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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By - July 5, 2015 - 1 Comment

4 Groups in D&D that deserve more Independence »

DND FireworksI would have bet all my jumbo dice that there already was a 4th of July column. We’ve previously written not one but two articles about Memorial Day as well as an attempt to process 9-11 from a gaming context.  But there actually isn’t anything in our archives, so to connect with the Independence Day holiday DungeonMastering.com presents 4 Groups in the D&D system that deserve more Independence.  In order for autonomy, here they are:

4) Henchmen, hirelings, and cohorts  HOW THEY ARE: too often these guys can be the Red Shirts from Star Trek.  Even if they aren’t deliberately put into harm’s way, when they do die, too they are just quickly forgotten.  INSERT INDEPENDENCE BY: while the Leadership Feat has modifiers to a character’s Leadership Score from followers dying (some of which are cumulative) this doesn’t prevent logic when it comes to how they behave.  Gold only buys so much loyalty, and common sense should prevail.  If an attendant is quite obviously in over their head, they certainly can ask for any outstanding pay and simply leave.  However if they do die on an adventure, then friends/family might seek out the party, either for an inheritance or at least a body to bury.  Either way if followers aren’t always properly equipped, the death rate can be high enough for no one to ever sign on with the group again.

3) Familiars, Animal Companions, and Paladin mounts  HOW THEY ARE: usually treated like obedient pets, albeit pets with very useful powers.  Heck, in some editions they even come back from the dead with a couple hundred GP plus an 8 hour ritual.  INSERT INDEPENDENCE BY: make sure their own needs, motivations, and goals are regularly brought to the attention of the controlling character.  Especially for basic requirements such as food/shelter/security, but as helpers advance along with their PC caretakers, their wants should advance as well.  Consult Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to see how these requirements grow from basic to much more complicated.  The pyramid starts with simple things like shelter then stability then moves onto affection then later respect, and at last are things such as self-fulfillment.  Bottom-line, while they only have a supporting role these figures should still have material worth making a backstory.  (fittingly, ‘independence’ is on tier 4 of Maslow, aka Esteem Needs)

2) Summoned Monsters and Nature’s Allies  HOW THEY ARE: suddenly pulled into our world to do a caster’s bidding, they last as long as villain’s guards in a James Bond movie before winking back to the plane from whence they came.  Beings summoned from spells often are the fantasy equivalent of personal mine detectors.  INSERT INDEPENDENCE BY: having the monsters summoned gradually having heard of the spellcaster, and react to him based on that reputation.  If the caster has treated previously summoned allies negatively, then word will eventually get out and any that have to come won’t work to the best of their ability.   They will be curt to the point of rude and while not hostile, not as helpful as they could otherwise be.  Conversely if the caster has been positive, indicating appreciation or simply being polite, summoned creatures could assist above and beyond the call of duty.  Perhaps they might personally answer the summons again if the experience was good enough.

And the #1 group in D&D that deserves more independence…

1) Intelligent magic items  HOW THEY ARE:  pieces of (expensive) equipment listed on a sheet, to be used as needed until the battle is over, then basically ignored until the next combat.  INSERT INDEPENDENCE BY: paying careful attention to the rules of how these special magic items work.  An item’s Ego score determines how much control they’ll exert over the wielder, which can be extreme.  For example in Pathfinder, “a score of 20 or higher always considers itself superior to any character, and a personality conflict results if the possessor does not always agree with the item.”  Even if there isn’t an immediate conflict, the item most likely feels the relationship at best as temporary given the lifespan of its mortal ‘owner’ particularly with the life expectancy for adventurers.  At worst the item sees the person as a meat puppet to do its bidding, exerting control whenever possible to achieve its own ends.  However, at the least, because intelligent items are created with a purpose in mind, they will want to pursue those goals.  Don’t let them stay simple swords or rings: have them be as special as they are, which means having them demonstrate a measure of independence.

Ok, that’s our choice of those groups in D&D that deserve more self-determination.  Any ones we missed that should be on the list?  Any ones on the list that shouldn’t be?  Or that should be higher/lower?  Let us know in the comments below.

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By - June 27, 2015 - Leave a comment

3 More Adventure Starters for your D&D games »

Get your own custom art: http://www.AvatarArt.com

Get your own custom art: http://www.AvatarArt.com

We’ve talked before about how there’s a middle ground of having to buy a module or creating absolutely everything yourself.  While there’s an advantage in time saving to simply running a pre-published thing and there’s an advantage in customization with making everything up, it can help to take an idea, use it as a springboard for your imagination, then make it best fit your group. So here are 3 more Adventure Starters for you to make as your own.

4.) Save a Kingdom, Get a Kingdom

A prince in a nearby kingdom has made an enticing offer to anyone brave enough to assist him. Last year a mysterious figure united previously divided goblinoid tribes and they conquered, then settled the land’s mountainous region. Once home to  prospectors, miners and hunters, most of the citizenry were enslaved. However, a small resistance has started and the prince wants to aid this underground. Especially after conventional attempts to reclaim proved ineffective; the monster’s mystery leader is surprisingly strategic and the combined tribes routed the royal army.  As a reward for successfully freeing the people, the prince is offering not only titles of nobility but also titles to that same land.

…This concept takes a straightforward goal in which the players are attempting to clear evil. How they accomplish this is up to them: stealth, guile, diplomacy are all possible tactics.  The success of the mission can be far from simple; perhaps the Prince isn’t telling the party the whole story. And who is this mysterious leader?  Furthermore, the prospect of being able to own land in a frontier area adds the possibility of establishing their own base of operations. That is if they can keep it.

5.) The Darker Sides

The players are secretly meeting each other in a grandiose tower near the center of their underground city. Below, a mix of aristocrats, slaves and warriors bustle through the streets. The community is divided even architecturally amongst various noble houses vying for power, with each character connected to one. In the center of the metropolis is an enormous spire, which eclipses all neighboring buildings. But more insidiously, it serves as a perennial reminder to the citizenry that their diety is always watching. Suddenly, the players notice intruders behind them. A group of Surface Dwellers! They warn of an ancient evil lurking under the city, and have learned that of a sinister ritual soon being performed. If not stopped, this ceremony will summon an unspeakable being- even for Drow. They propose a temporary partnership to prevent the entity being unleashed.  But can they trust these humans? Can they even trust each other?

…This adventure revolves around a different concept: an-all Dark Elf group with each player having both the main shared goal as well as personal private ones. I’ve previously written about such individual motivations and what better way to try some subterfuge than with Drow?! This political web could take the players into a plethora of drama; not only must they discover the culprits behind this ritual and stop it before it’s to late, they also need to navigate through a deeply divided city, with factions that have been embroiled in conflict for years. All while working with- or against- a party of typical PC adventurers.

6.) Sail Away, Sail Away

On the first full moon of the month the adventures set sail to a far away rival city. Aboard a stocked galley, the party is entrusted with the timely transportation of a giant egg as a condition of a carefully negotiated treaty. But as they hastily journey to the exotic destination, a strong storm and a blistering current throw the vessel far off course. When a sudden burst of wind tears the sails, and pushes the vessel ashore onto an unknown island, calamity strikes. The captain of the ship and several of the crew are badly injured so command falls to the adventurers. Will they be able to repair the ship and still sail to their goal? Or at least to safety? And what’s that sound coming from the egg?

…This adventure is built around the idea of a more open-world exploration such as a sand box style play in which the characters investigate their strange island surroundings. With numerous hurdles for the adventurers to overcome (repair the  damaged ship, stabilize the injured crew, deliver the treasure in time etc.), such a scenario will require quiet a bit of planning and innovative thinking if they hope to all make it off alive. Yet the cracking egg is a reminder that they have a looming eadline. One that could be lethal if it hatches too soon.

What do you guys think of this round?  What would you do to customize these ones?  Do you think any would make good fully finished adventures? Let us know in the comments.

If you liked my Adventure Starters, please check out my module: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/147044/Khatogon-5th-Edition-Dungeons-and-Dragons-Adventure which is still on sale for just $2.99 for a few turns longer.  Thanks!

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By - June 22, 2015 - 2 Comments

Lessons for D&D from the GoT season 5 finale »

game-thrones-season-5Since GoT isn’t just great TV, but also the closest thing to D&D that there will ever be on TV, we here at DungeonMastering assume our readers watch it regularly, even if they don’t subscribe to HBO.  So previously we’ve looked at the Season 5 Premiere “The Wars to Come,” as well as the 2nd S5 episode, “The House of Black and White.”  From these we came up with lists of ideas that could be used in D&D games with suggestions such as asking players to enact what their characters are saying for an Intimidate check, having magical power visibly manifest itself, and demonstrate just how angry hungry Dragons become.  Since it’s been a full week now since the finale “Mother’s Mercy” hopefully any of these won’t be spoilers, but yeah, spoilers coming.  Here we go.

imgres-1“Send me to Oldtown to become a Maester.”  Sam implores his friend Jon to permit him to leave his duty to guarding the Wall and be able to journey South (to the opposite end of the continent) to an old city where he can formally pursue become a healer/scholar.  Sam explains that by doing this study he will not only immediately save his family, but later on possibly his comrades as well.   HOW TO USE THIS: if a PC wants to learn a new spell, Feat or even ‘just’ a skill, they may have to travel quite far simply to find the opportunity for that to happen; whether from a tutor or at the “world’s greatest library.”  Going from the Wall to Old Town is approximately 2,000 miles.  While you don’t necessarily have to place a whole map in front of your players to go across, there should definitely be some obstacles to overcome before they can gain what they want.  And the greater the knowledge, the greater the obstacle.  At the very least, a player wanting their character to learn something new is now an opportunity for you as the DM to introduce a side quest or at the very least a cool NPC tutor.

images“A sinner comes before you.”  Outmaneuvered by a religious leader, to escape imprisonment Cersei is forced to take a literal walk of shame, slowly marched back to her keep while the city jeers on.  Adding injuries to insult, the Queen Mother undergoes a barrage of both disrespect and garbage (a cat carcass?!), hurled at her while she is escorted home by the same people she put into power.  HOW TO USE THIS: worthwhile villains- those who might be recurring bad guys instead of one & dones- deserve a good backstory.  Something sympathetic to help ‘humanize’ them or at least explain their malicious motivations.  i.e. why is this evil NPC evil.  In Cersei’s case this one scene of complete humiliation sets the stage for what is sure to be a very bloody revenge.  If you’ve created their background well (i.e. given the antagonist realistic reasons for their behaviors and goals) then they will cease to simply be a collection of stats and instead become a truly believable character.  Albeit one that your players may love to hate.

imgres-2“For the watch.” It should be no surprise by now that in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world, no character is safe from the specter of death.  Not even Jon Snow, who seemed to be the one person who could possibly rally a defense against the White Walkers.  Yet Valyrian Steel can’t protect against a surprise betrayal, and fan favorite Jon dies Caesar-like in a trap set by some of his own comrades.  Worse, the final Brutus Blow is delivered by a young boy he had befriended.  HOW TO USE THIS: one of the great things about roleplaying games is that the pure randomness that dice add to the story.  So although Jon’s death was ignominious, it was believable because the reality is that not every hero dies a heroic death.  If a villain, NPC, or Player Character should ever get killed from a freak die roll- in combat whether with a kid or with a kobold- then that’s a dramatic surprise that should get worked into the story rather than avoided with a Deus Ex Machina.

Well that’s what we got out of the last few shows.  What about you- have any suggestions of your own from watching this season?  Think of anything else from what we suggested? Let us know in the comments below.

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By - June 17, 2015 - 6 Comments

5 Ways Dice Wreck Your D&D Game (and how to fix them) »

Dumb Dice

The Prime Directive should be to not let dice mess games.

Gamers have a Love/Hate relationship with our funny-shaped polyhedrals.  One minute they’re amazingly awesome.  Then they suddenly suck, transforming into amazingly aggravating things.  Dice are the cats of gaming accessories. But regardless of which way Lady Luck leans, we should not let these bits of hard plastic muck up the collaborative storytelling of RPG.  Here are 5 ways dice wreck things and how you can prevent that.

PROBLEM #5: Not having enough of the kind required to complete a roll; causing a pause while the necessary amount are borrowed from others or they reroll a bunch, forced to remember and do math on the fly.  SOLUTION: this usually happens with d6s but it can affect any die, especially at higher levels.  Ask everyone to determine what the max amount of each die they character could possibly need at their current Level. Then work together to meet all these quotas, sharing amongst your group or buying extras as needed. DMs are no exception, so plan ahead to have a full stack of everything yourself.

PROBLEM #4: Letting them fall off the table; they bounce all around the playing surface, scattering off to parts unknown which stops the action until they’re found.  SOLUTION: Simply insist that for any roll to officially count, it must be made inside the dice tray.  No exceptions. This tray can also double as a turn marker, where it is placed in front of the current player, then passed to the next person in the initiative order.  Handing the tray off formally ends their turn for that round. Do this little thing and you’ll solve multiple problems at once.

PROBLEM #3: Constantly blaming dice for rolling poorly, to the point where they’re ‘shamed’ or yelled at or placed in a freezer, rather than just calmly set aside. Or the opposite, overtly publicly praising them.  SOLUTION: make it known in advance that these delay of game distractions will have a reasonable negative penalty. Just like those in professional sports.  [insert your favorite sport example here] Have players police themselves but don’t be afraid to enforce the group rule either. The idea is that it isn’t a punitive punishment, but rather a serious reminder to keep the focus where it belongs and act like adults.

PROBLEM #2: Allowing them to dictate illogical outcomes; such as the example from the 3.5 DMG where “the lowliest kobold can strike the most magically protected, armored, dexterous character on a roll of 20.”  SOLUTION: Implement the variant from the bottom of page 25 of that same DMG where a natural 20 is instead treated as a result of a 30, and conversely a natural 1 is treated as a result of -10.  These modifiers will still help the success/failure of these rolls without the incredulity of 5% of the time anyone is always succeeding while 5% of the time anyone is always failing.

And the #1 PROBLEM of dice: Allowing any dice that are hard-to-read whether because of their funky coloring, small size, or unmarked numbers; having to stop and squint to see what the results are. Then there is actually misreading them, accidentally or otherwise.  SOLUTION: Look, D&D is a group game, but another label for whomever is behind the screen is ‘referee.’  DMs absolutely not only have the right to veto any dice they feel could hinder the story, but they can also push players to only use dice with clear, visible numbers. If people can’t quickly see a definitive result after a roll, then that’s not a good die and it should be taken out of rotation.

So those are the 5 that we came up with.  Ironically they all came up last game ssession, which makes me wonder how many times these dice problems mess up other people’s games. Or if there are other problems we didn’t include in the list.  Let us know in the comments below.

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By - June 11, 2015 - 2 Comments

3 Adventure Starters for your D&D Campaigns »

By Mates Laurentiu, http://www.AvatarArt.com

By Mates Laurentiu, professional fantasy artist. Get your own custom images at http://www.AvatarArt.com

Sometimes you as a Dungeon Master want to run an adventure somewhere between ‘Just buying someone else’s idea’ and ‘Making it all up on my own.’  With that in mind, here are 3 Adventure Starters that will provide you with creative material to go from while still letting you fill in most of the blanks using your own creativity.

1. Allegiances for Adventurers

While staying in one of the wealthy mercantile towns of Tashalar, nestled along the coast of the southern Shining Sea, the adventurers awake one morning to a surprise. Large platoons of armed soldiers from the town are performing drills in public view. A mentor of the heroes, a well-known blacksmith by the name of Artemis, informs them that the recently elected leader of the city, a young prince named Josel, who just took over for his deceased father, has plans for war. The cities soldiers are preparing to be mobilized for an offensive invasion into some key territories in the nearby Hazuk Mountains, home of the resource wealthy dwarves.

Josel addresses the citizenry in person that morning, summoning everyone to the town square. He informs the masses of his plans and states that the dwarves of the Hazuk Mountains have been seizing and capturing trade caravans and causing economic disturbances. The sentiment resonates with many of the town’s people, merchants and middle class whom have personally felt increased economic hardship in the past several months. Artemis tells the heroes he worries some rich nobles may be behind the scenes influencing Josel’s decisions.

…This adventure will begin with the heroes’ attempting to find out more information about the ensuing events and then having to make some pivotal decisions about where their allegiances lay.

 

2. Debauchery in Drexal

Something is clearly amiss in Calimshan, a large region in southern Faerun. In the misty town of Drexal, an unknown spike in murders, kidnappings and thefts is terrorizing the population.  Rumors of sinister figures and shapes in the night have percolated throughout the citizenry. Some claim the acts are the doing of the Black Raiders, an infamous group of bandits whose acts of violence and thuggery have plagued the area for decades. Others assert that the bandits were all but eliminated nearly fifteen years ago under the imperial edict of the sultan Joseph, who led a campaign to purge the many towns of Calimshan of mercenaries and bandits. Many middle class merchants and craftsmen point to the spike in affluence of the Northern Grove region of the city, whose nobles have increasingly been flanked by larger details of security and whose gaudy opulence has been flaunted more then usual in the recent months, as the rest of the city grapples with despair and hardship. Still others have made note that a number of potential future magistrates in the city council have recently been murdered.

…. This adventure will begin with the hero’s attempting to find the cause of these debaucheries and bring back safety and peace of mind to Drexal.

 

3. Invisible Alchemist 

It was night in Havenwood, but one could hardly tell. The houses and streets were covered in thick, luminous coral that the town had implemented to create continual light. Unlike most towns, the activities on the streets had not died down at sunset. Merchants and wizards crowded the thin streets and worked tirelessly into the late night. Although not particularly affluent, Havenwood was a town of magic. Nearly one in five members of the city were either a wizard or sorcerer.  Many were drawn to the city to study under Magus Reginilus, who taught at a small but prestigious arcane magic academy.  The heroes are summoned my Reginilius one cool and ominous evening to discuss some urgent affairs. One of the towns leading alchemists and scholars has gone missing. His lab was found completely trashed, vials smashed, and the door to his store collapsed in two and many important texts missing. Reginilius beseeches the adventures to help recover the alchemist and find and bring back the texts. He warns that the implications of not bringing him back soon, could be grim

…This adventure will begin with the heroes trying to grapple through the puzzle of why the alchemist went missing and the significance behind his disappearance.

What do you guys think of these?  What else would you like to have before trying one, or, would you yourself add to make them complete?  Let us know in the comments below.

And if you liked any of my Adventure Starters, please check out my self-published adventure: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/147044/Khatogon-5th-Edition-Dungeons-and-Dragons-Adventure which is on sale for $2.99 for a limited time.

 

 

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