Adding a bit of Culture to your Roleplaying Campaign

So you’ve journeyed far into the west, over hill, through forest, under mountain. You’ve met and destroyed a whole clan of orcs in the dark beneath the cold stone and ice, always pursuing that one goal given to you by that strange, smelly man in the pub that fateful evening so many months ago.

Hang on – there’s something funny about that clan of orcs. What is it… I just can’t put my finger on it…. Oh yeah – how come there weren’t any girl orcs (orcettes?) in there? Speaking of which, there weren’t any child orcs either. Now we’re talking about age, how come we never saw a geriatric Orc? Surely at least some of them live to old age – unless its true what they say about them and they eat the old. That still doesn’t account for the lack of kids, though. Continue reading

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Hit Points

I have a confession to make. Hold your hats everyone. Although I am the resident “rules light” guy here at the Dice of Doom conclave sometimes I like a good crunchy system. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I confess – once in a while I like to stretch those war-gamey muscles, break out the miniatures, roll a heap of dice and do a load of maths.

Once in a while.

Don’t tell anyone, people of the internet. It can be our little secret, right?

On occasion I like to put aside the personal motivation for subtle nuance and replace it with the desire to thump the other guy (monster, alien, beasty). For that, nothing beats a good rules-heavy system. Continue reading

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8 Ways to Start a Campaign in a Tavern

Adventure time! Gather your character sheets! Pull up your chairs! Pencils and dice at the ready!

And what better place to start a campaign than in a tavern. The ol’ faithful, the most traditional way to start a campaign. We’ve previously written how you might avoid this trope, but why not embrace it?

Here’s a few ways to do the “You all meet in an inn” thing and still keep it fresh and interesting. Continue reading

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D&D 5E Dungeonscape Beta: First Impressions

Dungeonscape, the official 5th Edition D&D electronic tools, opened up betas yesterday, and we’re in! We had a look around and see whether it’s really going to live up to our expectations. The following are our thoughts on what is very beta software. There will obviously be huge changes between now and release, so please keep this in mind. The following are our thoughts and an early review on what the software will be when finished, and whether or not it will suit your game.

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D&D Basic Released by Wizards of the Coast

D&D Basic Rules CoverUnless you have been living under the gaming equivalent of a rock on Mars you would be aware that a new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game is on the cusp of being released. Part of their development of this edition of the game has been the announcement that they will be releasing a basic version of the game for free as a downloadable PDF. Well, today they made good on their promise. Continue reading

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In an earlier post about my father’s 1st Edition house rules, I discussed modified XP tables and spell lists which were more… mathematically correct. Today you can download these genuine 1980s house rules for 1st Edition AD&D!

Dice of Doom – Revised ADnD 1st Edition XP and Spells – pdf

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Dice of Doom Podcast 045: Rules that enhance Roleplaying Games and Crafting “Who ‘dun it?” Mysteries

Dice of Doom Podcast LogoIn this carrot dangling episode we discuss rules mechanics and how they can be used to enhance roleplaying games. In particular we discuss how this is done in Rolemaster, Deadlands and Spirit of the Century. We also answer some listener questions, namely our thoughts on DnDNext, Palladium, and how to craft a classic “Who Dun It?” mystery in your games. All this, and a collection of stupid character names to boot! Continue reading

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Dice of Doom Podcast 044: Listener Questions, Gaming Lectern and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition

Dice of Doom Podcast LogoIn this, the first episode of the Dice of Doom podcast of 2014, we go through a massive back log of listener’s questions regarding various aspects of games, gaming and philosophy. We also discuss our thoughts on playing through the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition.

Did you know you can suggest a podcast topic for us? Click this link and fill in the form. If we discuss your topic suggestion, you will receive a Gift Certificate of Experience!

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Rearranging Roleplaying Character Creation

victorian criminals scheming

Art by Symatt

Over the course of a half hour or so your friends gather at your house. Everyone sits themselves down at the dining room table, get out their dice, fix drinks and snacks. The chit-chat centres around what everyone has been doing at work, with their family, over the weekend. Slowly, after the last person blusters through the door, superfluously apologising for the family issues which have made him late, the talk comes around to the game. We’re starting a new one tonight – a game which the GM has had in mind for a few weeks or a few months. It’s going to be a short campaign. It might take around 5 to 8 sessions to run, depending on how many family issues take up your precious session time, depending on how focussed the party might be, how many jokes get said.

Everyone is excited to try out the game. It’s going to be a Heist game. The GM briefly explains to you the basic concept of the game. It’s 1879, you’re in London, and you’re all playing criminal types. You’re going to pull a heist. Okay, now to create characters…

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Including Roleplaying Characters in Large Scale Battles, Part II


Art by Symatt

As I mentioned in a previous article, I don’t find the usual combat mechanics as interesting in a large scale battle as in smaller engagements. The strength in RPG combat is its ability to describe a narrative. Your individual character cuts and thrusts, dodges, deals mighty blows to enemies and receives (and hopefully endures) mighty wounds. Magic coruscates across the battlefield, glinting off shining armour and glinting weapons. Blood of many colours runs and mingles in the trodden earth. The visceral experience of combat fills your imagined senses. In the best of circumstances you imagine it deeply, can almost sense the rush of battle as you sit in the relative comfort and safety of your own dining room, perched on the edge of your dining chair. What is most compelling about the experience, however, is not the description. It is the narrative. Hopefully you care about the fate of your character and the characters of your fellow players. Every time they encounter a foe their very existence is put at risk. Yet they pit themselves against the enemy. Each twist of fate, each hard won victory is another chapter in the ever evolving and unfolding tale you share with your fellow players. It is this which drives us as role players to keep gaming, keep playing, keep daring.

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