Equality in D&D

A female fighter, a tiefling rogue, and a dragonborn walk into a bar. Nobody blinks an eye, and the bartender calmly serves the full-plate-armoured girl, the dude with a tail, and the walking talking lizard. Why? Because in D&D, they’re all just characters, just people in the word, and we as DMs and players have somehow created the most equal opportunity society in existence.

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Star Wars and the Continual Canon Confusion with Continuity

Star Wars Opening LogoI love Star Wars. I am a big old Star Wars nerd. I don’t own all the figures and the toys and the books, but I have a reasonable collection of books and a few knick-knacks. I read the books avidly, and for the most part I loved them. The tales of rogue squadron and their battles against the empire really fleshed out the Star Wars universe for me. Of course the Empire didn’t just fade away, we’re talking a galaxy spanning military juggernaut, and how the hell would they capitulate from a (admittedly significant) superweapon loss? Or even two? I really loved how a lot of the tie in products, not just books, expanded the universe. Nowhere in the movies will you find an ‘Interdictor’ class destroyer, which looks like a normal star destroyer but with balls fused into the hull, for example. Continue reading

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I have all the options in creating a D&D character, so why do I stick with clichés?

Toki and Oinkers by Symatt for his CounterSketch projectWhen I started getting into D&D I was every inch the wide eyed enthusiastic metaphor. Not having years of games and characters under my belt is somewhat liberating. Oh your character is a dark brooding orphan with a troubled past named Schmruce Schmayne? And yours is a skilled elf archer named Brickolad? Welcome aboard, the giant elephant is this way. This is why for my first character I settled on the dwarf fighter who loves ale, is handy in a fight, and is suspicious of magic and elvish things (In my defense I am a portly bearded Irishman with a beard, slap on some chainmail and I am basically a dwarf cosplayer.)

So with all the options available to me, why have I picked the clichés? Continue reading

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D&D: Beyond Character Death

skullYou die. A simple statement, but one potentially accompanied by tears, laughter, or rage. A D&D character can die so easily, but the story doesn’t always end there. It shouldn’t always end there. Even without straight resurrection, a death can be just another plot hook, and a powerful one, at that. People rarely expect a character dead and gone to ever have influence on the story again…

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Magic: the Gathering – EDH (Commander) – Heartless Hidetsugu

Heartless HidetsuguI love playing casual EDH (commander) with my friends, primarily because of all the janky, stupidly, amazing things you can do with the nearly unlimited pool of cards available.  Being singleton format makes this difficult – no playsets of anything – only one of each card (except basic land).  I’ve been running Tymaret, the Murder King recently and had lots of fun, but I was thinking of building a Voltron-esque commander deck last night and, whilst browsing through my Legendary Creatures, came across Heartless Hidetsugu.

This card is particularly hilarious, because it’s capable of insta-killing all opponents and ending the game in one swing.

Imagine this scenario – Heartless Hidestsugu can be tapped to deal half life total damage to all players, rounded down.  Combine that with a card like Dictate of the Twin Gods, which doubles damage, and we have a scenario where all players lose 100% life in one shot.

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Note-oriety, or, the Benefit to the Dungeon Master of Keeping Extensive Campaign Notes

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Dragon by Symatt

For my second session (read about the first here) I initially attempted to get the group back on track somewhat. Despite them initially siding with the kobolds, after an attempt to loot the already looted town, they decided to head to the keep. This involved an amusing betrayal of their new kobold allies. Drenched in kobold blood, they showed up at the keep. This was good for me as in retrospect I had been keeping very few notes, and the closer to the module they kept the easier it was to recall what they had done later.

Note: a very minor Hoard of the Dragon Queen spoiler ahead… Continue reading

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Creating a sense of Immersion in Roleplaying Games

Jacques Linard - The Five Senses and the Four ElementsWe have previously talked about using all the major senses in your roleplaying game – that is, referring to the sounds, smells, describing the way something feels etc. in order to expand the impact of your narrative and pull your players into your game. But why stop at description? Perhaps there’s ways you can bring the different senses to the table in real, tangible form? Can we use the senses to create a much more immersive experience by adding physical elements to the gaming table? Continue reading

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D&D: Rewarding Creativity in your Players

.pngThe best feature of a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, over an MMO or other more structured game, is the ability to be creative. But DMs vary significantly in how creative they allow their players to be, often through concerns about the letter of the rules, or creating imbalances. Here’s some thoughts on how to open things up a bit without breaking your game.

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Enter the Dragons

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Dragon by Symatt

It has become clearer that the longer I play Dungeons and Dragons and create my own world for future use, the fonder I become of all things draconic. Even the latest Magic: The Gathering expansion is Dragon related. D&D has a nice variety in their dragons, good or bad, and I have been perusing the various wikis and subreddits, combing for more information. If Wizards come out with a Dragonomicon for 5E I will be all over it like a red dragon on a pile of gold.

Dragons, like people, are too often divided by colour. Unlike people, they tend to be defined by their colour. This is a case where you really can judge a book by its cover. They each have their own alignment, preferred habitat and breath weapon. Thankfully, the DM is god, so there’s nothing to stop you from making your blue dragon live in a forest fortress instead of the desert if you so desire. So far though, I prefer to stick to the stereotypes as written. Continue reading

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Terry Pratchett Passes Away

terry-pratchettIt is with great sadness that we learn today of the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, well loved author of the Discworld series of fantasy novels. Pratchett, who has been suffering with Alzheimers has finally succumbed to this affliction at age 66. Pratchett has been a huge influence to all of us at Dice of Doom. In particular his characters of The Night Watch have been so memorable and important to us. Many of our roleplaying campaigns have had ‘Pratchettian’ elements to them. It is hard, at times, not to see his great humorous art of story telling shaping the way we around our tables tell our own stories. In a very personal way, he has changed our lives for the better. Continue reading

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