By - August 31, 2015 - 2 Comments

DMs should fear these things from Fear the Walking Dead »

imagesMovies and television are always a fertile source for ideas to use in D&D.  Especially horror.  You’ve probably heard that AMC’s the Walking Dead has a spinoff called (ugh) ‘Fear the Walking Dead.’ Now this isn’t a prequel but rather about what’s happens on the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles.  Admittedly when I first heard they were making this series I rolled my eyes as it sounded like a 3.5ish cash grab.  But then I started seeing some slick promos that showed scenes from normal everyday life right before the zomb- I mean walkers/biters/roamers show up.  Behold, the power of advertising made me & 10.1 million other people tune in.  After watching the Pilot twice now, I can share some suggestions for DMs.  Unfortunately, they’re all things that DMs should NOT do.  For example…

  • FEAR cliche adventure starters FtWD opens with someone waking up and not knowing what is going on around them.  Sound familiar?  Well that’s because they used this same bit in the original show, albeit in a hospital bed.  And if that sounds familiar then that’s because you’ve seen it happen in the British horror movie 28 Days Later, which introduced ‘fast zombies.’  Apparently neither the graphic novels nor the film ripped off each other but it still demonstrates that a trope can become a common cliche.  So don’t have the party meet at an inn.  Or be summoned before the King.  Or guard a caravan. Find something new or at least different enough than normal to pull your players in.
  • FEAR obvious clues for foreshadowing  In the buildup to the inevitable Z-pocalypse, one of the characters is teaching a lesson; the subject, ‘To Build a Fire’.  And what he says is London’s point?  “Nature always wins.”  Another character is a student and happens to have a class on…wait for it…Chaos Theory.  “It’s not just for dinosaurs!”  Not exactly discrete right?  If you’re going to cue what’s coming up, subtly pays off.  Slow burns are the best burns.  FtWD had a moment where the principal notices that there aren’t as many kids at school (cue dramatic music) causing him to then ask the bus driver, “What, did you miss a few stops?”  Do those kind of little things and when the ending is eventually revealed- or even discovered- it will mean much more.
  • FEAR having your NPCs be or fall into stereotypes   One character is a drug addict yet his sister is headed off to college at Berkley.  A black character is introduced yet soon revealed as (spoiler) a drug dealer.  Being a horror show he is then killed early on.  Finally, the only person we meet who seems to have a clue about the impending doom is a Geeky misfit with a CHA of 7.  And is named ‘Tobias.’  Sigh.  In real life, people are much more complicated than simple labels.  If you want memorable NPCs then they have to be believable.  And to be believable they have to be realistic.  Its ok to label them by profession or archetype but see if you can inject them with something that makes them unique.  Like real people are.

Ok, so despite those negative points the show was still worth a view.  Have to see how this new group does in the weeks to come.  Meantime, what did we miss?  What did you guys think of the show?  Let us know in the comments below.  After all as Tobias says, “No ones’ going to college.”

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By - August 28, 2015 - 1 Comment

Crashing markets in the D&D world »

Trooper economicsRecent financial craziness from China illustrates how interwoven economies are in a modern world. But how would this play out in D&D and what affect would they have on the PCs?  Well as Master Of The Game you can use these ‘real world’ issues to inject a different challenge:  fiduciary.  Here are a few such scenarios.

Shortages are almost always a bad thing, and shortages of all types can easily affect the PCs. Empty iron veins, collapses in coal mines and even nearby wars can soak up all the available steel, driving prices for the most pedestrian of weapons through the roof. What does get made is poor quality, and prone to break. Meanwhile armor begins degrading quickly, getting worse with each deflected blow, and replacements or repair can be expensive.  The few smiths that can craft masterwork items become deluged with requests or snatched up by rulers to make only for them.  And most magic armament disappears from the marketplace as a frightened nobility or upper class snatches whatever they can for protection.

Then there are artificial scarcities which are even worse. Price hikes can be keyed to factions looking to corner markets, or keep items and materials from their rivals or the party directly. Healing opportunities are limited to the party’s cleric when the powers that be refuse to help whomever they consider to be foreigners. Even god-level boycotts and magic strife can place embargoes on spell use at the worst possible times. Hunting down the sources of these can be an adventure unto itself, and the party then finds out the real challenge is getting those divine pipelines flowing again.

The ‘paper tiger’ is a nice twist to bring to the game. A powerhouse of a nation or city-state regularly imports what the need, and those caravans need guards. But the arrival of the convoy finds a squalid, run-down destination. No one’s getting paid? Worse yet, they are likely going to take the food/gold/livestock by force. Now the party is threatened by both a starving citizenry and corrupt government. Or, in their expedition to invade a neighboring ‘belligerent’ nation and take down the ‘vicious’ and ‘evil’ leaders, they come to find their sources were all liars, who were looking to have the party weaken the neighbor and open the door for a takeover by a greedy merchant cabal.

Closer to home, economic strife is just as troublesome. The king has suddenly found himself unable to pay his debts, and is handing out dukedoms with the attention of a sugar-filled kobold child. Now competing families are given the same land, and the party has to sort out the mess. Or, they’re protecting the king from the machinations of his rivals, the mother in law of the foreign princess (being married off to the king to resolve his debt) in turn owes another country who has her spying for them, where they in turn are the cause of the king’s woes, as they are in cahoots with the hill giants that have taken over the garnet mine that the kingdom had used to prop up its crown.

Taking a few real time issues on the economic front, and twisting them to your game’s purposes and story, can be a new and challenging way to keep the party interested in their endeavors.  In short, it can pay off for your group if you get them to go for broke.

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By - August 23, 2015 - Leave a comment

If Quentin Tarantino designed a D&D adventure »

Quentin+Tarantino+Django+Unchained+Panel+2012+_tWze2rq76DlWhile we’re writing a piece on the Walking Dead spinoff, I thought I’d tie-in a few things cinema to D&D.  Because now that he’s finished creating another excuse for Samuel L. Jackson’s wallet to have ‘BMF’ on it, Quentin Tarantino could pitch his next cross-genre vision to the folks at Paizo, bringing his unique style to the current champion of movie genres.  Here’s how it might go…

Quentin Tarantino:  “So we’re starting off by seeing a whole bunch of capes, man. I’m talkin’ flyin’. I’m talkin’ punches thrown. I’m talkin’ walls collapsing with the heroes dustin’ off their shoulders. I’m hearing AC/DC and I’m seein’ hot chicks in catsuits.”

Paizo Person: “Kids sure are loving the Marvel Universe, even before all the extensions. That’s true.  A bajillion dollars true in fact…

QT: “So let’s bring this little party underground, baby. Let’s start dungeon-crawlin’ and brawlin’ and the kids’ll come callin’.”

PP: “Hmm.  Well, what do you propose?

QT: “We’ve got an enemy mastermind. Super-villain. Arch-freaking-criminal like they called Tommy in Goodfellas. Only this guy is world domination. He’s ‘take-over-the-whole-planet’, loads of minions everywhere, feasting at the table of evil. He’s buffed, he’s power-up. Like he’s the boss-level to end all boss levels.”

PP: “Umm. Pretty much sounds like every adventure we have.  And we’ve have, I dunno, 8d10 of them and counting.  Oh look, we just made another one.”

QT: “Well allow me to retort. Here’s my spin, daddy-o. He’s boss, because he’s fortified where that kind of magic…it just stays with you. His lair, his lair makes that stuff stay on, but only for as long as you’re in there. Magic stays, and wizards see that, see?   Well this Doctor Menace, he don’t like that. He’s declared open season on spellthrowers.”  {does a gun gesture with his hands}

QT continuing: “There’s your hook. Assassins killing David Blaine, David Copperfield and Penn but not Teller. So here comes your party, finally getting to the boss level. And the wizards know they can buff everyone crazy like, and it will stay as long as they’re in this area. And the bad guy is buffed too. And all his henchmen with the black shirts that say ‘Cohort” on the front. And the fights are getting so intense in his lair, with people flying around and smashing things, they start doing hardness damage to the walls, even though they’re almost invulnerable, and the place starts coming down around them, and it’s just this huge battle with collapsing pillars and barbarians throwing horses through walls and…”

PP: “Hey, hey, hey settle down. That’s a great end battle, sure. Magic stays permanent, even stacks, only while they’re in the lair. People and weapons rival the hardness of their surroundings, and start doing damage to the place. Self-destruct countdown sequence at the end so no one can use the area ever again. Bittersweet. Would make for a good end battle taking up five plus hours of game time. Love it. What else you got?

QT: “Ok…ok…so, we go paranoid then. Whole kingdom is out to get the party. Talkin’ Cap and Widow runnin’ from Hydra, man, but they’re running through the kingdom, right? And only they know that the boss-man is a doppelganger. So he’s got them wanted for trumped-up crimes, only he don’t know what they know and he don’t know whether who they know knows what they know. So he’s got to get them alive. Man-catchers, nets, big ol’ Planet Of The Apes hunt. Whole damn kingdom goes Running Man on them, because there’s gold coins to be had if you spot them. The party’s the prize, baby, and the game is nationwide. So, out of nowhere, your half-dozen heroes have gone from belles of the ball to stuck in the middle of a dungeon on the wrong side of the law like (snap) that.”

PP: “Wow, Mr.Tarantino. A clever DM sure can pull a lot of adventuring ideas from genre movies. It’s a deep mine to tap, especially if they need a quick scenario on the fly.”

QT: “Just make sure the soundtrack is rockin’, baby.  And a few quotable catchphrases don’t hurt either- oh, I’m sorry did I break your concentration?”

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By - August 15, 2015 - Leave a comment

The Journey As The Destination »

Recently, the perfect storm of perspective had me experiencing, in short succession:

  • A family driving trip 1,500 miles from Western, NY to Texas
  • Reading a book on Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe, whose travels will make you realize complaining about driving on paved roads with air-conditioning makes you a weak little crybaby.
  • the ending of the Malazan Crippled God series, which included, in the second book Deadhouse Gates, the most intense and electrifying flight of an army I have ever read.

So, let’s put them all together and suggest for all you gamesmiths, taking the journey and making it into an adventure itself.

Normally, the need for travel brings groans from the party and sends them scrambling for windwalk and teleport spells, off to the griffin dealership, or sifting through every bit of lore they can find to learn of the nearest portal. But for the sake of variety, at least once in your gaming why not make the travel part of a quest actually adventurous or even the focus of the campaign?

Several specific reasons can easily be brought up for the need for protracted travel.  They might be commissioned to discover new lands and open new trade routes (ala Magellan) or escape from danger while being relentlessly pursued (ala Clotain’s in Deadhouse Gates). Delivery of delicates or simply important information could also warrant long expeditions, as well as a drive that demands the party visit several successive areas, cities, or even cultures.

Limiting the party’s magical options is a must when ‘getting there’ is supposed to be 1/2 the fun. Heavy cargo or large numbers preclude the use of the usual distance spells.  People and items could be far too delicate to be moved using most magic.  Maybe the magic itself could be a magnet for malevolent forces that are part of the pursuit. Even cultural taboos forbidding magical use could be employed to force the characters to take the long slow way.

Once the party is in fact out on the long road, the paradigm of adventuring is flipped, with the encounters randomly coming to them rather than the other way around. Unexpected ambushes happen, not to mention the known dangers that must be endured as the wilderness is crossed. Nightly watches are a lesson in large scale tactics, skills are passed to novices to assist with the expedition, and diplomacy is tested when spoiled nobles demand more protection.

Prolonged attacks test their endurance, with spellslingers forced to conserve their dwindling slots and sorties depleting both the strength and will of the defenders. Resources become critical. Clerics have to decide whether to prepare healing for the defenders or food for refugees.  Potable water needs to be found, animals need care, and typical treasure become less valuable then food and shelter: you can’t eat GP and even the biggest gem won’t give sanctuary from a desert Sun.

With a bit of adjustment, what is looked at by your players as a dull necessity to get to the action can be turned into the action itself.  A globe trotting campaign can be equally filled with combat and roleplay, where the PC’s are challenged just as much as during a normal dungeoncrawl.  And all without having to do that door-kicking-in cliche.

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By - August 10, 2015 - 3 Comments

Real world problems for D&D characters: taxes, fees, and surcharges »

Today we’ll start talking about stressful stuff that happens throughout our daily lives that, realistically should happen also to people in fantasy worlds. The inspiration for this comes from technical issues that affected DungeonMastering.com recently such as dead links, site outages or email notifications for older posts. First off, we apologize.  Secondly, we’re working on solving the various problems.  Per our Tech Priest what occurred was “mass login attacks on numerous sites which caused MySQL to slow down and all sites to become unresponsive.  Basically like a DDOS attack but specifically trying to log in and gain admin access to the server.”  That’s Geek Speak for some people are Chaotic Jerks.  Anywho, while this Neuromancer stuff is being sorted out, here are some suggestions for how to incorporate the real world pain of taxes, fees, and surcharges to your D&D games.

We’ve talked before how dying in D&D isn’t the end.  But the other half to the “only two things in life are certain” quote- which isn’t Benjamin Franklin’s, is taxes.  Kingdoms require revenue.  If the party completes a dungeon or conquers a dragon horde, unless they handle themselves with Batman-like secrecy, word eventually gets out.  Envoys from the local ruler to the regional ruler to perhaps those representing the ruler of the realm itself will want a conversation.  And then their share.   How this request is presented and how much is requested is up to A) where the party is, and what that area’s leadership is like + B) if this new treasure will cause game imbalance.  Unless it’s in the interests of the story don’t anger the players but don’t ignore the logic of basic tax policy or let too much treasure erase the difficulty.

After a few such run-ins the party may decide to stick to locales where the taxation is low or collection not enforceable.  In this case they could encounter another real world PITA for these places which are fees.  In fantasy worlds the possibility of payments for carrying large weapons or being a wizard or bringing in mounts/animal companions could be common.  Think of all the ways a real life government collects needed revenue through indirect tariffs like parking tickets, red light cameras, or dog licenses. Now transport these revenue streams that to a society living near an area where explorers such as the PCs come through.  Again, unless its in the interests of the story you’re not looking to drain the party so much as have believable responses.

Finally there are the inevitable pricing increases that happen whenever adventurers arrive into town.  Sometimes equipment should be more than list, sometimes it won’t be available at all, and sometimes they won’t buy things from the PCs for even 50% of MSRP.  After all, the average party after going through an adventure is walking around with more wealth than most small towns.  Yet rather than a list of rules, use your head when it comes to economics.  If they walk around buying things like big shots, the townsfolk will assume they’re big shots.  But the laws of supply and demand still apply.

Roleplay Idea: The players are in a Lawful Neutral territory where slavery is legal.  After a very successful dungeoncrawl, they’ve been summoned before the ruler who, per the law of the land for windfalls and inheritances, offers them a choice.  They can keep 90% of their haul, and only hand over 10%; yet that 10% will directly go towards continuing the enslavement institution.  Or they can keep just 10%, but that 90% will go towards purchasing freedom.  Not surprisingly though most of those with newly found fortunes opt to hold onto them, making the chains remain.

Twists: Switching out various aspects could change how players respond.  For example, if the slaves came from sentenced criminals the players might accept the practice.   However if the slaves were from the poor who couldn’t pay debts or otherwise victims of unfortunate circumstances, the PCs may be more inclined to or possibly actively resist.  Double twist: The party has to completely agree as a group about the split or the entire haul will be seized.  This could be an opportunity for some dynamic roleplaying as the players debate fairness vs liberty, with their wealth- not to mention the lives of those enslaved- on the line.

 

While one of the reasons we play fantasy games is to escape from reality, that doesn’t mean we should ignore some aspects from our lives even if they’re the sucky ones of taxes, fees and surcharges.  They may not be the stuff of heroes but they are stuff that even heroes have to face.

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By - July 24, 2015 - 1 Comment

Dungeons and Dragons Races – The Dragonkind Races Highlighted in Races of the Dragons »

Dungeons and Dragons RacesNumerous Dungeons and Dragons races exist; however, none captures and excites a player’s imagination as the races of dragons that exist in the supplement, Races of the Dragons. If you are to become an exceptional Dungeon Master, it is imperative that you learn about these amazing beings. Ultimately, these creatures have the capability of being adversaries, as well as allies. In a brief review of our history, we find that there are a multitude of myths and legends surrounding dragons. This is, in part, why these legendary creatures hold a special place in the heart of those that play Dungeons and Dragons. In most instances, the presence of dragons in a campaign indicates that the players involved in that campaign have acquired a mastery of the skills required to be a proficient D&D player. If you are ready to join the ranks of the highest respected Dungeon Masters in the game, you must know about the Dungeons and Dragons races that directly pertain to dragons.

Dungeons and Dragons Races of Dragons

The dragon races highlighted in the Races of the Dragons supplement include the dragonborn, the half-dragons, the spellscale, draconic creatures, and the kobold. Below, you will find the other dragon races as outlined by various books that are part of the Dungeons and Dragons game:

  • In the Draconomicon, you will find numerous dragon races. These include the half-dragons, the dragonkin, draconic creatures, dragonnel, storm drakes, elemental drakes, shadow dragons, faerie dragons, planar dragons, fang dragons, landwyrms, and the spiked felldrake.
  • In the Fiend Folio, you will discover the Dungeons and Dragons races of the sunwyrm and the sea drake.
  • In the Monster Manual, there are the dragon races of the wyvern, true dragons, ravid, behir, kobold, the pseudodragon, and the dragon turtle.
  • In the Monster Manual II, you will discover the dragon races of the spellweaver, the gem dragons, the linnorms, felldrakes, hellfire wyrm, and the frost salamander.
  • In the Monster Manual III, you will find the dragon races of the ssvaklor, the ambush drake, the rage drake, the dragon eel, and the dracotaur.

Conclusion

If you are to master being a Dungeon Master, it is important that you learn as much as possible about all of the Dungeons and Dragons races, as it relates to dragons. While it is true that most players will not play such a race in a campaign because of the immense power and capabilities exhibited by the races, you are likely to include dragons in your campaign. In fact, if you want to be hailed as a successful DM, including dragon races in your campaign is an absolute necessity. For information on adventure sites and various types of NPCs that may be used in your campaign, be sure to check out the supplement, Races of the Dragons. For further information on how to achieve the ultimate level of success as a Dungeon Master, you may visit our website today at: http://www.dungeonmastering.com/

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By - July 20, 2015 - Leave a comment

Ideas from Co-operative Boardgames for D&D »

DM: “So, you’ve entered the room of Eternal Evil…”  Players: “We storm in as fast as we can, unleashing as much cacophonous violence as possible and raise any dead when we’re done.”

DM: “So, you’ve entered the mystic china shop full of expensive, hand-made stuff.”  Players: “We storm in as fast as we can, unleashing as much cacophonous violence as possible and raise any dead when we’re done.”

Weary DM: “So, you’ve entered the Orphanage Of Eternal Anime-eyed Scions and…Players: “We storm in as fast as we can, unleashing as much cacophonous violence as possible and raise any dead when we’re done.”

PC’s standard operating procedure can resemble a raid in Juarez. Fortunately ‘cooperative” board games (where everyone works together, either all winning or losing) suggest game mechanics for the Dungeon Master that can move the action from repeatedly kicking down dungeon doors into the realm of movie trailers.

Pandemicstop outbreaks before they end humanity by sharing knowledge, discovering cures, and treating diseases. DMs can apply:

  1. Separate needs, same time Make time-sensitive actions required at the same time, creating the need for the party to split up to get them done in time. Not only do you have to get the falsely-convicted prince free of his cell, you need to keep the magistrate busy in court while you do it, and that means creating diversions all around the hallowed halls of the Justicar.
  2. Someone needs to know!  The diversion in the halls of justice has forced the discovery that the prince is actually a doppelganger, and the moment he’s near the princess, its lights out for her! Pushing a need for long distance communication while being chased by the despotic king’s forces creates new challenges for the party.
  3. Triggering the spill  The false prince remains jailed (or killed, knowing this party), but they didn’t get the Justicar distracted for long enough, now he orders his loyal troops to enter the city and begin hunting down the party and their allies. Unless they warn enough of their friends, the thieves guild that was waiting for ‘just the right moment’ have realized now is the time to steal the party’s armor that the smithy just finished.

Marvel Legendary; stop a supervillain’s nefarious plans and waves of underling enemies by recruiting Marvel superheroes and building up enough power to eventually fight the boss baddie.  DMs can apply:

  1. Pipeline of thugs  Soldiers of the enemy arrive constantly, their plodding pace and additions to the attack stretching the characters resources. The party knows they can’t unleash their devastating stuff too early, lest they have nothing left for the leader.
  2. Recruiting resources Magic spells are needed to power the ancient hold’s defenses, and hero points and grit points can be used to add to the players’ success at getting the local tribe of pech to fight on their side.
  3. What the hell was that noise? The longer the party takes to build the giant-chopper that’s designed to take down the frost giant archer, the deeper the evil duergar sappers dig into the side passage to let the giant spiders in to attack, the farther the darkmantles fly to harass the party, and the worse the smoke gets from the burning mushroom forest.

Shadows Over Camelot; save Arthur’s realm from invasions, the Black Knight, siege engines, a dragon, and a possible traitor all while hunting for the Holy Grail.  DMs can apply:

  1. There’s a snake in my boots! Character possession and geas magics are just a couple of ways to introduce SoC’s traitor mechanic. But who says a traitor needs to be evil? Sometimes the players loved one is at risk and forces him to choose them over the greater good at the worst possible time. However SoC proves that even the suspicion of treachery does damage.
  2. Benefit from doing nothing The player is forced to take no action, lest his efforts possibly make things worse. Rather than their sword saving the day, have a hero stuck holding a trap closed, or wrap their hands around the one rope that, if let go, releases the lynch pin to the walls of the tower upon which their battle rages.
  3. The heavy gamble A huge risk means a huge reward! Like being given two paths to take, one with horrible ends, the other with grand good stuff to horde (treasure? Power? Victory? That last hit point you needed?). Making an early decision, where the outcome won’t be known for turns or even days, carries the suspense.

Good DMs will beg, borrow, and steal any good idea.  Co-operative games aren’t just enjoyable, they’re a rich field to idea mine.  But elements that you yourself find fun playing, your group will find fun playing with.

And fun is why we all do this.

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By - July 12, 2015 - 4 Comments

6 SWEET Suggestions for D&D from GoT Season 5 (Part One) »

imagesIt’s no secret that we’re all huge Game of Thrones fans here.  This year we’ve done posts about the premiere and then the finale.  In between we also wrote about the 2nd episode because it had a bunch of ideas for your D&D games. However there are still 7 other shows in this batch, all with some solid suggestions for fantasy RPGs.  So from those here are 6  SWEET suggestions from Season 5, albeit separated into two parts to allow more discussion.  And as this opening Melisandre meme image specifies, ‘spoilers’ all over the place.

kids-1433171598Zombies = Zombie kids  One of the terrible truths in an undead outbreak is that they would soon be able to surround and then either eat or zombify two particularly vulnerable groups: elderly and children, as neither is really known for their cardio abilities.  (Nor for carrying a change of underwear)  So kudos to Martin and/or the writers for including a bunch of little wights in the Hardhome battle in S5E8, as that’s simply realistic.  But it’s also incredibly troubling to witness, as expressed by one of the defenders  SUGGESTION:  where there are zombies, there could be zombie youngsters.  To make a quick template, change their size to Small, take off a few HP, but increase the Dex and their AC.  If your edition has rules for monsters that function well together in conjunction, apply those, as rabid rug rats would be decidedly pack like.  While not technically a swarm per se, they are ankle biter material which could manifest itself rule-wise as having the equivalent of various Teamwork Feats such as Horde Charge.

thrones-02Death can be done ‘off screen’  In S5E10Stannis’ army is routed and he’s the sole survivor. He has a brief fight with 2 enemy soldiers, then, wounded, is cornered by Brienne of Tarth with a magic sword named Oathkeeper.  We see her swinging this Valyrian steel but the camera cuts away before it connects.  Now, often in TV this can mean that the implied death really isn’t a death after all.  However the director made it (Dark) crystal clear that yes, Stannis isn’t surviving and that the actual strike wasn’t seen because doing so would have been “gratuitous.”  SUGGESTION: if an NPC or PC for that matter is facing overwhelming odds, rather than play out the inevitable with doing a round-by-round, it can be more appropriate- not to mention save a ton of time- to instead handle the obvious ending narratively.  i.e. “You kill scores from the undead horde, but eventually, their numbers simply prove to be just too much and they drag you down.  Screaming.”  Feel free to rule that an ending via descriptive story telling is more appropriate than running a hopeless situation with a bunch of dice + math.

hqdefaultDragons can just Fly away    Surrounded in an arena by the Sons of the Harpy, things are grim for Daenerys. Luckily for our Meereen cast, a Dragon Ex Machina appears in the form of Drogon the largest of the 3 hatchlings.  He chews, crushes, and incinerates batches of her enemies.  Yet the apparent victory is only a brief respite as dozens of spears eventually hit home; hey, some people still play that a 20 is a 20.  Daenerys saddles up and she and her new steed fly the frak out of there.

SUGGESTION: Ah, Dragons.  A staple of our hobby as much as oddly shaped rooms containing a wacky assortment of monsters waiting for murder hobos to take away their treasure.  But all too often, they can fall into the Breath/Claw/Claw routine and boringly become a big angry land lizard.  Yet the most effective draconic tactic can be the most forgotten ability: using their wings, not with a buffet attack but to keep them out of range of groundlings. So have Dragons fly as much as possible, dive bombing the party with rocks/wagons/horses from the beginning, soaring around to strafe with breath powers, or at least flapping away after 50% HP.  Basically, all dragons should be ready to simply take off whenever a battle looks bad for them- bailing is how they can live to grow to Smaug proportions.

Ok, that’s the first half of D&D ideas from the 5th Season of GoT.  Any guesses on the 3 others coming up?  Think of points we missed on these ones? Let us know in the comments.

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