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Showing posts from March, 2018

Engaging Your Players

It’s Friday night. My group is finishing their extermination of a Sanguine Paw hideout located beneath a popular baker’s shop. The Sanguine Paw, a cult of lycanthropes and fanatics of lycanthropy, are the main villains of the campaign thus far, and they are working with a local goblin tribe. The party is interrogating a goblin named Boarhead (formerly a wereboar) who’s been working as an ambassador to the Sanguine Paw. He’s refusing to speak all but one party member: Dani Dregon, a halfling arcane trickster and polymorphed dragon portrayed by Natalie. At the moment, Natalie is the only girl in the group, and she’s been quiet. By introducing Boarhead, I decided to try and change that. As the interrogation progresses, Boarhead clings to Dani, trusting in her both due to her small stature and gentle nature. Boarhead whispers answers into her ear, and eventually agrees to guide the party through the rest of the hideout... and to the lair of the Sanguine Paw’s main ally in the regi

Evolving Encounters

Friday night. My group confidently strides into the sizzling, green portal leading to Ozus, the third layer of the Ten Hells in my world. Awaiting them is their patron-turned-enemy, a master of ooze and warlock of Juiblex, Magus Sint. As they arrive on Ozus, the portal shuts behind them, and they’re able to view the immense landscape around them: Sint’s fortress is built onto the side of a massive emerald embedded into the ground and set beside a river of glowing ooze. The river ends in a turbulent cascade of slime that feeds the ocean of bubbling ooze below. The party, unfortunately for them, teleported onto a bridge built on this river. The bridge leads to the reinforced gates of Sint’s stronghold. Above the entrance rests a magic mouth, in front of the door, a hulking devil with metal plates bolted directly onto its flesh and maggots crawling in the cracks between the body armor.  Despite Sint’s threats lobbed through the magic mouth, the party engages the devil, an orthon

Building Better Battles

When playing or dungeon mastering battles in Dungeons and Dragons , it’s easy to fall into a rhythm or formula. However, it’s integral that you don't do this. Ideally, combat encounters in D&D should never be formulaic, which can often cause them to turn into a slog. To avoid this, all you need to do is add a few different aspects to a battle, to think about the components that compose the fight, and make sure they coalesce to form a fantastic combat encounter. In general, no two battles in your campaign should ever be the same. What do I mean? Let’s take a look! 1: Enemies My premiere tip is to use different types of enemies in every combat. Ensure that the group isn’t simply bashing their heads against a simple hill giant wielding a greatclub with wolf pets, or fighting four spear-wielding goblins in an open field. Instead, spice it up! The hill giant with a club and wolf allies? He now wields a huge net and greatclub, and he has two wolf pets and one dire hawk p

5E's Premiere Adventure Book: What's Up With Hoard of the Dragon Queen?

Friday night. A group of adventurers approaches the farming village of Greenest, prepared to stay at the local inn for a night of merry-making. But alas, as they crest an especially high hill, they spot Greenest under attack! From the dark, cloudy skies above, a terrifying blue dragon swoops low, breathing electric death upon the village’s militia. In the village’s streets, vagabonds dressed like devout cultists defile any building they see, steal any materials they find, and kill anyone they happen upon. Knowing this is their time to become heroes of the Sword Coast, to become Saviors of Greenest, the adventuring party charges down the hillside and into the devastated village. ______________________________ Wizards of the Coast’s first fifth edition adventure book was Hoard of the Dragon Queen . The adventure assumes the characters wish to be heroes of the Sword Coast and Faerun as a whole, as they fight to stop the vile Cult of the Dragon and their plan to release Tiamat