Tag Archives: Dungeon’s Master

Weekly Roundup: Dice Tower Giveaway Edition

We kind of let our one year anniversary come and go without any real fanfare. We feel bad about that. And, since we’ve been trying to come up with a good Hirst Arts dice tower, we have a little something to give away. It’s a not-quite-perfect tower that was an early prototype of the perfect dice tower that is in our head. (It has trouble rolling more than a couple of dice at at time). Convoluded? Perhaps. Let us clarify: it looks a lot like this one, except without the braziers on either side of the doorway. Anyway, if you’d like to win it, just post something to that effect in the comments. The contests lasts until December 3rd.

 The Evil GM posted a great spreadsheet that autocalculates monster stats. This is based, of course, on the updated MM3 and following math. Check it out, it’s a Google doc, but you can download it for Excel.

The Action Point has started letting the players roll when their non-AC defenses are attacked, much like the save mechanic in 3.5. Find out what he likes about it.

Over at Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity, they started a new series on running sandbox games. If you’d like to give your players more freedom and fly by the seat of your pants more, this is a great place to start.

Hunter’s Haven had some great advice for all the players out there when it comes to character creation. It’s three very quick bullet points, so even if you don’t have time to read the whole article, it’s worth checking out.

A few weeks ago Sly Flourish posted a set of pictures that he uses to organize his game maps. Instead of opening each map, he is able to flip through the pictures. This week Alphastream added to the catalogue. This is a great resource; if you have a bunch of adventure maps you’d like to organize in this manner, but don’t want to take pictures of them yourself, check out both articles.

Finally, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that we’ve run several adventures on a ship. That’s why we were excited to see Dungeon’s Master‘s list of eight hooks for high seas adventure. Check it out!

Blast from the Past (Weekly Roundup: Daylight Savings Time Edition)

Yax did a guest post over at Critical Hits about body language at the gaming table.  Not only did we find this article entertaining (check out the illustrations) and informative, it was on a subject that isn’t usually addressed in gaming blogs.  We give it two thumbs up; a must read for all.

Weekly Roundup: Next Few Weeks Edition

The weird thing about major life changes, for good or bad, is that they mess with your rhythm.  I’ve recently had a major life change (new job), which is great for me, but I’m still trying to find my balance.  Which is my way of saying, for the next few weeks I won’t be updating the site as regularly as I normally do.  Instead, the posting schedule will be approximately “whenever I can get to it.”  Hopefully once two weeks is up, I’ll be back in the swing of things.

For those of you looking forward to the new DDI submission window, you should brush up with Alphastream‘s tips on submitting. It includes a bunch of links as well as general advice. And yes, he has been published in Dragon. (Dungeon? Pretty sure it’s Dragon.)

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. (We might also mention that their blog is currently accepting submissions)

Neuroglyph Games presented some interesting math on skills, specifically in the context of skill challenges. We think the solution is the same one you’d use if your party stomps all over “equal level” combats – increase the level of the combats (or, in this case, skill challenge).

Reality Refracted wrote a two part series on why you might want to reduce the number of die rolls at the table, and some techniques for doing it.  It’s interesting that I heard some similar discussion in the Gencon “adventure design” seminar.

Also, don’t miss the interview with Shelly Mezzanoble in Forbes Magazine this week.

If you’re an RPG Blogger, you may be interested in the carnival being hosted by Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity – it’s been titled “Winter is Coming.” Check it out if you’d like to participate.

Finally, we just noticed that RPG Musings has been doing a roundup of games on Kickstarter every week.  We like that and hate it at the same time.  For sure, we like being able to access a list like this, but we hate it because it means that we’ll probably be spending lots of money on Kickstarter projects.

What did we miss in the fun RPG blogosphere this week?

Weekly Roundup: Gencon Giveaway Edition

Last week we posted Benoit’s Gencon schedule, and stated that it would be great to meet some of our readers and listeners.  However, we also wanted to give something back to you, as a way of saying “Thanks for reading and listening.”  To that end, Benoit will have something to give away to one lucky person stopping by to say “Hi.”  He took some of the leftover blocks from making the Fourthcore Deathmatch models, and built this:

To enter, you just have to find him.  Benoit will be in the Sagamore Ballroom all weekend, and will be tweeting his exact table location periodically during the weekend (and that’s the only thing he’ll be tweeting) from @bandofmisfits.  Just track him down to enter!

As a side note, Benoit will be judging for the duration of the convention.  He takes this very seriously, and a string of visitors would be a major disruption to the LFR adventures he will be running.  So if you want to talk to him, you’ll have to catch him between slots.  Otherwise, just briefly say hi, and ask how to enter the contest!

That’s enough of that; on to the articles…

Loremaster posted a very thorough article on how to build a 4e dungeon crawl.  If you want a quick summary of the article, there is a section titled “Summary: The Rules in Review” towards the bottom of the article.

With GenCon coming up, we thought you’d like to know what Glimm’s Workshop is predicting the WotC product announcements will be this year. Agree? Disagree? Comment!

Dungeon Mastering posted an article by Logan Bonner this week that goes through some basic advice on creating skill challenges for beginner DMs.  If you’re just starting out designing skill challenges, check out this article, and the related “previous installment.”

If you’re attending the GenCon speed dating event (yes, we were surprised to find out about this one too…) there’s some good advice over at Geek’s Dream Girl from a guy who got 9 matches last year.  Also note that last year there were more girls at the event than guys, and due to some last minute dropouts, some people got in with generic tickets.  That is to say, if you didn’t get a ticket, you might still be able to get in.

If you’ve been following The Dungeon’s Master poll to pick the best 4e feats, don’t miss the second round of voting!

Finally, Standard Action had a quick and easy method to create rocks as terrain pieces.  Real rocks are heavy and sometimes hard to find in the size you want.  This method is lightweight and makes a convincing looking final product.  We approve of this arts & crafts project!

We hope to see you at GenCon! Spread the word about our giveaway!

Weekly Roundup: New Kickstarter Widget Edition

As you may or may not have noticed, we’ve added a new widget to the sidebar over there —>.  It’s from Kickstarter.  A few weeks back, we were touting the Dungeon Geomorph Dice project that we found on the site; just this week, we found the Compact Heroes project.  It seems as though Kickstarter is going to be a hotbed of game development projects (they even have a games category), so we decided that when we find a project we’re excited about, we’ll add the widget to the sidebar.  In other words, it won’t always be there, and if you see it there, it’s because we’ve found a really cool project that we’re really excited about (and are probably backing).  So pay attention when you see it!  By the way, if you still want to get an advance copy of Compact Heroes, the project expires this week.  We’re thinking about doing a Geomorph Dice/Compact Heroes mashup game…

rjb’s rubric posted an article this week on why he’s feeling burnt out on 4e.  Some might call is system bloat, and we can’t say we disagree with his feeling of being overwhelmed with options sometimes.

When we were planning the shipboard portion of our recent adventure, we were disappointed to find an unsatisfactory number of aquatic creatures in the D&D library.  We settled on Sahuagin and custom made Water Genasi, but we would have liked to have more choices without having to resort to custom making monsters ourselves.  That’s why we were excited to see At-Will post some great aquatic monsters as part of their Aquatic Adventures series.  Free, highly useful content = Teh good!  (Also, as an aside, they’re getting back into podcasting with little 5 minute nuggets.  Neat format.)

If you’re currently feeling in a more cerebral mood, you should definitely check out the article at Geek Related on what RPGs teach you.  That, and there’s apparently an International Journal of Roleplaying.  Who knew? (link to the Journal in Geek Related’s article…)

We were intrigued by Dungeon’s Master‘s article on accepting a suicide mission.  That’s all we’ll say.  Well, that and, “it’s unlikely you’ll make it out of this alive.”

Finally, this last link is for my (Benoit’s) group.  It has nothing to do with 4e, so everyone else will have to forgive me.  They were asking about Wild West RPGs this week; first to mind was Boot Hill, but I also came across this Weird West review at Jeff’s Gameblog this week, and wanted to pass it along to them (and anyone else who might be interested…) 

If anyone else knows of a Wild West RPG to pass along to them, please leave it in the comments, because I’m clearly tapped out.  See you next week!!

Weekly Roundup – Last Call for Dungeon Geomorph Dice Edition

Just a reminder, pledges for the Dungeon Geomorph Dice Kickstarter project we mentioned are closing this week.  It’s already fully funded, so if you pledge to the project, you will definitely get the dice.  We thought we would also mention that there is a new $12 level pledge that gets you a deck of cards with all the maps instead of dice.  These will be just as useable with the supplements we’re talking about developing for them.  So if you’re not into the price, but like the idea, the card deck may be for you.  And just to reiterate, we don’t have any financial connection to this project – only an enthusiasm for what we think is a really cool product.  So go check it out!

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.

Many blogs were talking about the new season of Encounters that kicked off this week, but we especially liked the coverage that Gnome Stew gave to The Dark Legacy of Evard.  We’ll be participating in at least some of this Encounters season, for the first time.

Eye of the Beholder, written by Greg Bilsland, had a great article on acting in character at the table.  Whether it’s just using the word “I” versus “my character,” or using a funny accent, there are some great tips in this article for players and DMs alike.

In honor of the recent Free Comic Book Day, we thought we would also mention why you should be reading the D&D comic.  Ok, not us.  You can find the article over at RPG Musings.  We look forward to the graphic novel collection next month.

Finally, in case you missed it, Benoit had a guest post over at Dungeon’s Master this week highlighting the Drow Cloud of Darkness for their Exploiting Racial Features series.

Until next week…. keep reading!

Weekly Roundup – Did Ya Miss It? Edition

Oops, looks like we missed a week of the weekly roundup.  Last week.  What, you didn’t…?  Ok, nevermind.  Here are some articles from this week in D&D.  Enjoy!

While this first item isn’t an article, per se, it is something that piqued our interest, and we’ll be keeping an eye on.  Apparently, there’s a “history of D&D” book in the works.  It will be called Of Dice and Men, and will be written by David M. Ewalt of the Forbes blog Metagamer.

Newbie DM had a great guest article by Mike Lemmer who will be blogging about his experience with running MyRealms adventures for a Living Forgotten Realms group.  It’s called 7 Weeks in MyRealms, and this first installment includes some interesting data about turn length and session planning.

Ever wonder if “traditional” 4e D&D would play well with Gamma World?  So did At Will‘s Gamefiend.  Wonder no more, my friends.

The most famous monster of all time?  The one that keeps coming back in every edition? No, no, not dragons, or even zombies.  No, I’m talking about Flumphs! What’s that you say? They didn’t make it to 4th edition?  You are wrong… so very very wrong.  Thank the folks over at Nevermet Press for this one.

While this isn’t really the point of The Dungeon’s Master‘s article, I found the idea of having character “trees” in this article intriguing.  Does anyone else play with a stable of characters as opposed to one character?

Finally, if you’re feeling too ADD to digest an entire article right now, there was another installment of D&D Twitter tips over at This is My Game .

What did we miss?  Leave it in the comments!  See you next week!

Weekly Roundup – Regulator Con Edition

Well, you’ve seen the banner in the sidebar there for about a month now.  This weekend is Regulator Con, and we’ll be bringing you news, pictures from the battle interactive, and a podcast of a totally different format.  If you’re within driving distance of Gettysburg, PA, come visit, and if you’re not, stay tuned!

First up: In case you didn’t know, Wizards of the Coast premiered its Monster Builder this week for DDi subscribers.  The reception was less than warm, and A Walk in the Dark gave us a really interesting technical look into why.  I’m not a programmer, but I still found this article very informative.

And who could pass over the Dungeon’s Master article entitled: Avenger: Worst Striker Ever?  I mean, agree or disagree, just the name has you clicking the link.  You know you want to…..

If you’re looking to give your players a moral dilemma to wrestle with instead of a cave full of monsters to destory, check out Do the Ends Justify the Means over at RPG Musings.  A ton of good adventure seeds to steal there.

Greywulf’s Lair had a fun little article outlining the number of various monsters you’d need to kill to reach 1,000,000 XP (or, in other words, go from 1 to 30).  Neat.

Finally, The Fascinating World of Charles Ryan reminded us that sometimes we make bad character choices, and it’s ok for the DM to allow something more robust than a simple “retrain.”  He calls it the “First Session Rule.”  And there’s a good Star Trek reference to boot.

Whose blog did we miss this week? Leave it in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Happy GM Day Edition

Happy (belated) GM day everyone! It was on March 4th, in case you missed it; the anniversary of Gary Gygax’s passing.  Get your GM something nice, they work hard so you can have fun.  Now, read some articles. 

Ever since we started podcasting, we’ve begun to pay attention to some of the other D&D podcasts out there.  This week on The Tome Show, they discussed Gamma World.  This was especially timely for me, since I finally received my copy of Leigon of Gold.  Huzzah!

Speaking of which, Buccaneer’s Guild had a fun unboxing video and review of Legion of Gold.  You know… for those of you still contemplating getting it.

Geek’s Dream Girl had a fun article about dealing with PC death.  Good information there for new DMs, or you sissy DMs out there who have never killed a character.  (@TheAngryDM ‘s words, not mine.)

Over at The Dungeon’s Master, there were a couple of articles on designing an encounter that can’t be beat.  There’s a fine line between a really really hard encounter and one that just can’t be beat, so walk it carefully. (We realize there’s a lot of controversy over whether it’s ok to do this or not, so bring your opinions to their comment section!)

Stuffer Shack had a three part series on gaming at conventions, which we’re big fans of.  Dixon Trimline handled the subject well, and we suggest checking out all three parts.

Finally Trollish Delver had a bite sized article comparing “heroes” in original D&D to 4th edition heroes.  Where do you stand?  Do you like the way 4e handles PCs or OD&D better?

Did we overlook the best article of the week?  Leave us a link in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Podcast Editon

Just last night, we wrapped up the taping of our very first podcast. It’s going to be called “Level Up” and it’s aimed at PLAYERS (yes! I know!) who want advice and tips on character creation.  Keep an eye out for it right here on the site, we’ll be posting it soon.  And if you have a character creation question, or if you want ideas for the feat or power you should take next level, email us! The link is over there on the right. You could be featured in the next podcast! And now, on to the articles…

Someone on Twitter (sorry, don’t remember who) pointed us to David Ewalt’s Forbes blog, where this week he talked about how to get started in D&D.  In the wake of NBC’s “Community” episode featuring the game, many people are wondering how the game is played.  And of course, he suggests The Red Box.

The Dungeon’s Master had two different articles this week that caught our eye.  The first is a list of six items every adventuring party should have; there are some interesting items there that you may have overlooked.  The second was an article discussing ways to make sure everyone at the table is involved in a skill challenge.  This is especially important for groups that like to roleplay a lot.  We suggest you check both articles out.

Tarrasqueous had some interesting homebrew Gamma World “monsters” called “Gamma Portals.”  This was especially interesting to us, as we just finished the first Gamma World novel “Sooner Dead” where “ripples,” similar to Gamma Portals, featured prominently.  Kind of neat to see some crunch put to the fluff in the novels.

At-Will‘s Ryven started a great discussion of WotC’s plans to introduce multiclassing to 4th edition.  But really, the discussion is only started, and there is still a lot of speculation, as we do not have WotC’s actual mechanics in front of us.  Still, it’s fun to add to the discussion!

RPG Musings had a great article on roleplaying that everyone should read.  We especially like the idea of “taking ownership of the character’s actions,” and how that informs the way a player describes what the character does.

Finally, a non-D&D related blog article. On Twitter this week, @joyofgeek pointed us to Rands in Repose who wrote an article entitled “The Nerd Handbook.” How much of it do you recognize in yourself?

We’d love to find your blog! Leave a link in the comments!

Weekly Roundup – Halfhearted Edition

Well, I’ve been dealing with the seasonal sicknesses and the annual busy season at work, so I apologize if I’ve fallen back on the usual suspects for this roundup.  That is all I have to say. 

The Dungeon’s Master had a great article about a new LFR adventure. The author writes about his interview with the author, and how maybe, just maybe, his negative attitude towards the living campaigns is shifting.

Over at RPG Musings, Alio the Fool clarified some thoughts he had in a Twitter discussion about DM tactics and strategy.

Critical Hit‘s Logan Bonner took on the differences between magic items in 3e and 4e, and discussed whether he thought the changes were good, bad, or indifferent.  Considering the fact that he’s a designer over at WotC, and worked on the Adventuer’s Vault, this is a must read.

Troll in the Corner had some uplifting words about comparing your favorite RPG to someone else’s.  In a positive way.  Really.

That, by the way, was a follow up article to this one over at Greywulf’s Lair, which was a discussion of whether Pathfinder is better than 4e.  Just saying.

Finally, for a little non-D&D reading, head over to Robert J. Schwalb‘s blog. He’s a writer for Wizards of the Coast, but he had some fun thoughts about re-working the Rolemaster role playing game that he’s been kicking around in his head for a while now.

What did you write about this week? We want to hear about it in the comments!