Musing on the implications of the D&D 5e SRD

The main reason I stopped playing D&D Fifth Edition was that it read too much like a set of software requirements (use cases). 5e writes everything out in expansive detail, rather than in a concise “Strunk & White-esque” manner. This drove me back to simpler rule sets like Swords & Wizardry and even Microlite20 or Searchers […]

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Do the simplest thing that could possibly work

So this weekend I’m going to run some D&D at a local makerspace ( has an open house Saturday evening for anybody in the Dallas-Plano area). I’m probably going to use “Searchers of the Unknown” by +Nicolas Dessaux or some variant thereof, because you can’t get much simpler and call it D&D. Microlite20 would work just […]

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Revisiting Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Since posting about various retroclone games, I’ve re-examined my opinions a bit. Thus, I decided to revisit Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Something about the design kept calling me back. In part, the layout looks gorgeous, even in the free no-art version. Also, largely inspired by LotFP, I watched the 2009 movie Solomon Kane. I wanted to get […]

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Losing ruleset weight: evaluating older RPG games

D&D 5e has started to frustrate me. I feel like I spend way too much time looking stuff up when running a game. Some of that comes from poor information organization in the core books. This leads to too much time looking up spells and so forth. Another large chunk results directly from the amount of rules: […]

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Play Report: Temple of K’thu’uk

I don’t know why I keep forgetting how dangerous D&D Fifth Edition can be to level 1 characters. Last night I ran a small one-off adventure based on the Temple of K’thu’uk from Robin V. Stacey (of Microlite20 fame). You can find my conversion notes, including a new 5e monster, at the end of the […]

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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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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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