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How to Introduce a New Party Member

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In the nasty sewers conquered by the Ratskin wererat gang, the group frees a kobold warlock from his shackles. Desperate for revenge against the lycanthropic thieves’ guild and their wizard master, he joins the party. With powers derived from his fiendish patron, he freezes and pierces the thieves’ defenses and immediately proves his worth. In the trials to come, he'll surely do so again and again, until he meets his fatal end in the dungeon of Underkeep.
Far from her woodland, a water nymph tries to communicate to two creatures locked in conversation inside a hill fortress. Her fey patron sent her to this tropical archipelago to find them and she didn’t plan on letting a stone wall or window interrupt her quest. She sends in her watery pseudodragon familiar to get the minotaur and lizardfolk’s attention so she can unite with them as soon as possible.

As the party recovers from their spit with a giant roper, they hear wet footsteps coming from the passage to the south. To their s…

Your D&D Setting's Campaign Guide

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Multiple days of strife, countless hours of creativity, many minutes of preparation, and more than a few seconds of ingenuity have led up to this moment: you’re ready to begin your Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Your setting’s tenets? Finished. Your setting’s pantheon? Fleshed out. Your setting’s map? Made. Your setting’s major powers? Created. Your campaign’s starting point? Prepared. Some people may believe they’re ready to go on the warpath and kickstart their campaign. They can do that, but I like to take one more step before beginning. Today, we’ll be taking that extra step together; let’s create a campaign guide for our D&D setting.

Luckily, most of this should have already been finished after reading the Worldforge articles preceding this one! If you haven’t read them, check out the Worldforge Library before moving on.
Describe the Setting Create a new document, name it, “ Campaign Guide,” and think about what is special about your setting. What sets it apart from the For…

Four Interesting Reward Types in D&D

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Knowing they now hold incredible sway in the town of Asudem, the party negotiates with a halfling councilor about ownership of the Storm Temple. After all, they cleared the thri-kreen infestation beneath it, routed its corrupt clergy, and brought a new following to its patron deity; why shouldn’t they own the structure? If they did, they'd exert even more influence upon the Stormsteps and draw more followers. Yes, they thought, the Storm Temple would be theirs, no matter the cost.

En route to the dangerous Lost Precipices, the group stops a caravan heading toward the nearby town. Little do they know, it’s one of the town’s councilors who’s been absent for a few months. He’s incredibly grateful for all they’ve done in his absence and thusly promises he owes them a favor. A favor from Hector Gjorbinson, Merchant Lord of the Nine Goldmen Bank, is a powerful thing.

After besting the overrun catacombs beneath Hidden Sun Monastery and defending the canyon fortress from hordes of yuan-t…

Building Better Battles 2

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A wood elf assassin releases a bolt from his hand crossbow that flies across the misty void of the Astral Plane and plunges into the shoulder of an earth elemental. The shot creates a crack that dislodges a piece of rock from the elemental’s arm, giving it ammunition to toss at the barbarian fighting on the floating island below. A firbolg warlock and tabaxi arcane archer maneuver around the icy chamber, dodging an ice beholder’s rays and its warforged titan’s heavy blows. The beholder cries, “This has played out in my head millions of times. In no scenario are you victorious,” as the battle rages on. In the catwalks of an underground thieves’ guild, a party of four dashes from boardwalk to boardwalk, battling human archers and halfling swashbucklers at varying heights. From above, a warforged blasts the group with a wave of acid that sculpts around his allies. He’ll need to be dealt with.

At the very least, combat encounters swallow one-third of your group’s time will playing Dungeo…

Dungeon Masters, Study Your Players' Characters

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It’s Wednesday night. The Karlith Straits group is flying away from an erupting volcano where their hexblade’s clan once resided. Once he awakens from unconsciousness, there will surely be a hostile confrontation between him and the unintentional vanquishers of his vanquished clan. Later that same night, the party fights Taris Xaglomandra, a black half-dragon enforcer of the Obsidian Circle and cleric of Takhsis. They’re battling atop a partially-singed grassy knoll and Taris is near death and on the ground; he calls out to his shadow wyvern to grasp him in his talons and retreat. Not so fast! As the wyvern rises into the air with Taris, the order domain cleric Alovnek narrowly slams it with his maul. As the weapon connects, misty blue chains appear from its head and shackle the wyvern to the ground. After fifteen sessions, Taris would finally fall to the group (even though he took down a likable NPC and a PC with him).

Characters drive Dungeons & Dragons games forward. The most i…

Build With, Not Without, 5E's Books

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Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons books are phenomenal. Wizards of the Coast are focusing on quality, not quantity with this edition and it’s showing. The books are useful to all folk, from Players and Dungeon Masters to readers and worldbuilders. That last word, worldbuilders, is what we’ll be focusing on right now. I’ve recently experienced an epiphany: worldbuilders should build on D&D 5E’s books, instead of constantly, completely reinventing them. This might seem obvious or simple, but I’ve been dumb to the concept for quite awhile. Let me explain…
A Solid Foundation I’ve started rereading the core rulebooks for 5E, starting with the Player’s Handbook, while building my world. As I was whizzing through the chapter on race, I realized how much work has gone into all of these creatures: what they look like, their cosmic histories, common characteristics, hooks for Players or Dungeon Masters, and much more. And while I love my D&D world being unique, if all of the races o…

Wizards of the Coast's Latest Adventure is Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus

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I've always toyed with the idea of beginning a campaign not on the Material Plane: slaves of a mad efreeti in the City of Brass, randomly lost in the depths of a grove in the Feywild, or sailing on a ship on the endless seas of the Elemental Plane of Water. The designers of Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition basically beat me to it. Wizards of the Coast just announced their next adventure and it's an interesting one. Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus is coming to stores and online shops soon. Here's what you need to know about it:

The adventure releases on September 17, 2019.It begins at 1st level and ends at 13th.It begins in the port city Baldur's Gate in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.Player characters will quickly delve into the first layer of the Nine Hells, Avernus.The adventure deals with the Blood War.It looks and sounds amazing. "Mad Max mixed with Dante's Inferno" is how Jeremy Crawford describes it.Chris Perkins says, "This …

Your D&D Campaign's Starting Point

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The point where you start your campaign can say a lot about what it will become: a run-down town on the edge of a rocky wasteland crawling with bulette-taming goblins; a tropical archipelago controlled by a trio of powerful lich-lords; a settlement in the frozen north overrun by vile lycanthropic creatures; a hub of trade and commerce in an otherwise desolate desert; a port recently annexed by a dragon empire. Those were all the locations I chose to begin my various Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. It’s time we built a new one, together.

Thus far in the Worldforge series, we’ve established a set of tenets for our world, designed a pantheon, created a setting map, and fleshed out a few of our world’s major powers. Those were all broad strokes meant to give you an idea of how your world will work. Now, we’re going to zoom in on a small piece of our setting: where our next adventure or campaign will begin. Once we’ve completed this step, we can begin our actual campaigns!

After this arti…