Tag Archives: Living Forgotten Realms

You roll for random encounters wrong (and so do I)

Original Dungeons & Dragons made rolling for wandering monsters more a core part of play than rolling a d20 to hit—d20 rolls were in the optional combat system that everyone used. Over the years, as D&D evolved, random encounters fell … Continue reading

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How knowing the difference between a setting book and an adventure helps craft better adventures

What makes an adventure different from a setting book? Both start with maps, locations, and characters, but what extra ingredients turn a source book into an adventure? You might name story or plot as that essential extra bit, but early … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, D&D fifth edition | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Organized play versus random ability scores

When fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons arrived, many players saw an attempt to bring the play style of computer role-playing to the tabletop. That may be true, but I saw an effort to create a game that delivered a consistent … Continue reading

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Five ways to create more usable game books

In my last post, I accused Wizards of the Coast of showing increasing indifference to making game books usable at the game table. Now I have five suggestions for creating more usable documents. Break the content into short, labeled chunks … Continue reading

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Actions players always take and choices players never make, part 1

At conventions and in organized play, I’ve served as dungeon master for a lot of adventures from other authors. Every adventure author makes certain guesses about what the players will do. Typically the authors guess pretty well, but sometimes they … Continue reading

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What Murder In Balur’s gate taught me about engaging players in role playing

As a dungeon master, I’m still learning. When I ran the Murder in Baldur’s Gate launch adventure at Gen Con, I had an ah-ha moment (more of a well-duh moment) and a lesson. At the convention, Wizards of the Coast … Continue reading

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Two reasons D&D Next’s inspiration mechanic fails to inspire me (and why the designers don’t mind)

From what we have seem so far, the Dungeons & Dragons Next design sticks close the game’s tradition. This makes the inspiration mechanic the design’s biggest surprise so far. D&D’s top dog, Mike Mearls, revealed the mechanic in “Roleplaying in … Continue reading

Posted in D&D fourth edition, Role-playing game design | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Gen Con 2013 recap and the D&D Championship visits the Lost City

I’m back from Gen Con and four days of terrific gaming. For this year, Wizards of the Coast elected to focus its attention on exposing as many as possible to Dungeons & Dragons Next, and so they dropped all Living … Continue reading

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Everything I know about tracking initiative

Many years ago, my little brother received a copy of Electronic Battleship for his birthday.  The gift probably excited me as much as him. Finally, we could play Battleship with all the action sounds (flatulent static!) and explosive effects (blinking … Continue reading

Posted in Dungeon master's tools | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Living Forgotten Realms Battle Interactive

I received my judge assignments for the upcoming Winter Fantasy convention. I’ll be running CORE5-3 Lost in Wonder during all the afternoon and evening slots on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. On Saturday, I’ll run a table for the Living Forgotten … Continue reading

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