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Field Notes 5E Character Journal Review

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I pack mountains of information in my Dungeons & Dragons campaigns that my players can choose to latch onto or let loose into the great sea that is our campaign’s narrative. Who is the emperor of the Kothian Empire? How did he reach the throne? Why did the Obsidian Circle want to eliminate the Choqiti wood elves? Where did the Choqiti retreat to in their time of need? Some players love to keep track of this sort of knowledge, keen that it will make an impact later in the campaign; others don’t, either because they’re uninterested or don’t have somewhere clean to write it down.

In all scenarios, invested player and not, I have an excellent solution: the Field Notes 5E Character Journal.

The Field Notes 5E Character journal is a newly released product of Field Notes, a company dedicated to providing tabletop roleplaying game players with clean mediums to keep track of their characters and campaigns. This particular item, the 5E Character Journal, specializes in organizing everything …

How to Play an Archfey in D&D

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Archfey are part of the god-like trio: archfiends, archfey, and great old ones. Each member of this class is unique, from Mephistopheles the Lord of No Mercy and Orcus the Prince of Undeath, to Hyrsam the Prince of Fools to Dendar the Night Serpent. Distinct from even these unique examples, archfey live on the Plane of Faerie, or the Feywild, where they play court and war amongst each other in a land of impossible flora and fauna.

Most of the time, they won’t appear directly in your campaign. They’ll be faraway actors, pulling the strings in the background as your party traverses the world. However, what if you would like an archfey or three to become major players? What if you’d like to use Oberon the Green Lord as a villain? Maybe Titania the Summer Queen as an ally? How about your warlock forms a pact with Hyrsam the Prince of Fools?
Well, you’ll need to know how to play one.
Outlined below are how I see archfey in my world, Eldar. They might be different in your setting or you mi…

How to Make Magic Prominent in Your D&D Setting

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Galen, City of Magic, is known for its eccentric populace, innovative spellcasting, and sky-reaching towers. Of great renown to all outside the city are its sorcery parlors. These establishments are run by magic-users who augment customers with arcane power. Some customers seek more strength, others want to change their body permanently. The parlors comply and make changes using various forms of arcane magic. Part of the time, the change is permanent. The rest of the time, the magical enchantment fades…

I’m preparing for my next Dungeons & Dragons campaign that’s probably going to be set in Galen, City of Magic. It’s the capital of a newly-established magocratic nation and the center of innovation, learning, and study of magic in my homegrown world. Arcana oozes into everyone’s life, whether they’re a peasant of unfortunate circumstance, a magewright fixing everlit lanterns, a half-orc bodyguard, or a goblin bandit posing as a halfling circus performer. In Galen, magic is everywh…

How to Keep Track of Your D&D Campaign

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When did the party receive four pegasi as a gift from the Choqiti wood elf tribe? Where did they cause a volcanic eruption and accidentally massacre a clan of peaceful fire genasi druids? What kind of creature was Kifirith? Who infiltrated the party as a doppelganger and fed Lord Elyas Embong all the information about the missing gold dragon? Where did the party begin their adventure?

These are all questions that arise during a Dungeons & Dragons campaign or between sessions. Players — and Dungeon Masters — aren’t always able to recall key details. That’s okay! D&D is a complicated, vast game during which unpredictable and confusing situations can arise. 
Dragon lords spy on dwarf settlements while polymorphed into an elf. The Hand of Vecna hides in the backpack of one of the adventurers. An army of hobgoblins marches on the city of Galen. Draagad Dalamissent was the storm giant who died at the hands of his brothers. We’re only human, how can we remember all of this informati…

Expanding Your D&D Setting's Campaign Guide

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Last July, we explored how to build a campaign guide for our unique Dungeons & Dragons setting. Of utmost importance was a solid description of the world, a brief timeline, a lightly-detailed map, a set of tenets that define the world, multiple race and class points of origin, and a basic pantheon. If we enjoy worldbuilding, though, we can continue to expand our guide. Sure, some players might not read all fifty pages of our world bible, but that’s why we usually write a one to three page summary of our campaigns before we start them.

This campaign guide is for us and players deeply invested in the lore of our world. We write it to further develop our world and help those who want to build characters who are connected to it.

So, without further ado, let’s learn how we can expand it with examples from my world, Eldar.
Other Continents Campaign guides usually focus on a single region or continent of our world. Before diving into it, we should quickly explore the rest of it. It’s t…

Don't Be Afraid of Using Powerful Foes in D&D

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Our Dungeons & Dragons campaigns are littered with creatures. Some are weak: crafty kobolds, gibbering goblins, or wailing harpies. Others challenge our parties: militaristic barbed devils, zealotus drow, or angry froghemoths. A select few, in the grand scheme, stand above the rest: ancient dragons, sinister pit fiends, or megalomaniacal liches. As Dungeon Masters, we shouldn’t be afraid of using the latter, powerful foes in our D&D campaigns. As players, we should understand the role these powerful foes take.

DMs can use powerful foes in a variety of ways. They can be the big bad villain of a campaign, a backdrop in the campaign, or a message that the world is dangerous, unpredictable, and real.

A crazed ancient gold dragon could be the campaign’s primary antagonist, interfering with the party using divination spells such as scrying. Despite the party not being anywhere near strong enough to battle the gold dragon, it can still play a role in the story.

A cult of worshipers…

Examining Rise of Tiamat

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The pre-written modules and adventures for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons aren’t for everyone. Some people love, play, and swear by them. They use them because they enjoy them, don’t have enough time to create a story of their own, or they don’t want to. And that’s okay. For those of us who do enjoy weaving tales of our own, in our free time or on slow days at work, these modules are fountains of lore, plot hooks, characters, monsters, twists, and fantastic locations. They can be used by us for the betterment of our hand-crafted stories. However, they can be long and some folks might not want to read them if they’re not running the adventure. Well, that’s where Best Bits comes in.

Welcome to the second Best Bits article, a series in which we pick through the pre-written adventures of Dungeons & Dragons, mining the coolest pieces of them for use in our own games and worlds. Previously, we went over Hoard of the Dragon Queen, the first hardcover module for fifth edition. This…

Interview With a Dungeon Master: RJ

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From the beautiful country of America to the wondrous deserts of Egypt, Dungeon Masters help spread the joy of Dungeons & Dragons to folks young and old. D&D doesn’t care about our age or occupation, where we live or where we went to school; it only requires a mind that’s open to imagination, creativity, and collaboration. These types of minds are becoming more common as D&D continues to grow in popularity, mostly thanks to those who create worlds and host epic games: Dungeon Masters.
There are tens of thousands of Dungeon Masters in our world, each with a distinct style of play. Some enjoy pitting their players against impossible trials of combat. Others take on a hundred different roles in one campaign, from a biting jester to a maniacal balor demon. However, none of these styles trump the others. Instead, they give others ideas on how to improve or spice up their unique Dungeon Master mind. By learning how others Dungeon Master, how they began, and how they’ve become b…