Tag Archives: Dungeon’s Master

Weekly Roundup: New Oldest D20 Edition

A while back, we announced right here on the Weekly Roundup that the oldest d20 had been found. It was up for auction, made of glass, and belonged to some role playing ancient Roman. Well, an older one has been found. This one’s Egyptian. Guess the pharaohs were casting magic missile at the darkness before the cesars…

First up this week, we have a big announcement from Kobold Quarterly… that they’re closing. That may sound a bit extreme – the print magazine is closing. We wish them well, and hope this means even more quality Midgard stuff from them in the years to come. Speaking of which, they’re currently running a contest to find a writer for a new adventure.

Big Ball of No Fun talked a bit about the new Monk release for D&D Next that we saw this week. He also talked about a radical new way to deal with alignments – one that seems like it would work beautifully.

Dungeon’s Master had a fun idea to add a new dimension to your player’s roleplaying. Use bingo cards at the table. Not the kind with numbers and letters, but rather a list of things the player or character tries to do.

The Id DM had a really interesting article this week on the future of the RPG industry as it relates to the rise of digital media. Even if you’re not interested in the impact of PDFs on RPGs, there are some really interesting thoughts (and links!) in this article.

Alex Schroeder posted his own take on how to make a dungeon. For your home game, not for publication. He makes that distinction, and we think it’s important.

Hack and Slash encouraged us to contribute to the Abulafia wiki. It’s a wiki that aggregates random RPG generators. Sounds really really useful? Yeah. So we should all be contributing to it.

Finally, we posted a very rough prototype for our NaGa DeMon game (Backyard Wars) just this week, and we thought we’d point to three more prototypes that are up: John DuBoisBread and CircusesShorty Monster‘s Excitement and Adventure, and Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity‘s The Domain Game. By the way, there’s a “Roll Call” on the NaGa DeMon site, if you want an idea of who else is participating.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Reading A Night In The Lonesome October Edition)

Stuffer Shack had some great thoughts as to whether PVP in an RPG is kosher, or whether it’s bad form. Weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments their article.

Weekly Roundup: PBS Idea Channel Edition

This week, the Youtube PBS Idea channel emailed us. They recently posted a video entitled “Can Dungeons & Dragons Make You A Confident And Successful Person?” It’s an interesting discussion, and makes some good points. It’s a fun video to watch in its entirety, but if you want to skip the whole “What is D&D? How do you play?” bit, go to the 2:50 mark. Thought provoking, and you can leave comments that they’ll respond to in a future episode. Incidentally, they cover other nerdy topics like “Is Dr. Who a Religion?” and “What do MP3s and Magic Spells Have In Common?”

If you’re looking for a good Halloween adventure to run for your group, look no further than A Walk In The Dark who announced intentions to publish just such a module. Keep an eye on this one folks.

If you’re looking for some interesting loot to add to your next adventure, why not a treasure map? It’s an adventure hook within the loot! Check out The Dungeon’s Master for details.

At The Howling Tower this week, Steve Winter looks at magic items in D&D Next. Specifically, should characters having magic items be assumed in the setting, or is there a better way to handle them?

It’s been a couple of months since Gencon, so it’s fun to look back at a newbie’s experience. Check out how 20 Foot Radius fared in his first Gencon ever. (Also, I met Alton at Gencon; seemed like he was having a pretty good time!) If you’re looking for more Gencon retrospectives, This Is My Game had a short series recently as well.

If you’re into real medieval history, then check out The Wargaming Site this week, where they cover everything you need to know about the English longbow.

If you’re interested in the reprint of the Dungeon! game, you can check out an unboxing over at Wired Geek Dad. Nostalgia, here we come!

Finally, we were very interested in the recent release of the Midgard Campaign Setting. While there isn’t a 4e specific version, we may still pick it up for the fluff. This looks like a very unique and complete setting. We also have some fun ideas for a campaign there, stay tuned. There were reviews this week at The Iron Tavern and also at Stargazer’s World.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: One Last Winter Is Coming Link Edition)

Stuffer Shack promised to multiply your game’s fun by ten by adding a simple house rule.

Weekly Roundup: Plagmada Edition

Apparently, this has been on lots of people’s radar for about nine months now, but it’s only recently come to our attention: the site Plagmada.org (Play Generated Map and Document Archive). It’s an archive of hand drawn dungeons and adventures, mostly written by us gamers back when we were young gamers.  And bonus! They’re now running a Kickstarter that you can check out if you’re into that sort of thing. Either way, the archive is definitely worth browsing. Lots of nostalgia to be had. Go get some!

First up, the submission window for Dungeon and Dragon is now open – you can check out the submission guidelines for this window here.

Thoughtcrime Games is bringing their 4th Edition Worldbreakers into 13th Age. You may remember them as the At-Will guys. See how they tweaked the Worldbreaker rules for a new system.

If you’re looking for a free adventure this week, look no further than The Dungeon Oracle who posted an awesome fourthcore style adventure entitled Colossus of the Shattered Moon. It’s system neutral, so anyone can use it. Great for a one shot.

The She DM had a great guest post this week on theology in your game. In a world where many gods is normal, what does religion look like to the average person? This series aims to explore.

Dungeon’s Master had a post on collaborative dungeon design. Yes, we’ve heard about collaborative worldbuilding, and even group character creation, but dungeon design? Check it out.

Reality Refracted discussed using a prison break as a campaign starter.  How it would work, and why you should try it.

Everyone loves a good barfight, but not everyone loves the boring slugfest that sometimes results. To add a little flavor and a lot of simplicity to your next barfight, check out The Land of Nod‘s bar fight matrix.

Finally, in his WotC blog, Jester wrote about leaving room for improv, both in the setting of your game as well as the rules of your game.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Next Few Weeks Edition)

Dungeon’s Master wrote about the 8 things they’ve learned by playing in the Encounters program.  These are good lessons for anyone just picking up the DM mantle, and good reminders for those of us who have been wearing it for a long time.

Weekly Roundup: Tyranny Of Goblins Is Coming Edition

This week the new Tyranny of Goblins Dungeon Command set comes out! Guys, this is a really fun game. I hope you’ve overcome all the lame excuses you have for not trying it. There are plenty of reviews online and the overwhelming majority are positive. Go get it! (By the way, Amazon won’t have it for two more weeks. But by then, you’ll be behind the constructed deck curve…) And if you can’t even wait until Tuesday for a shot of DC, check out the most recent Design and Development article.

With D&D Next on everyone’s radar, it seems as though everyone is also looking to start a new campaign. Yes, you could port something you’ve already created, but you can also begin with a new world as well. Jester has started a new series on worldbuilding on his WotC blog. The first two parts are up, and you can check out the first one here.

 Ars Technica posted a much-discussed (on Twitter, anyway) article with thoughts on D&D Next. Agree or disagree, this one’s worth a read.

And speaking of Next, Dave over at Critical Hits posted some thoughts on Themes, Specialties, and Backgrounds (oh my). Are they too much? Is there redundancy that could be streamlined?

With the next Dungeon and Dragon submission window set to open soon, you may want to check out some thoughts on submissions over at A Man’s Brain Attic. Namely feedback received for a submission that was eventually rejected.

In other news, the new Lair Assault is out, called Kill The Wizard. (Don’t know if the title is a spoiler or not). If you’re at a loss for what type of character to bring, check out the character creation thoughts over at Dungeon’s Master.

Last week, we posted some articles by Some Space To Think regarding skills. If you enjoyed them, you may want to read another followup article by another blogger – Steven Long.

We know con season is over, but for all you single guy geeks out there, Geeky Hostess posted some great advice on how to approach fem-geeks. (Just made that word up)

Finally, have you ever wondered if there was a playtest of the original D&D? Of course there was, but until now, the playtest version was undiscovered. Playing At The World posted an uncovered document that may just be that undiscovered playtest version. Also, check out the author’s book by the same name. (Geek Dad interview with the author here.)

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Site Of The Month Edition)

Tomorrow, we’ll be recording a new episode of Level Up where we’ll be discussing the new Neverwinter themes. With that in mind, we thought we’d link the article at Dungeon’s Master “Giving Character Backgrounds and Themes Teeth.”

Weekly Roundup: Ennie Nominated Edition

We were both excited and very humbled on Friday to find out that the blog (yes, this one) was nominated for an Ennie award! There are a lot of great nominations in the blog category as well as the podcast category (the two races we had a horse in) and we encourage you to check them all out. The entire list of Ennie nominations is here. On the list of nominations, we think you’ll find a lot of familiar names and products, as well as some new stuff you should probably get interested in. And now, on to the articles…

On Angille.net this week we learned that parenting tips can also be DM tips. How? Read on.

Someone on Twitter this week pointed us to an article in The Smithsonian Magazine that describes the lives of London’s sewer prospectors in the mid 1800s. We point you to this article for two reasons – one, to give an idea as to what poverty might look like for a campaign, and two, because some of the “sewer rumors” in the article could serve as adventure hooks. You’re welcome.

Amanda Valentine had some great thoughts on why you need to get kids involved in gaming. Your kids, your nieces and nephews, your grandkids. Bring them to cons, play games with them, get them involved in the community. Here’s why.

There’s a fairly new webseries on Youtube called “Tabletop.” Featuring Wil Wheaton, it highlights some of the board games you know and love. The latest episode features the RPG Fiasco. If you haven’t checked it out, do so; learn a new RPG, and enjoy a new webseries. Two birds.

Do you need some insults for your NPCs to throw at the characters? Look no further than the mix and match list on Big Ball of No Fun this week. Roll some dice and insult the players characters.

If you’re wondering why your players have lost interest in your plot, maybe you should try giving them one of these general questions to answerExchange of Realities finds questions like these are what keeps her interested in a plot.

We really like the Troll in the Corner series on “reality makes the best fantasy.” This week, we find ourselves asking what the adverse effects of heat are. Someone needs to turn heat stroke into a disease track. We are, after all, fans of describing the scene fully, and incorporating the seasons into your game.

Finally, The Dungeon’s Master this week talked about some things that we normally consider taboo in our RPGs. If you game with a mature group, it might be time to incorporate some of this in your game.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: 2011 Ennie Nominations Edition)

At Daily Encounter this week, Obsidian Crane pondered the criteria for labeling a D&D adventure as a “classic.”  Lots of good points here, and definitely worth a read.

Weekly Roundup: Unhallowed Grove Map Edition

So this weekend, I decided to dust off Dundjinni and whip up a quick map for Friday’s Unhallowed Grove encounter. You can find it below, and I’ve also added it to the article’s page. The article’s page includes explanations. It’s not super fancy, but then, it’s been a while since I used the program. I’m beginning to remember how easy and fun the program is, so I hope to make some more maps in the coming months.

There was a great article at The Illuminerdy this week about how to make cons more fun. Everyone needs to add the phrase to their vocabulary, so that we all have more fun at cons.

Steve Winter at The Howling Tower mused upon the random encounter. Once a staple of D&D, it has in recent editions gone away. Steve takes on what a random encounter should be, and how to make them a good part of your game.

The Dungeon’s Master this week addressed the use of torture by PCs. Also, how intimidate is not the same thing. We have also addressed this subject (from a different angle) here.

Alex Schroeder, the guy who runs the One Page Dungeon Contest, wrote up a cool little post on how he strung together some of his favorite one page dungeons from the contest to make a campaign out of them.

We haven’t linked to The Labyrinth in a while, but they’re still making some beautiful, free world maps over there!

From The Sorcerer’s Skull posted the true story of a cave that was found in North America, full of skeletons and treasure. Complete with a map just begging to be dropped into a game.

The Retro Roleplaying blog talked about why some OSR players reject improvements to the D&D system. We disagree to an extent, and feel that the author cherry picked some of his examples, but it’s still worth a read.

Finally, in Wired this month, there was a very interesting article that I think absolutely should have talked about D&D. But it didn’t. Apparently the author, Clive Thompson, doesn’t know what we do. Check it out, and here’s a quote – email the author if this sounds familiar:

Paracosms are the fantasy worlds that many dreamy, imaginative kids like to invent when they’re young. Some of history’s most creative adults had engaged in “worldplay” as children. The Brontë siblings, in one famous example, concocted paracosms so elaborate that they documented them with meticulous maps, drawings, and hundreds of pages of encyclopedic writing.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Last Call For Dungeon Geomorph Dice Edition)

Initiative Or What? had a cool article this week on different found objects that were useful as props for their D&D game.  We especially like the idea to use novelty ice cube trays for casting 3D terrain decorations.
(5/14/11)

Weekly Roundup: New Homebrew Campaign Edition

This coming weekend, our group is going to be starting a new 4e homebrew campaign. A little Greyhawk, and a little special ops, we’re pretty excited to get going on it. If you want to hear more, stay tuned for our next podcast, hopefully going up sometime this week.

Kobold Quarterly posted its first article by WotC alum Steve Winter this week. He talks about lethality in D&D, and whether you should expect your character to survive until level 30. If you want more of Steve’s musings, he has his own blog at Howling Tower.

About a month ago, we posted an article on making an interesting solo in 10 seconds. Extended Rest tried the technique and blogged about it. See how it turned out!

If you’ve ever played one of those old school “text adventure” computer games, you’ll enjoy the Exits Are project. While not an RPG, per se, it’s very RPG-ish, and very cool.

Blog of Holding wrapped up its series “Playing D&D With Mike Mornard.” Check out all seven parts, they’re all good. (Mike Mornard played in Gary Gygax’s D&D game, as well as Dave Arneson’s)

What do you do when a party goal could be accomplished most easily by a single character? The Dungeon’s Master tackled the question this week.

If you’ve played Revenge of the Iron Lich, be sure to head over to Save vs. Death to leave your first impressions and memories. RotIL turned 1 this week!

Finally, check out the new animated webseries from ENWorld called “The Perturbed Dragon.” The prologue is currently up for your viewing pleasure.

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: Who Wins The Free Book Edition)

The Hopeless Gamer had an amazing guest post detailing how to make a ravine for your miniature game terrain.  Say it with me: Arts…..And…..Crafts!!!

Weekly Roundup: Modified Mini Edition

 Waaaay back many months ago, we had a contest to celebrate our 100th post. We must talk a good game on the blog here because one of the winners of the contest asked for a miniature modification that was way beyond our ability to do. So, instead of just saying “no,” we reached out to Ian from the Going Last Podcast to see if he was willing to help us out. He accepted the challenge, and below are the stunning results. 

Our contest winner wanted to make the D&D Dire Ape miniature look like Donkey Kong. Here is what the Dire Ape looks like:

  

I had a barrel from Showcase Terrain that I sent to Ian along with the mini. Ian cut the raised fist off, sculpted a hand around the barrel, and reattached it to the mini. The bottom of the barrels are smooth, so he added planks to the bottom of the barrel. He also added a tie to the mini, and built out the lower jaw a bit. Below are pictures of the finished product. (Click for big)

 

And now, on to the roundup…

We always like to see character backgrounds that are not “My character is an orphan.” If you’re looking for ideas, check out the Dungeon’s Master Origin Story switched at birth.

If you’re a fan of random tables, you need to check out the one posted at Land of Nod this week. It’s a Random Idol Generator. Even if you don’t use it in a game on the fly, it is sure to give you some ideas!

Rumor has it that the D&D Next playtest at DDXP was in the classic Caves of Chaos. Check out the work The Weem did this week on the Caves of Chaos Map Remakes. They look awesome!

The wishlists for D&D Next continue. Check out what Squaremans said about his D&D and his non-rules wishlist for D&D Next.

Campaign Mastery‘s article on alternate histories in RPGs was geared more towards an RPG that diverges from actual world history into a fictional world history, but it could also be applied to fantasy worlds that have a strong canon as well (Forgotten Realms, we’re looking at you…)

Finally, check out the 2e Monstrous Manual Online that someone on Twitter pointed to this week. And yes, the Flumph is there!

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: DDXP 2011 Edition)

The Labyrinth had a great article about the process they used to find a new player for their game.  While their success rate varied, you might find a resource here that you haven’t used yet.  Or you might just find the story of them trying to find a new player entertaining.
(1/30/11)

Weekly Roundup: Dungeonmorph Dice Have Arrived Edition

Well, it’s been several months, but the Dungeonmorph Dice from the Kickstarter we supported have arrived. We were very happy with them, and thought we’d do a short video blog to show them off:

Skyland Games did a review of the dice too, which you can check out here. They got the font, so there’s also an example of that in their review.

Over at The Dungeon’s Master they’re re-posting their best articles for 2011 until the end of the year. If you don’t get a chance to read all their stuff, this might be a good time to check out what their “Greatest Hits” were over the past year.

 If you’re in the mood for some Gamma World fare, A Walk In The Dark has just the thing. He posted a piece of an adventure he wrote but did not publish – this piece is called Gammacore Reactor, and it looks pretty cool. 

Just yesterday, Ben’s RPG Pile wrapped up his A-Z blog series. Lots of good terrain and miniatures ideas in that series, so this is us encouraging you to check out all 26. Especially “F.” We’re really looking forward to the next series, which is hinted at the end of the linked article.

 Dread Gazebo posted an impromptu podcast that may or may not become a series. It’s basically him and his wife arguing about discussing various aspects of D&D. Highly entertaining, even if it only turns out to be a one shot. (And if you want our thoughts on the Bladesinger, check out our podcast tomorrow.)

At Critical Hits this week, The Chatty DM posted some great thoughts and ideas on how to improvise an entire game session. Since our DMing style leans towards pants-seat-flying, we thought this article was really fun to read. (We’ll be buying some glass beads today)

If you’re planning on a Christmas game, you should check out the seven ideas for Christmas themed adventures over at Game Knight Reviews.

Finally, on Twitter this week, someone posted this Google spreadsheet of all the Dungeon Magazine 4e adventures. Pretty cool, though I forget who is was… if it was you, drop a comment!!

Blast from the Past (Weekly Roundup: Imaginative Tactics Edition)

The Weem discussed alternate goals in combat.  You know, besides “kill all the monsters until they’re dead.”  Because killing everything all the time can get boring (contrary to popular belief).  Besides, it’s good to switch it up on your PCs from time to time.

 

Weekly Roundup: The Deal With The Podcast

If you’re a regular listener to our podcast, you will most certainly have noticed that we haven’t posted one recently. The brief explanation is that Hamblin has been very busy with work, and has been unable to find time to record. No worries though, he should be freed up again around the end of December/beginning of January, and we plan to begin recording a regular podcast again. Until then, we’ll try and get at least one more out. So now you know.

We don’t usually link to ourselves, but in case you missed it, there’s one week left to win a Hirst Arts dice tower.

This article by Summerbird has an idea that’s too good to pass over even though it’s a few weeks old. Remember all those promo cards for games you’ll never play that you got at Gencon? Turns out you shouldn’t have trashed them.

Rules as Unwritten had some great ideas on how to use keywords in 4e. Power keywords like primal, cold, or divine have not been used up to their potential according to the author, and he proposes a truly radical way of using them that could turn your game on its head. (Classless D&D system, anyone?)

Have you been looking for some non-traditional adventure hooks? Check out Dungeon’s Master this week, where they list 10 adventure hooks your characters can find in a library. Lots of great ideas!

If you were a fan of the D&D cartoon from back in the day, you may want to check out the series “bible” which was posted on Geek Flag this week.

The Hydra DM posted a level 30 character as a monster stat block this past week, building on this older article by The ID DM.

Finally, congratulations to Leonine Roar, who just posted their 100th article! Check out their archives when you get a chance, lots of good stuff there!

Blast from the past (Weekly Roundup: Big Week for WotC Edition)

We enjoyed reading about the unique way that Thadeousc over at This Is My Game is running his new campaign.  No, we won’t tell you.  You’ll have to read about it yourself.

Note: We’ve been thinking about trying this for some time now – ideas like this that stick in our head is what makes reading other blogs great!