Posts Tagged ‘Dungeons and Dragons’

Kickstarter Picks – 03 June 2013

June 3, 2013

Modular Wargaming Terrain – Cool sci-fi / gothic / modern modular terrain. Great for skirmish games.

Magnetic Status Markers – Simple round markers to maintain the status of your characters in miniature combat games. No more knocked over dice.

A Believable World

June 22, 2009

A game of Dungeons and Dragons is more than just dungeon bashing, picking up loot and killing monsters. It doesn’t have to be much more than this, but even a little effort to build a world can make a big difference.

The two biggest things to bear in mind are believability and consistency. Nail these two, and the rest will fall into place.

Believability is important. You are playing in a fantasy world, but that doesn’t mean that everything is different, or that nothing really happens for a reason. Start from the real world, think about what differences magic might make, and make those changes believable. Do Kings need magical advisers? How does Castle design change when magic is common? Street lighting and sanitation in cities, are they magically created? If you can answer these questions, you can put your players in a world that feels real, and that they are more likely to care about.

Consistency is making sure that things are the same when they should be the same. The King won’t change from week to week, if you name him, record it somewhere, so you can use the same name again. If things change, they should change for a reason, even if it’s not immediately obvious to your players, you need to know what that reason is.

If the characters sell their loot at a local town, use a recurring NPC (like the Jeweller) to build consistency and familiarity. This NPC can develop a character over time, and turn a mechanical experience (loot to money) into a roleplay experience. Once a rapport is built with a recurring NPC, the players might care about them. You can use this as a GM to produce new adventure hooks. Kidnapping or killing a favourite NPC can lead the PCs into an adventure, or series of adventures. Alternatively, the NPC can give quests to the PCs, with rewards tied to how well they have worked on creating a friendship with the NPC.

Consistency and believability are the keys to build a world that your players can have fun in, and can take a dungeon bash up to the next level of play.


Release early, release often

June 15, 2009

I’ve suggested that you should try and keep the rules of a game as fixed as possible once you’ve released it. It gives people a chance to learn them, to play on the same field, and to not have to deal with collating a difficult set of errata and rules updates into a coherent document.

When you are dealing with gaming aids and resources, there’s a lot more freedom. Here I think you should release early, getting a version out as soon as is possible, so people can start making use of what you’ve done. You should also release often. Add incremental features and content as and when it’s available, don’t save it up.

I’m following my own advice with the Map Tile Generator I’ve developed for DnD. It’s had a couple of improvements, so every map should now be guaranteed to include some doors, and to have the number of missing pieces you select. It also generates a map tile automatically on loading the page for the first time.

I’ll be adding more improvements in the days ahead, I’d like to make it so that the tiles are always fully connected, and I’ve got some work to do on the layout of the page. If you think of any other features you’d like to see, drop me a line, and I’ll see what I can do.

Dungeons and Dragons: Map Tile Generator

June 9, 2009

I’ve just released the first version of a Dungeons and Dragons Map Tile Generator. It lets you pick a board size, number and size of doors and a number of spaces to remove from the grid. It will then generate a random board within these parameters.

It’s brand new, so can generate some strange and useless boards, but if it does that, just create another, until you get something useful. I’ve found that leaving the settings on random will generate a cool tile about once in every 10-15 attempts.

I’ve only tested in Firefox so far, please let me know if you have any problems, I’ll be improving this as time goes on, and I’ll prioritise feedback suggestions to give me somewhere to target my efforts.

Don’t forget to check out my other DnD resources for characters, scenarios and other ideas for use in your games.

Evil Cleric – Updated

January 18, 2009

I’ve updated my Evil Cleric character to be compatible with the Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition rules.

The old 3rd Ed stats are still available if you want to use them.

I’ll be looking at updating more characters over time, starting with the most popular.

Dungeons and Dragons: Map tiles

October 28, 2008

I know I’ve been going a bit crazy on the DnD posts recently, but there’s one more thing I’d like to share with you, Dungeon Tiles sets, which can be used to quickly and easily lay out a dungeon for your characters to explore. I’ve linked to the set which has Sewer tiles in, as you could use them to layout the sewer map from my Into the Sewers adventure, although they may need a little finessing, as I’m not certain they’ll match up exactly.

The tiles are printed double sided, and on very nice cardstock, so you’ll get hardwearing acessories that can be laid out in many more ways than if you were stuck with just a single side.

They remind me very much of the old Warhammer Quest tiles, but these new versions are available in more varieties (there are sets for tombs, crypts, outdoor ruins and so on). They would be suited mostly to games and DMS that are combat heavy, and really care about where their characters are, where the obstacles are and also what the game looks like. I don’t think they are something that a less combat focussed game needs, nor one that is more descriptive in its combat.

They cost less than £10 a pack, and might well be a better investment than another sourcebook you don’t really need.

Dungeons and Dragons 4: First Thoughts

October 21, 2008

I know I’m pretty late to the party, but I’ve finally had a chance to read through my new copies of the Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide, and I’m pretty impressed with them.

The rules are presented clearly and are well explained, and the system has been streamlined from the Third Edition. Everything is less random, from the creation of statistics through to the number of hitpoints and on to the allocation of skills. This makes is quicker and easier to create a character.

I’m not sure how the system will play, but it seems to have been focussed more on the combat, especially the use of miniatures to deal with the positioning of PCs and NPCs. I think you will need to be careful not to foucs on the combat to the exclusion of all else, but roleplaying can happen no matter the rules system.

As a GM I’d be careful how I use maps and figures, making sure to only bring them out after combat starts, or to use them throughout a dungeon. Suddenly bringing them in to play at the start of an encounter would be a hint that it’s a combat, and it’s best not to railroad people into these outcomes.

So, my initial feelings are that it’s goning to make the game easier to get into (and so drag people away from Warcraft and its ilk), but could lose some of the depth previously available, which the GM will have to work to replace.