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.
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.
While I was fairly content with the work I had done on the previous Combat Thesaurus, something’s been nagging at me. Sure, it’s a finer thing to say that your character’s +1 flaming scimitar simultaneously chars and lacerates an enemy creature than merely hitting it, but what then? What happens to the creature’s body after…
Hey there! So you’ve gotten together with your friends. The beverages are in the fridge, the chips are in the bowl, the books are open on the table, and it’s time for character creation.
What kind of hero do you want to play? Where do you start? There are two aspects of character that are very important to a DnD game: the mechanics, structure, or bones of the character (stats, class, proficiencies, etc.) and the fleshy bits, the stuff that comes out of your imagination (backstory, appearance, name, etc.)
Tired of “15 minute background questionnaires” that take over an hour? Try this shortened “Real 15 Minute Background Quiz” (actual time may vary). Answer the following questions to turn your character sheet into a biography! What emotion best describes your character? Find one emotion your character exemplifies. Try to use a specific word to describe…
Given combat’s significance in most storytelling-based game systems, it’s imperative that the way we envision it in greater detail than “I full-attack before taking a five-foot step”. While your character’s actions in combat may reflect some pretty dramatic internal roleplaying decisions, I’m probably just waiting for my turn while you roll your five or six iterative attacks. Thus, it’s incumbent upon us all—GMs and players alike—to inject combat with some much-needed literary flourish to further bring the game to life…or at least entertain us while the monk finishes up missing with his or her last unarmed strike.