my favorite creatures of all time is the azer. Even though they have been around since 1983, I have never played in a game in which azers have featured, nor have I heard of games friends and acquaintances run that feature them. This is a shame, because azers are incredibly interesting, and are a great alternative to traditional elemental representation. Even better, the lore is easy to insert into a variety of situations and games. If you are looking for something underrepresented to feature in a game, then look no further than the azer.

The Schemes of the Archfey

In my last three articles on the fey, I presented a collection of fourteen Archfey. Today I’m going to talk a bit about how to make their schemes against one another, and against the other powers of the world, intersect with the PCs. This will be a combination of story hooks, metaplot ideas, and things I did in my own campaign.

In Defense of Wands

We are approaching the eve of another expansion for a popular fantasy video game. This time around, classes get an artifact weapon to level up and empower in different ways. Each specialization gets a different weapon to call their own. One thing about this made me incredibly sad: there are no more wands. Staves, daggers, scepters, and even swords (Thanks, Obama Gandalf), but no wands. Most people seemed to be fine with this, many even expressing joy they no longer had to use wands, using a variety of expected insults about the preferences and personality of people who like wands. I digress.

Extra Life & First Two Storm King’s Thunder Previews

Wizards of the Coast has announced that it will be running its fourth Extra Life event with a goal of making $50,000 or more to add to the already $200,000 they have raised in support for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals over the past 3 Extra Life events. The 24-hour marathon starts at 8am PST on Friday, September 16th, and will feature 6 in-house teams throughout the weekend. Depending on how much is raised, we’ll be seeing a number of previews from Storm King’s Thunder, including the first 2 previews which are now unlocked… d100 table for Items in a Giant’s Bag and Appendix A: Linked Adventures. 

Make it Personal – Magic Items & Your Campaign

Let’s look at how to make those magic items we give out to players a little more personal. We’re 6 levels and 16 session into my 5th edition campaign set in the Nentir Vale. Along the way I provided my players with some magic items I personalized for them. This week on the Campaign Trail, I’ll provide strategies for giving out magic items, example magic items I created (from scratch or by simply tweaking an existing magic item) and the bit of history I write for each to bring them to life.

Domain Rulership, Part Nine

You know, there have been a lot more domain-management systems published for D&D, D&D derivatives, and D&D clones than I would have guessed. Today I’m tackling the Adventurer Conqueror King System (hereafter ACKS), which will take up enough column-inches to stand alone. I’ve been reading about ACKS for years now without actually reading it, though I came very close to buying a copy a few years ago at the Escapist Expo in Durham a few years back. My deep gratitude goes to the generous reader who gave me a copy of the PDF as a gift, just so I could write this article.

The Personality of Ron Weasley (and Backgrounds)

With the advent of new Harry Potter material, what’s old is new again, and I can talk about the Wizard World without feeling old or silly. Let’s ignore the fact I don’t want to discuss the play⸺I’m a big believer in the idea a play should be experienced and not analyzed from the script or note. Instead, I want to talk about Ronald Weasley and the background system of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Specifically, I want to discuss the idea that Ron Weasley is the most all-in of any character at the Hogwarts gaming table.

Gen Con 2016 – Syrinscape with Ben Loomes

I was fortunate enough to get a one-on-one demonstration from Ben Loomes with Syrinscape at Gen Con. The sounds were incredible, and there are so many new sound sets that are now available. It was a lot of fun meeting Ben, and I look forward to many more sound sets that are being developed. I highly recommend Syrinscape for use during your games. And by games that can be a role playing game, or the expanding list of board game sound sets that are becoming available for Syrinscape.

I have used music and sounds before, but having a control board that is themed for a game, allows me easily set a mood, and then to quickly choose an appropriate sound during the game. Also, a themed background enhances the game beyond anything I have done before. All of the sounds are high quality, fully customized timing, and I couldn’t find anything to complain about. Everything is Top Notch! You can give it a try for free by just downloading the software and getting the 2 included free soundsets; Witchwood and Bugbear Battle.