Thoughts & Things

Questions with Some Answers

On today’s thoughts & things; I’m going to reach into the old question basket and draw out a few of those D&D questions, put on my Dungeon Master’s hat, and off-the-cuff, try to answer them. So here goes nothing.

Oh. you may ask yourself, Self. Where did you get these questions, Mike? Long story short: there is a D&D 5th edition group, and these questions come directly from a large pile of questions from group members. Names have been redacted to protect the innocent. 😉 Next time I hope to get some of your questions and add your name. A real name, not like last time I was tricked with Mr. Freely, first initials I.P.

Question 1

This question comes from J.C.

“Need help forming a Horror style one shot. Not exactly sure how to go about it. Any advice is welcomed.”

Okay. First question. So a very good book on scary horror comes from Wizards of the Coast, Curse of Strahd. Now you might disagree. But that’s cool, I like that book though. Chris Perkins adds a lot of advice for the DM on making the story scary with impending Doom. There is one piece of advice that I liked and it was to add a little humor to the adventure. That seemed counter-intuitive, but it can’t all be blood and guts and a boogeyman trying to scare you. Add a little more to the story with humor.

For a one-shot, building suspense is a little difficult because you only have a few hours to run the game. But using the Curse of Strahd – Murder House adventure, you can go through that in one session if you cut it back a bit. There are also some free maps out there that you can use for the haunted house. Best of Luck JC!

Question 2

And we have another question direct from G.E.

“I’m about to play a chef type character and eventhough we’re starting at level 1 I was thinking of just being a super old Elf to make a sensible reason why my food is so good. I was wondering if the hivemind had any ideas on what class to actually play. My only thing is that I have been playing too much Rogue lately so that’s a nono.”

Play a Necromancer, and all of your food is people. PEOPLE! SOYLENT GREEN is PEOPLE!

No. Don’t do that. Seriously, how about a Bard. Seems like a bard with lots of skills and your instrument could be a spoon or a whipping tool. Your food becomes magic and more powerful as you level up. Yum. Then you could play on Iron Chef and win? Sounds fun. Right?

After you pitch this to the DM, you will now officially & forever become the snack-bringer for all games. Do not disappoint (no soylent green though). Next Question, please!

Question 3

Oh, this question is a bit meatier, more meat… Question 3 comes from E.M.

I’m working on a small campaign (level 1-5) for my friends and am having issues deciding a small thing for my BBEG: he’s supposed to be this dude who rules a goblin army (nothing special, very laid back game) but my issue is deciding between:

1. Making the bbeg be an ancient evil that’s been recently revived or rediscovered?

2. Making the bbeg somebody who made a pact with some demonic power

3. Making the bbeg some chump under the control of a magic item (maybe a crown) possibly leading the story further into a continuation or a new campaign?

What sounds the best/most fun from a player standpoint?

I like option 3 – Making the BBEG a chump under control from someone else through a magic item. There are a lot more possibilities with that one because basically there is another Big Bad Evil Gal pulling the strings. And once the players discover that the plot is thicker than mud, they will be elated. So many possibilities but don’t plan too far ahead E.M. You just need to have a rough outline. You don’t want to go down each rabbit hole that the players “might” choose. Be flexible and place yourself in the mind of the BBEG Level 2.

And if you’re going down this road of a chain of command, then you could add your option 2 into BBEG Level 2 (acting because of the demonic pact), which then feeds into the next step of your option 1 for another BBEG Level 3 (ancient evil a.k.a – d.e.m.o.n.).

You could also have several in-between each of those to add more depth. And when you say a small campaign – think big! Just plan to be the DM for life. It’s easier that way. Next question

Question 4

This next question comes in from J.A. and it reads.

So who would be a more interesting character to model a ranger off of – Chip or Dale? And how would you build it?

Uhhhh. that’s a tough one. How about a Halfling Ranger. Next question.

Question 5

This next question comes in from J.R. about DM logistical paperwork things…

I find Monster cards very convenient, but I wondered how others kept them organized? Spellcards I leave in their original box until I need them, but I feel like I’d like to keep all my monster cards in one place, organized alphabetically. The different format of the cards makes that a bit more difficult though. What do?

What do indeed? What do. I use DnD Beyond. Makes life a lot easier having it all electronic and searchable. I did buy spell cards when they first came out from Gale Force Nine. They now sit on the shelf. gathering dust…

Okay, that was fun. If you’d like your question featured on the next Thoughts & Things. Just tag a twitter tweet with #Tribality and tag yours truly @mrlong78.  Until next time (I hope there is a next time) – ttyl