Author Archives: James Hamblin

Level Up! — Episode #27: D&D Next Playtest

After a long hiatus, we are back and talking about the D&D Next playtest that got started at the end of May.  Benoit played a rogue (as usual) and Hamblin tried out the wizard.

Listen to hear us talk about how the playtest went and how we think this edition of the game fits in with the history of D&D. Also, here are the two official D&D podcasts discussing D&D Next that Benoit references in the podcast: 1, 2.

If you want to learn more about D&D Next or sign up to playtest yourself, head over to

Level Up! — Episode #26: Animal Companions

In this episode, Benoit and Hamblin delve into the wild world of animal companions.  We spend most of our time discussing the beastmaster build for rangers and the Essentials druid (“sentinel”).  We also discuss the Fey Beast Tamer theme as well as figurines of wondrous power.  If your character has ever felt lonely and in need of an animal friend, we have all the info for you! Continue reading

Level Up! — Episode #25: Listener Email and a New Campaign

On this episode, Benoit and I respond to a listener email from Dave, who is looking for advice on his infernal pact warlock.  We give him some advice for maxing out damage using Hellish Rebuke.

Then we talk about a new home game that we’re going to be starting with our local group.  We’ll be rotating DM’s and focusing on more “A-Team” style missions.  Benoit and I discuss the various characters we might make for this campaign.  Benoit also discussed this in a recent blog post.

As always, we want your feedback!  Leave a comment below, email us at, or send a tweet to Benoit or Hamblin.


Level Up! — Episode #24: D&D Next Living Campaign Ideas

With the announcement of the next edition of D&D, we here at Roving Band of Misfits wondered what a living campaign in the new system might look like.

We had several blog posts on the subject:

In this episode of the podcast, Benoit and Hamblin are joined by their friend Tyson.  We discuss a lot of the ideas and issues that were brought up in these posts.

As always, we want your feedback!  Leave a comment below, email us at, or send a tweet to Benoit or Hamblin.

Hamblin’s 5E Living Campaign Wishlist

I’ve started a forum thread over at the Wizards LFR forums to discuss some of these ideas. Feel free to weigh in there, or in the comments here, or both.

With the announcement of D&D 5th Edition, we here at Roving Band of Misfits are thinking about all the changes the game has in store.  Since we have played a lot of Living campaigns (Living Greyhawk, Living Forgotten Realms, Ashes of Athas), we’re wondering what a 5E living campaign might look like.  Here’s my wishlist for what I would like to see in a 5E living campaign. Continue reading

Level Up! — Episode #23: On “Cheese Weasels”

Benoit and Hamblin spend a lot of time working on character optimization, but often we get accused of making characters that are too “cheesy.”

How much optimization is too much?  We discuss this issue with Michael from The Id DM. You can also find some further thoughts that Michael had after the discussion on his blog, here.

As always, we want your feedback!  Leave a comment below, email us at, or send a tweet to Benoit or Hamblin.


Level Up! — Episode #22: Lair Assault Post-Non-Mortem

Benoit ran the second Lair Assault for Hamblin and some of their friends recently, and now they’re here to talk about it! Hamblin’s team handled the mini-mod pretty well, though there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how things could have gone differently. Also, listen in to find out which “glory awards” were won, and which have yet to be achieved!

Warning!  This episode contains many many spoilers for the Lair Assault module, so if you want to avoid spoilers, you may want to skip this episode.

Level Up! — Episode #21: We’re Back!

After a long hiatus, we are back!  Hamblin and Benoit have returned to talk about making and playing D&D characters.  We’d like to thank our patient listeners, and we hope that we’ll be back to posting episodes regularly once again.

In this episode:

  • Benoit talks about his “lazy” shaman/warlord, which we discussed way back in Episode #13
  • Benoit and Hamblin discuss Bladesinger, a new class that premiered in the Neverwinter Campaign Guide
  • Hamblin discusses some character ideas for Lair Assault, which Benoit is going to run for some of us this week… stay tuned for our next episode where we will have the Lair Assault “post mortem” (probably literally!)

Level Up! — Episode #20: Going Last, Radiant Damage, and More!

In this episode we welcome special guests Justin and Ian from the Going Last podcast.

We have a spirited conversation about bad artwork, feats that are too good and how to fix them, and pixies! And in the middle we talk about the “radiant mafia” that can rack up insane amounts of damage.

As always, we want your feedback!  Leave a comment below, email us at, or send a tweet to Benoit or Hamblin.

Level Up logo by Wesley K. Hall. Music by pornophonique and is available for free under the Creative Commons license.


Level Up — Episode #18: Themes, More Themes, and Common Items

We’ve got a giant-sized episode for you on this Labor Day, to thank the hundreds(!) of you that listen to our little show.

In this episode, Benoit details a lot of the themes from the new Neverwinter Campaign Setting.  Hamblin talks about a couple of his favorite themes from some Dragon articles that came out a few months back.

In addition, Hamblin gives some strategies for what items new low-level characters in Living Forgotten Realms might take as they level up.

Show Links: