Unearthed Arcana: Druid Circles and Wild Shape Breakdown

I guess if you’re going to call any class even obliquely harvest-holiday-themed, druid is a good one. Accordingly, this week’s Unearthed Arcana offers three new druid circles and a variant Wild Shape rule. Whatever else might be said, they took more risks with new mechanics this time than last week, and so even if I wind up disliking it (spoiler: I won’t), it’s useful as suggestions for what’s “in-bounds” for third-party design. Third-party designers get read the Riot Act for venturing too far outside the borders that Smith & Wesson Mearls & Crawford lay out in official releases, you know? Anyway, let’s get to it.

Oh, and in case you’re new around here, I have done some writing about druids before. The link points to the last article in the series, with directory links to the earlier ones.

Volo’s Guide to Monsters Review

Last week, Wizards of the Coast released their latest D&D 5th edition fall supplement book, Volo’s Guide to Monsters. I’ve had a week with the book to read it over and even try out some monsters and extended lore in game. Volo’s Guide provides monster lore, new character races and a bestiary with nearly 100 monsters. Read on for my in depth look at this book to find out if it is a must buy for you and your gaming group.

My Steampunk Heist One-Shot on the GM Showcase Podcast

This week on the Campaign Trail I’m excited to let everyone know about my Steampunk Heist D&D 5th editon one-shot I ran titled ‘One Last Job‘. The 5 part series was released earlier this week on November 13th, 2016 by the GM Showcase podcast. The series includes, an short introduction, 3 adventure episodes and a conclusion interview. It’s really exciting to hear the finished product with editing, sound effects and music.

Unearthed Arcana: Bard Colleges Breakdown

Welcome to Week 2 of November Madness (which might become Indefinite Madness, depending on how long they keep up with weekly UAs), in which the Dynamic Duo give us two new bard Colleges: Glamour and Whispers. These aren’t the first bard Colleges we’ve gotten from UA, either. I’ve also talked about the 5e bard class here in Tribality before, just as a baseline. Short version: bards needed more subclasses in a bad way, so I’m glad there’s been so much support.

Fey Weapons

By request from a reader, today’s article is about the magical weapons that the fey wield, or that the Archfey grant to their leal servants. This week should have returned to Domain Rulership, but I’m stalling on that for a week, just in case Mearls releases an Unearthed Arcana that is all about late-game play, how to spend filthy lucre at high levels, and domain play next week. Also, Colin did some great work with fey magic items in a recent EN5IDER article, so if you’re an EN5IDER patron, check it out!

The Schemes of the Archfey, Part Three

At last we come to the third part of the Schemes of the Archfey, in which I offer story hooks and political interactions for the archetypes of Archfey (archfeytypes) that I described earlier in this series. This article covers the Mother of Redcaps, the Dream-Tyrant, the Winter Lord, the Muse of Steel, and the Eldest. Particularly with the Eldest, I’ve tossed out story ideas every time I’ve mentioned them, just because I think most DMs will be less familiar with how to use them.

Free Download of A Great Upheaval (Storm King’s Thunder)

Like Curse of Strahd’s Appendix B: Death House before it, Wizards of the Coast has provided A Great Upheaval (Chapter 1 of Storm King’s Thunder) for free on the Dungeon Masters Guild. Like Death House (which advanced PCs to level 3), Chapter 1 is an optional part of the adventure aimed at advancing players to the level 5, the starting level of the main adventure.

Storm King’s Thunder Review

The new D&D adventure Storm King’s Thunder™ just launched today (September 6th), and was released early to gaming stores back on August 26th. When I first received my copy from Wizards of the Coast last week, my initial impressions were very positive. The book looks great with half page and double page illustrations breaking up text, runes, lots of maps, tables and more. The adventure is well done and they have put in some work up front to help Dungeon Masters (DMs) by outlining the cast of characters and providing an adventure flowchart. The story mixes “gigantic” intrigue with plenty of exploration and combat. Players are simply tasked with saving civilization from the threat of giants.

After reading this adventure, I think it’s one of my favorite 5th edition adventures, but it might not be for everyone (we’ll get to that below). It’s a really solid purchase that will provide hours and hours of gameplay, as it is somewhat re-playable. This book gives you nearly everything you need to run SKT as a campaign or provides you with a valuable sourcebook when paired with the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide to run adventures in the Northwest of Faerûn.