Tag Archives: Mike Mearls

Night’s Dark Terror (1986): Greatest D&D Adventures Since 1985—Number 1

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Strong Moral Dilemmas in D&D and the Unwanted Kind that Keeps Appearing

Posted in Advice | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

How Years of Trying to Fix Obnoxious People Shrank D&D’s Appeal

Posted in Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Three Reasons the Ecology of Monsters Can Make Creatures Worse

During the early years of Dungeons & Dragons, speculative fiction enjoyed something of a fashion for combining science and fantasy, so the popular Pern novels by Anne McCaffrey and Darkover novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley provided scientific explanations for fantasy-flavored worlds … Continue reading

Posted in Inspiration, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Game-Design Trends That Turned D&D Into a Game Gary Gygax Disliked

The second edition of Dungeons & Dragons that reached gamers probably stayed close to the edition co-creator Gary Gygax might have designed. But later, Gary would say, “In my estimation second-edition AD&D began to lose the spirit of the original.” … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Why Fourth Edition Never Saved Dungeons & Dragons

“Fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons is all about taking that things that work in D&D, keeping them in the game, and fixing everything else,” designer Mike Mearls wrote after the edition’s announcement in 2007. “That’s the goal, and I think … Continue reading

Posted in D&D fourth edition, Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Why Fourth Edition Seemed Like the Savior Dungeons & Dragons Needed

In 2005, Dungeons & Dragons faced a possible future similar to the fate of another popular role-playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade. In this future, D&D only exists as a license for online games and t-shirts and another potential movie. The … Continue reading

Posted in D&D fourth edition, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Fourth Edition Proved D&D Works Without Saving Throws, So Why Did They Come Back?

Fourth edition dropped saving throws in favor of to-hit rolls and showed that D&D works without saves. Mathematically, to-hit rolls and saving throws just flip the numbers so that a high roll benefits the person casting the die. Rather than … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game design, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Mixing Threats from Weak to Lethal in a Dungeons & Dragons Game

When megadungeons ruled Dungeons & Dragons, adventurers selected a difficulty level by deciding how deep they dared to go. As the game matured, DMs started to design or select adventures for a party’s level. Players grew to expect that their … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Dungeons & Dragons Books that Secretly Previewed Each New Edition

Dungeons & Dragons players have seen five editions plus a few versions that fall outside the count. We tend to see the release of a new Player’s Handbook as a clean break from the last, but each new edition received … Continue reading

Posted in Role-playing game history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments