Articles by Max

Max makes his home behind a DM screen, limiting contact with the outside world. He has his meals delivered, pays entirely in d4’s, and communicates through a network of carefully positioned homunculi. He lives a satisfying life, but secretly hungers for more. In the meantime, Max feeds his appetite with all manner of fantasy literature, PC & Console gaming, board games, & of course Dungeons & Dragons. With a penchant for DMcraft, he prefers 3.5 edition to 4.0, and is impressed with the changes introduced by D&DNext. Max was introduced to 2.0 AD&D early on, and prefers not to dwell on it (THAC0, anyone?)


D&D projector
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Out of the Abyss: Velkynvelve

Enter my hastily scrawled notes on Out of The Abyss, the recent adventure module from Wizards of the Coast. These sporadic posts are a place to organize my thoughts on the adventure module, chapter by chapter. I’ve had the privilege of running this module for 4 different groups of 5 players, and therefore the opportunity to experiment with different adjustments & ideas. I hope someone finds them useful.

dungeon master tips
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Dungeon Master Sins: Punishing Cleverness

We’ve all been there. You’ve spent 5 hours prepping stats for the big-bad, penned a detailed backstory, practiced Shakespearean dialogue, and commissioned a charcoal portrait of him. Initiative is rolled, combat begins, and the villain…survives 1 round. Lucky rolls, tight teamwork, or some combination of the two lead to a quick demise for our villain. Or worse, the party devises a way to bypass the encounter entirely.

D&D Terrain
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Coming Soon: D&D Terrain

We love posting snapshots of our various in-house D&D games (an umbrella term, as we regularly run Pathfinder, 5e, Shadows of Esteren and more).   As we’ve recently begun exploring new terrain solutions for immersive environments, expect to see reviews of those products.  Until then, check this snapshot of one of our more recent experiments…

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Rewarding inter-party conflict

The exception to the rule comes when tension or opposition within the party results in dramatic/role-playing rewards. In order for the latter to work, remember, both PC’s need to be on the same page. Let’s take an example… The party of 4 PC’s arrive at their destination, at the Fell Keep. The rogue recommends they pay a passing merchant to smuggle them into the potentially hostile city. The wizard opposes him,

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D&D: 10 Sins of Players

There is inherent in D&D, and other paper-pencil RPG’s, a social gaming contract. That is to say, that we’re gathered at this table in the spirit of teamwork. Though inter-party conflict can be rewarding, woven into the tapestry of the game is the idea that each party member serves a distinct purpose(s). Each of us is a valued member of the team, and none of us can do this on our own. I understand that the DM may be asking you to suspend your disbelief, here.

"Not all those who wander, are lost"  ~J.R.R. Tolkien