Rolls for role-playing

I don’t like the way D&D Fifth Edition and lots of other “modern” games handle skills. As a player, I don’t like spending time deciding which skill should cover a particular task. More than that, however, I intensely dislike using Charisma rolls to cover role-playing. In 5e, for example, Charisma skills include Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion. […]

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Initial Impressions: Fifth Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide

I went down to my friendly local gaming store this morning and picked up the new Dungeon Master’s Guide. (They had a 15% discount on all D&D stuff, which gave a little extra bit of unexpected happiness.) A full review of this book would take significant time due to the density and amount of material in […]

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Dungeon Masters Rulebook (Red Box version)

I picked up the Dungeon Masters Rulebook from the old BECMI D&D edition (aka “the Red Box”) a few days ago. Most of the OSR products I’ve read didn’t have enough guidance for this rusty old DM.  What better source for guidance on running an old-school game than the actual old-school guidance?! The rest of this post consists of […]

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Microlite20 monster: Ormyrr

The Practical Guide to Monsters has a few monsters that don’t have Microlite20 versions. Ormyrrs stick out to me more than the others. For reference: Thri-kreen, Yuan-ti, werebear, wereboar, ghost, and lich do not have M20-style stat blocks that I have found. Some of those have enough substitutes you can reskin (lycanthropes and generic undead), while “lich” can be applied […]

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Play Report: Dyson’s Delves level 1

My Lost Mine of Phandelver group has been sporadic lately due to real life causing scheduling difficulty. So I ran a dungeon crawl in Roll20 on Sunday using the first level of Dyson’s Delve. After I picked it up in a recent Bundle of Holding, I knew I wanted to find a way to use more of […]

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Review: “A Practical Guide to Monsters”

I recently got a copy of A Practical Guide to Monsters. An in-universe reference volume for apprentice wizards, it lists 53 different monsters by my count. Each of them has a bit of fiction, a fact box (e.g. height, weight, habitat, diet, attack methods, etc.), and an artistic representation. If you think this sounds like a Monster […]

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Play Report: Isle of Malimont

Open table night #dnd #d20 #dice #rpg #tabletop A post shared by Kyle Maxwell (@technoskald) on Nov 21, 2014 at 9:21pm PST Last night, I attended an open table session at the Animefest office here in the Dallas area. I didn’t know what to expect, so I took my D&D 5e Player’s Handbook, dice, and […]

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Race as a trope in role-playing games

I have real difficulty putting down any sort of hard boundaries around role-playing games. Like other things, I know it when I see it. But “race” as a trope seems as core to most RPGs as “classes” and some sort of individual characteristic statistics. The vast majority of fantasy uses this trope as a crutch – and […]

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Session planning during an off night

My intended one-shot dungeon crawl ended up cancelled tonight as half the group had various real-life crises and could not attend. While disappointed, I decided to make the most of it and spent time preparing for the next Lost Mine of Phandelver session. We still have at least one character a little too far behind on […]

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Old-school action in a new-school edition

We can’t really call D&D Fifth Edition “old-school” since, you know, it just came out. But it appeals to some of those sensibilities in a way the previous edition did not. With that in mind, I’d like to run some adventures from Dyson’s Dodecahedron in 5e. I have a LFG ad on Roll20 for Tuesday evening. If the experiment […]

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