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Accepting the Flow

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It’s Friday night. Everyone’s gathered around the table. Tonight is my group’s first delve into Dungeons and Dragons in years. We’re playing fifth edition and I’m the dungeon master. I have a few notes, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and my dice pushed behind my third edition DM screen - I’m ready to go. We begin outside a small farming village, and the group roleplays for the first time in a while. People laugh, roll some dice, and awkwardly move their way toward the village. Eventually, they arrive and see that the village is under siege by kobolds, robed humans, and an enormous blue dragon - oh my! Being the righteous adventurers that they are, the group bumbles into the fray, slaying kobolds and fighting their way toward the village’s keep. They make it, meet with the mayor, and decide to stake out on the battlements. As darts and rocks from the kobolds on the ground below fly past the group, and the great blue dragon breathes lightning from his guzzle, one of the characters, a human …

Creating Collaboratively

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It’s Friday night. The party is about to assemble for the first time (an epic moment, I know). However, before the adventure begins, I ask each player questions about their character and about my own world. As they put the finishing touches on their character sheets and sharpen their pencils, I bounce from player to player. Kristi’s elf rogue had a mentor, so I posit, “Kristi, what’s the name of Zara’s mentor, what did he do, and was his business shady?” She thinks, smiles, responds, and now she’s created a small piece of my world. I turn to Tom, who’s character almost perished at the hands of a demonic cult. “Tom, what’s this cult’s name, what do they worship, and who stopped them from accomplishing their vile task?” He looks up in the air, looks side to side, opens his mouth once, as if ready to respond, closes it, thinks a tad more, and then comes up with some awesome information. Tom is building the world, along with Kristi, the rest of the players, and me, the dungeon master.

Man…

Above and Below Waterdeep!

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Last weekend, a plethora of actors, comedy icons, Twitch streamers, and proponents of Dungeons and Dragons participated in an epic, three-day live stream that showcased the latest D&D storyline. This hearty troupe laughed and played alongside the D&D team, and created an entertaining event that truly showed why D&D is one of the greatest games to exist. In addition, we learned that D&D’s next storyline involves Waterdeep, the City of Splendors, and what lies below the sprawling metropolis.

The campaign comes in two parts: Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. 
I could not be more excited about this next release.

Let’s briefly delve into why this is!
What We Know Wizards of the Coast will be releasing two adventure books this fall: Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

The former will take adventurers on an urban romp through the most splendid city in the Forgotten Realms and is levels 1-5. The goal of the PCs is to prot…

Scrawling Over Mordenkainen's Tome

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It’s Thursday night. A few weeks ago, my brother’s character, a devout, human ranger named Rob Tully, was killed by a nalfeshnee of Yeenoghu while on the Astral Plane. His soul, unable to travel to his deity’s realm due to a magical barrier, was sent to the messy soup of Limbo. As a break from the main campaign, I decided to run him through a one-shot among the madness of Limbo. In one of the most chaotic environments in the multiverse, Rob Tully needed to survive until the barrier was destroyed. All around him, lightning crackled from stones, flaming rays extinguished into torrents of water, and lonely island shards shattered and reformed in mere moments. One minute, Rob was allied with the nalfeshnee who slew him while running from a storm of ash, thunder, and crystal. Another, he hid from frightening extraplanar toads, the slaad. In Limbo, almost anything was possible, anything could happen - and it did.
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I’ve always loved the planar aspect of …

Halflings and Gnomes: Relatively Normal Folk

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Farming, fishing, eating, and eating are the pastimes of halflings, a folk content to spend their days beside a serene lake or in a manure-filled pasture. Mining, crafting, tricking, exploring, writing, and a whole host of other hobbies are the favorites of gnomes, a race of tinkerers, naturalists, and almost everything else. Other than their love of peaceful pastimes, what makes these two races interesting in the volatile multiverse of Dungeons and Dragons? Nothing. Nothing at all. These smaller-than-average peoples are not a part of any world-shaking conflicts, campaign-starting events, or wars that span multiple planets. Most of them are normal folk, just like us, and that makes them the strangest entities in Dungeons and Dragons. That’s great because D&D needs some of normalcy.

The fifth chapter of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, releasing everywhere May 29, 2018 (already in local game shops), discusses the shortest and strangest folk in Dungeons and Dragons: Halflings and gnome…

Gith and Their Timeless Conflict

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On one side are the githyanki, roaming the infinite and infinitesimal Astral Plane in search of the corpses of fallen gods, lost artifacts, and ways to defeat their lifelong enemies. On the other, the bitter and distrustful githzerai, floating in the chaotic soup of Limbo, waiting for the perfect moment to strike against their githyanki cousins and former mindflayer masters. Both the githyanki and the githzerai are subraces of gith, a race of humanoids slowly created through torture and experimentation by the illithids during ancient times. Both hate illithids - and each other. Both are beings that live primarily in planes other than the Prime Material Plane. Both have been around since first edition and are an excellent addition to any Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

The fourth chapter of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, releasing everywhere May 29, 2018 and in local gaming stores on May 18, 2018, explores the history and current lore of one of the most interesting races in the multivers…

Short, Stout, and Stoic

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Short, stout, and stoic are the dwarves of Dungeons and Dragons. They are a race of fantastic builders, exquisite craftsmen, and, stereotypically, Scottish accents. These hardy folk have appeared in D&D since the beginning, but they’ve changed little - fitting for such a stubborn people. With over a dozen subraces, a plethora of iconic foes, thousands of years of history, and great mines constantly creeping with creatures, there’s plenty to talk about and use in your campaign when it comes to dwarves.

The third chapter of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, releasing everywhere May 29, 2018, talks about the multiverse’s hardest folk and their evil and insane counterparts. The chapter is titled, Dwarves and Duergar, and is sure to contain the most up-to-date information about these little buggers.

Today, in preparation for Wizards of Coast’s latest book, we’ll be delving into the ancient mines of the dwarves, looking at their history in D&D, their lore, their uses, and a few ways to …

A Near Immortal Race

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Pointy-eared, near immortal, and generally beautiful are the elves of Dungeons and Dragons. This race, first popularized by Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, is one of the most well-known fantasy races, and an important part of the Dungeons and Dragons multiverse. From their mysterious and majestic fey ancestry to their polarizing worship of Lolth, elf history is rich. Due to their density, the amount of possible plot hooks and character ideas stemming from elf history is immense. Yet, there's always more to learn!

This week, in preparation for the release of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, we’ll be going over the history of elves by edition, in addition to looking at interesting ways to utilize elves as both a player and dungeon master. Elves are the main topic of Mordenkainen’s second chapter, and I’m excited to see how they expand upon them in D&D's fifth edition.
As always with this interim series on Mordenkainen's, let’s start with a brief history lesson…