Avoid Stereotypes with your D&D Character Aug11

Avoid Stereotypes with your D&D Character...

Dungeons & Dragons is the most popular tabletop RPG on the planet and offers a nearly endless list of races, classes, and adventuring archetypes to choose from. And because certain races offer certain bonuses, there are a lot of common combinations that you’re likely to see at a tabletop near you. Half-elf paladins, wood elf rogues, and half-orc barbarians are great builds that maximize the strengths supplied by their lineage. But why not do something more interesting? Here are a few examples of characters that play against their racial typecasting and offer a whole new world of heroic story options. Jebeddo Ningel  – Gnomish Barbarian Barbarians are often created to be colossal meat shields: soaking up and dealing a ton of melee damage. What about a character whose physical size isn’t that impressive, but finds their power from another source? Jebeddo had lived his whole life in Springwood Forest. For generations, his family has acted as guardians of the secluded wood, keeping the spirits of the forest in harmony and dealing with whatever minor threats would occasionally bare their teeth. Jebeddo wanted nothing more than to be a druid like his grandfather, Darmic, and spent countless hours meditating with the spirits of the forest in hopes of forging a bond with them. During one of these sessions in the serene surroundings of the Springwood, a towering bear spirit crashed through the trees and spoke of a coming danger—an orcish horde bent on harvesting the forest into firewood and instruments of war. The bear spirit offered itself to Jebeddo to aid in the defence of its home. “At last!” He thought. His moment as a druid of the forest had finally arrived. But instead, the spirit caused an eruption of strength to course through his...

Things You Don’t Want Your DM to Say Jul21

Things You Don’t Want Your DM to Say...

It doesn’t matter what host of deities are included in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign—the Dungeon Master is lord of them all. It’s true, we wouldn’t have a game without a DM… but sometimes we wish they were a little less exultant about putting our characters through hell (sometimes literally). Here’s a list of things we’d rather not hear our DMs say. Add your additions in the comments section! “Everyone roll a perception check.” *Everyone rolls below 10.* “You notice the sun is rather bright today.” “So, everyone’s up to level 3, right? No one lower?” *announces random encounter* *Rolls dice and looks at the result* “Ooh, this will be fun.” “How many hit points do you have left?” *To players* “What time do you all need to leave tonight?” “Oh hey, I rolled a crit.” *After a really low roll on an investigation check* “You think it’s perfectly safe.” “More damage, I like it.” *After figuring out who’s keeping watch* “So you’re the one awake at midnight then.” “I’ve been thinking about your character this week . . .” *After a critical fail on a persuasion check* “Roll for initiative.” *On an NPC’s turn* “Can I borrow eight D6 from someone?” *Posted in the group chat before game...

Seven Ways to Mess with Your Party Jan13

Seven Ways to Mess with Your Party...

So you’ve been running a few sessions and have a pretty good handle on how this whole DMing thing works. However, your players are also getting a good handle on how the game works. In the routine of gameplay, you have lost the element of surprise and can no longer catch your players off guard. They’ve started to predict your every move! While I disagree with the “DM vs. Player” mentality, I do enjoy messing with my players from time to time. This is a fun list of strategies I have used in my Dungeons & Dragons games to make things more… interesting. There’s nothing wrong with freshening up a stagnant session and adding some surprises. 1. Conduct early planned skill checks. There are two kinds of skill checks in D&D: spontaneous and planned. Spontaneous checks are in-the-moment actions that your players initiate without prompting from you. Planned checks are ones that you, the DM, initiate and don’t require action from your players in order to happen. These planned checks are where your control lies. You have prepared for them and the players don’t need to know why you ask for them. The results do not need to be immediately obvious. For example: You know that a monster will attack one of your players at night. Ask all your players to make a will save well before nightfall and then continue through the day as though nothing has happened. It hasn’t… yet. 2. Hide the results. Most of your players will get to the point where they start predicting the results of your skill checks. It’s obvious whether a player leaps across the chasm or falls to his death, but whether the thief noticed the treasure in the corner can be a mystery. If...

Determine Your Character’s Name with a D20 Oct28

Determine Your Character’s Name with a D20...

One of my greatest struggles when making a new character for roleplaying games is coming up with a good name. There are two factors that I always look for in a good name; it must sound cool and it must have a significant meaning for my character. The Bible is a treasure-trove of interesting names that should not be overlooked when considering a name for your latest character. These names are cherry-picked for their amusing meanings and peculiar pronunciations. Roll your D20s and enjoy! D10 Name Meaning D20 Surname Meaning 1 Chedorlaomer Roundness of a sheaf 1 Nicanor A conqueror 2 Cilicia Which rolls or overturns 2 Raca Good-for-nothing 3 Dabbaseth Flowing with honey 3 Abagtha Father of the wine-press 4 Epaphras Covered with foam 4 Ira Watchman of the city 5 Vopshi The fragrant 5 Pethuel Mouth of God 6 Uphaz Pure gold 6 Abida Father of the judge 7 Haahashtari A runner 7 Baal-Tamar Master of the palm tree 8 Gaddiel Goat of God 8 Shaashgaz One who shears the sheep 9 Shashak A bag of linen 9 Elika Pelican of God 10 Trophimus Well-educated 10 Beneberak Son of lightning 11 Halah A moist table 11  Epaphroditus The handsome 12 Sennacherib Bramble of destruction 12 Reelaiah Shepherd of the Lord 13 Bithynia Violent precipitation 13 Onesiphorus One who brings profit 14 Puteoli Sulphureous wells 14 Ahimelech My king’s brother 15 Homam Making an uproar 15 Jidlaph He that distills water 16 Telabib A heap of new grain 16  Zeruah The leperous 17 Tabrimon A good pomegranate 17 Gallio Who sucks on milk 18 Josabad Having a dowry 18 Archippus Master of horses 19 Og Bread baked in ashes 19 Philemon One who kisses 20 Diblaim Cakes of pressed figs 20 Elymas A...