D&D Humor: Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2015

Favicon-jpgThanksgiving 2015












Feast!  Feast!!  FEEEASST!!

P.S. And remember: give thanks to your gamers!



Ravenloft: Get Disintegrated… Twice!

October 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpgWhen’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 Ravenloft - silver anniversary editioncampaign (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!

Happy Halloween everyone!


D&D Music Video Gems: Best Game Ever!

September 27th, 2015

Favicon-jpgWe’ve all had this adventure – and that player – at the table!

Mikey Mason crushes it!


Curious about the “sweet song” he mentions at the top?  Listen here: D&D Music Video Gems: Tonight by Allie Goertz.


D&D Rage of Demons: Launch Trailer

August 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpgThe top rated comment sums up my thoughts perfectly: “I’m glad to finally live in a world where DnD adventures get movie-style trailers.”


So cool seeing one of D&D’s most iconic heroes featured in the video!  As a League of Legends fan, Riot games always impressed with the ever-increasing quality of theatrical trailers as the world and story evolved. Dragon Age might be king of fantasy genre trailers and movie-style cut scenes.

Sure, D&D has done movie clips before, but this one blows away any they’ve ever released.  Great to see D&D stepping up their movie trailer quality!

Can you spot all the classic D&D heroes and monsters?


D&D Video Gems: Are Comic Book Characters Like D&D Players?

July 29th, 2015

Favicon-jpgThoughtful and entertaining take on the connections between comics and D&D – and more.

Love the embedded pop and gaming culture art, pics and video clips throughout – funny & brilliant!

I really need to finally get a Marvel Heroic Roleplay game together!


Note: Want just the comics and D&D portion of the video?  Watch only the first 8:00. 

D&D Video Gems: Red Box Ninjas

June 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpg How did we miss this Red Box gem?  Ninjas!  That’s how!

Hilarious!  Enjoy & happy summer!


Rewarding Tremendous Play: Moments of Greatness vs. Inspiration

May 31st, 2015

Favicon-jpgD&D Encounters - Starter SetRemember D&D 4e: Top 12 Ways to Stop Sounding So Damn Metagamey?  Of course you do!  Fortunately for us, D&D 5e is not gamey at all compared to its immediate predecessor.

But it’s hard to forget how gamey D&D was not too long ago – the rules were many, rigid, and often lifeless.  Quite simply, the rules use to get in the way of the story.  Adventures often felt like exercises in dice rolling and finding every  mathematical advantage around every corner.  Who among us didn’t often forget why our characters were doing what they were doing as another grueling crunch-fest-filled hour dragged by?

Thankfully that’s all changed in 5e!  Beautiful edition, recalling the wonder and balance of the classic storytelling and gaming experience that truly is the heart of D&D.  I love it!  And so does everyone who plays it, novice or veteran.  Just check ratings, reviews and sales and it’s obvious D&D 5th edition is phenomenal.

(Note: To be clear, D&D 5e’s astounding quality and “soul” means we’re mostly reduced to nitpicking a few minor rules – like in this article – rather than criticizing massive chunks of the game like in last edition.  What a relief!  So with this understanding clear, let’s get to the point of this piece.)

However, there is one awkwardly placed section in the PHB that recalled some recent gamey-ness.  The “Inspiration” rule may have been well-intended, but it doesn’t quite feel right.

Read the rest of this entry »

To the War Table!

April 30th, 2015

Favicon-jpgInquisition_war_room_conceptOne of the more innovative and engrossing additions to the RPG video game genre is the War Table in Dragon Age: Inquisition. In short, your war council of advisors helps identify, lead and complete missions using markers on a sprawling world map.

The war table adds a strategic, higher level RPG element to the classic first-person RPG missions you take on with your character and small party of adventurers.  Which member of your council leads a specific effort matters as far as results and rewards, as they have different personalities, methods and contacts.

Some efforts are brief and simple (e.g. gathering raw materials), while others are complex and lengthy, involving political alliances, underground contacts or long investigations of people or locales.  The War Table adds more stories to your story, in short, as you coordinate the efforts of others across the world.

Having just completed this tremendous game, the richness of the War Table reminds us to make sure “the world turns” while the PC party goes on its own adventures – or as they participate in or even lead their own war.  There are always more missions, more quests, and more stakes – connected to and beyond the PCs’ desires and reach.  And, through the War Table, a reminder that you have close friends and allies who will help you pursue greater, even global interests.

And having just caught up on the latest season of Vikings, here’s to your inner circles being less like those and more like Dragon Age!

Chronomancy: Time Travel Tonight!

March 31st, 2015

Favicon-jpgAh, chronomancy!  The magic of time travel.  A beloved, dare I sayContinuum romantic fantasy notion.

Some stories pull it off, like Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Others, like Continuum – a SyFy show I enjoy – can get head-explodes confusing.

So how do you smoothly time travel in your games?  That’s the key.  It’s got to be believable (or actually, plausible) while simple enough to process.

The few times I’ve included time travel in my game – and hey, who doesn’t at least once? – it’s been with mixed results.  As DM, I’ve even confused myself!

So here’s a favorite resource of mine: Dragon issue #430; in particular, I like Robert Schwalb’s article, “Unearthed Arcana: Time Travel.”  Some good time travel articles in that issue, and Schwalb’s simply rocks.

(Also check out Schwalb’s new dark fantasy RPG, Shadow of the Demon Lord.  Looks like a Sword Coast Legends D&D meets Dragon Age setting – my kind of gaming!)




Sword Coast Legends: The Next Generation

February 26th, 2015

Favicon-jpgSword Coast Legends looks like our beloved Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale CRPGs: The Next Generation!

And it gets better: the director of Dragon Age: Origins (also a beloved CRPG and instant classic) is bringing us Sword Coast Legends.

Dragon Age: Origins goodness meets D&D’s best CRPGs of all time?  And you can play old school single player with your party (love it!) or multi-player as a party – or… you can DM, too?

Am I dreaming?  This is awesome!!