I’ve always loved giants in D&D… dare I say as much or sometimes more than dragons!
So I’m really excited for the Storm King’s Thunder D&D superadventure coming out just in time for football! (Such a glorious combination of awesome forces!)
Plus it gives me a reason to actually want to reach for minis occasionally in 5e – my collection of giant minis is enormous. Hmm, accidental bad pun GO!
I typically hate spoilers of books, movies or adventures. But since I’m planning on DMing and not playing as a PC in this one, I’m actually checking out the Storm King’s Thunder preview *right now* by our favorite DM Matthew Mercer and friends. Miss it? Don’t! Enjoy!
Never has D&D felt so elegant and complete “out of the box.”
The number of character concepts alone the D&D 5e PHB covers compared to its PHB predecessors is astounding. Somehow, the core D&D rulebooks in 5e – the PHB, DMG and MM – along with several rich and inspired “super-adventures” are holding up and keeping this game strong and seamless since summer of 2014. That’s nearly two years of tremendous D&D!
But what about more? More rules options? An official rules expansion? It’s a question some veteran D&D gamers – used to the onslaught of supplemental rulebooks from previous editions – and even some of many, many new D&D players are asking.
On one hand, I understand wanting a few more options if that’s all you know from previous editions. On the other, I don’t feel this urgency to add more rules to a game that is running so elegantly at every level of play, smoothly balancing story and game better than any edition in the last d20 years! While the the PHB, DMG and MM can’t possibly cover 5-10 years of rules and material from previous editions, we’re still incredibly fortunate how much the 5e core rulebooks do cover.
I know our playgroup recently had a passionate discussion about the pros and cons of rules expansion – has yours?
While new and more choices might be nice for the existing minor content gaps (for example, more feats, though they’re optional anyway; and more classic monsters – my beloved girallon, where are you?!), the big consideration that keeps me on the conservative end of rules expansion is game complexity – something that impacts DMs directly. Which means it impacts everyone and every D&D session!
As you may have seen in my Faster Combat course and ebook, I’m all about smooth gameplay for players and DMs, and I’m especially for not overburdening the DM. Why add more game balance elements to manage, rule on and worry about? The DM has enough to do!
And this is the crux of this brief article from the D&D’s Unearthed Arcana survey series. Ever wonder why, what to consider, and what the real pros and cons are to rule expansion? If you haven’t started thinking about these questions yet before pounding the table one way or the other, you will after learning more about it here.
You may have asked, “Who’s that DM? He’s awesome!” in last month’s D&D video gem. I know I did!
He’s voice actor Matthew Mercer from Geek and Sundry’s Critical Role, and he and his (all-voice actor) playgroup remind me a lot of my own immersive roleplaying and storytelling DM style – and all the tremendous laughs we have at our own game table!
Loved episode 1 of Critical Role so much I have to share it:
P.S. I wasn’t sure I’d watch the whole session… but it was so awesome, including all the excited, inspired live viewer comments, that I couldn’t stop – it was an absolute blast! Make the time, you’ll love it too!
D&D5th Edition continues to play so beautifully at the young age of around one-and-a-half, and I know I speak for many long-time, new and veteran players and DMs out there when I say I couldn’t be prouder and happier to share this tremendous game and hobby with you.
THANK YOU for making our hobby and this awesome game we love feel and play – once more – like the best roleplaying game of all time that it is!
Finally, here’s to my gaming group and all gamers around the world – once more! – and yet another tremendous year of D&D, Dragon Age and so many more great and epic tabletop RPG stories and adventures!
When’s the last time you played Ravenloft? Nearly every true D&D fan has heard of or played in Ravenloft, D&D’s classic horror setting. In fact, my playgroup has been playing in a Ravenloft campaign (with a few “visits” back home to the Forgotten Realms) for about 14 levels now, and it’s been a blast!
My brother and DM ran us through the classic Ravenloft module (loved the D&D gamebook too!). There we attempted to negotiate with (well the greedy half-orc warrior did, BAD IDEA) – and were swiftly defeated by – the great Lord Strahd Von Zarovich himself. Along the way, Ravenloft devoured two of my characters – both lost to disintegration! (This just in, failed saves against the disintegrate spells or beholder eye rays are really, really bad!)
If you’re looking for classic horror in your D&D look no further than the Ravenloft setting this Halloween and beyond. We journey back there every once in a while, as who can resist some occasional good ol’ classic horror with their D&D?
What are you favorite Ravenloft memories? Campaign, gamebook, board game, others? I’d love to hear your stories – especially your own disastrous encounters with Strahd Von Zarovich!