Category Archives: What Do I Know About Gameplay

What Do I Know About Houserules? The Hit Point Slider (D&D 5e)

This topic has come up a lot, and it’s not new to D&D 5e. Adjusting the number of hit points that an opponent has is one of the “difficulty sliders” that can be utilized in D&D, but the “permission” to do that has shifted a bit over time. For example, earlier editions of D&D strongly implied (if not directly stating)

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The Care and Feeding of d20 Fantasy Factions

I’m moved to write about factions and how they have developed and shaped various d20 fantasy settings over the years. Now, here’s the trick . . . this is largely filtered through my own lens. That means the order in which I have encountered these things, and the degree to which I have taken them to heart, is largely shaped

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A Cold Read of Cold-Hearted Killer (Icewind Dale Rime of the Frost Maiden Spoilers)

Spoilers for Icewind Dale Rime of the Frost Maiden. Because I made a mistake and gave the cleric a 3rd 1st level spell, I’m threading an alternate universe version of the encounter under the narrative where it diverges. Don’t you love alternate universe stories? Because there has been some discussion about it, I decided to try out the tough mission

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What Do I Know About Houserules? Alternate Gritty Rules (D&D 5e)

Alternate Gritty Rules After running several sessions using the slow natural healing rules and the gritty realism rules for D&D 5e, as expressed in the optional rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, those are punishing. Careful resource management is a key to making a game feel more or less super heroic, but shifting rests to 8 hours and 7 days

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Star Trek Adventures: My Shackleton Expanse Civilizations

Just for fun, and because I was a little stressed out, I wrote up entries for the two new cultures that my player characters encountered in their exploration of the Shackleton Expanse, a previously unexplored region that sits between the Klingons, the Federation, and the Romulans. Archivists The Archivists are a society with advanced power, transportation, and replication technology. Their

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What Do I Know About House Rules? Psionic Talent Dice and Random Numbers In My Brain

I can’t stop thinking about the ways you can play with Psionic Talent die that was introduced in the most recent Unearthed Arcana for psionic characters. I really like the concept, but my brain is bouncing around thinking about what it should represent and what could be done with it. Unearthed Arcana Psionic Options 2020 For some reason, increasing the

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What Do I Know About Gameplay? D&D Published Adventures and Tools at the Table

The following is based on a thread I originally posted elsewhere on social media, pulled together and modified a bit to preserve the thought process. I just listened to Down with DnD today where Shawn Merwin and Mike Shea were discussing the D&D Essentials Kit. Some of that discussion sticks with me, especially when comparing D&D with other games. Combined

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What Do I Know About Gameplay? Material Components and Access Gateways

  As often happens, Brandes Stoddard brought up some very thought-provoking ideas in one of his posts. Specifically, he was discussing how D&D could do some interesting things with ritual magic with higher-level effects, utilizing high-cost material components.  That’s a pretty thought-provoking line of conjecture, but it also reminded me of one of my old thought exercises, specifically looking at

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