Tag Archives: Mike Mearls

How the end of lonely fun leads to today’s trickle of D&D books

Role-playing gaming must rate as the cheapest entertainment around. Even if a game master buys an adventure to run, five other people get hours of fun from the purchase. And those hours come from a slim packet of pages. A … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Dungeons & Dragons at the 2016 Origins Game Fair

For many gamers, the Origins Game Fair feels just the right size. Unlike Winter Fantasy, the convention offers diversions beyond non-stop Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. Unlike Gen Con, you don’t face a city and a convention center crowded to … Continue reading

Posted in Conventions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

7 Dungeons & Dragons character builds absurdly good at one thing

The designers of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons want to avoid changing the game as it exists in print. In a Tome Show interview, designer Mike Mearls said they would only make changes if something proves “horribly broken.” Although no … Continue reading

Posted in D&D fifth edition | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Gaming at the Winter Fantasy Convention

Imagine taking the Dungeons & Dragons track from Origins or Gen Con, complete with a D&D designer or two, the Adventurers League brain trust, and the game’s most passionate players, and dropping it into a convention of its own. The … Continue reading

Posted in Conventions | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The evil wizard’s guide to defense against murderous treasure hunters

Every evil wizard occasional faces the threat of treasure hunters, do-gooders, and other barbarians. In order to exterminate such vermin, you must learn to defend yourself from their attacks. Preparation Alarm [1st-level Abjuration] (V,S,M) (casting time: 1 minute) (duration: 8 … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, D&D fifth edition | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The obvious innovation in fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons that no designer saw before

Stirrups. Zero. Shipping containers. Luggage with wheels. All these innovations seem obvious in hindsight. But they went undiscovered for millennia, until someone’s bright idea changed the world—or at least put airport porters out of work. Even those hotel shower rods … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Dungeons & Dragons stopped giving XP for gold, but the insane economy remains

In “Why D&D characters get tons of gold and nowhere to spend it,” I showed why Dungeons & Dragons player characters get tons of gold through their career: Originally, D&D awarded experience points for gold to motivate players to act … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Lawful DM and Chaotic DM answer questions about spellcasting and free hands

When I saw the fifth-edition basic Dungeons & Dragons rules, I concluded that the designers wanted to make the rules match the way players obviously want to play—with little concern for time spent swapping weapons and spell components. For example, … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, D&D fifth edition, Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How I learned to care (a little) less about what PCs have in hand

Until the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, players hardly worried about what their characters had in hand during battle. Since then, the game’s designers have tried and failed to free players from needing to keep track. What your character … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My first impression of inspiration proved wrong

In an earlier post, I leveled criticism toward the inspiration mechanic based on Mike Mearls’s preview in “Roleplaying in D&D Next.” I listed two gripes: Awarding inspiration seemed to put the dungeon master in an uncomfortable role. Mearls wrote about … Continue reading

Posted in D&D fifth edition | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments