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Book of Secrets

Every Tuesday explore worldbuilding, roleplay, character & setting development with Kevin Victor Rae

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Kevin’s Spellbook: Major Image

Hello, students of the arcane!  Today we will look at one of my favorite spells, Major Image. Illusions offer players a powerful way to manipulate the game world. A well-crafted illusion can be the pivotal moment in a game, distracting ...
Book of SecretsColumnsD&D 5e

Kevin’s Spellbook: Shape Water

Welcome adventurer! Today I crack open my grimoire and tell you about another one of my favorite spells. This time we will take a look at a cantrip that often goes ignored for its more flashy cousins, Prestitgititaion, Mage Hand, ...
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Kevin’s Spellbook: Heat Metal

Welcome to a new series in which I explore and expound upon my favorite spells. In this series, we will tackle a new spell in each article, expounding on creative uses of my favorite part of any fantasy universe: *magic*. ...
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Essentials of Character Backstory

Building a character backstory doesn’t have to be a lengthy or labor-intensive affair. And you don’t have to write beautiful fiction to create one that will be useful during play. Instead of character backstory as a story, think of your ...
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How to Run A Tutorial One-Shot

So, you have a bunch of friends who want to play Dungeons & Dragons but none of them have played before. You might consider running a one-shot meant to serve as a kind of tutorial. In the session, you’ll want ...
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Improvising and Adjusting to Character Decisions

In any campaign that I have DM’d the players came up with some solution or go off toward some blank part of the map. That would send me scrambling to catch up to the player’s decisions, improvising my way to ...
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Conflict Without Violence

Any good story should have conflict, but not every conflict should be resolved with violence. While Dungeons & Dragons offer tons of options for combat, the non-combat ways to resolve conflict are often forgotten. These are harder to make mechanical, ...
Book of SecretsD&D 5eGM Resources

A Villain’s Fatal Flaw

So far we have looked at how to create a compelling villain and how to create their organization of evil, so now let’s look at what makes villains sympathetic and compelling to fight against their fatal flaw.  A fatal flaw ...
Book of SecretsD&D 5eGM Resources

Creating an Organization of Evil

So you have your big bad evil guy, right? You’ve developed their motivations, their world view and have given them a compelling reason for their actions. What’s next? Well, they need henchmen to carry out their will! Let’s do some ...