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Showing posts from April, 2019

The Dead Isles of Altarin

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My first “campaign” was over. The Savage Front campaign, in my eyes, had been a failure caused by me, the Dungeon Master. Under ten sessions long, one total party kill, and a few failed plots was enough for me to end the story and start a new campaign. Did I quit? Yes. Looking back, I could have handled it much better and saved the Savage Front without beginning something new. Alas, that’s not what happened; instead, me and my friends began a new campaign called the Dead Isles of Altarin. This time, I decided against doing mountains of preparation beforehand and instead started with a simple idea: an archipelago ruled over by a trio of three liches called the Dread Admirals. Under them, common folk lived and thrived but a revolution was slowly brewing against the undead. As the party entered the world, they’d have to take a side and decide the fate of the Dead Isles of Altarin. This campaign, I was going to prepare little, improvise a lot, and go with the flow of the story. Well, how…

Five Facets of a Compelling D&D Character

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It’s Wednesday night. The Eldar I campaign is about to begin and a new story is about to unfold in this new world. I set the scene, describing a port town in the early hours of night being hit by a fierce storm. As powerful waves buffet against the docks and rain creates muddy puddles in the streets, I ask the Players to introduce each of their characters. Who are they, where are they, and what are they doing? I ensure that my own entrance into the campaign does not overshadow their’s; after all, they are the stars of this story.

In Dungeons & Dragons, Dungeon Masters are not the protagonists. Neither are their myriad monsters, nonplayer characters, fantastical locations, might deities, or mystical magic items. Instead, the spotlight shines on the pieces the Players brought with them to the table: the Player Characters. These venerable heroes, wily looters, and lucky adventurers are the centerpiece of all that happens. Every battle, every conversation, and every exploration is car…

Article Readings on YouTube

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Today is a splendid day, folks! I just finished my penultimate semester of college and that valuable Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science is a measly three courses away. I also was hired on for an internship at a marketing firm here in Michigan. Between finalizing the latter, studying for finals, and life in general, I didn't have enough time to edit my article for this week, so it's been pushed back to next Monday. In the meantime, I thought I'd promote something new I've been doing on my YouTube channel. Article Readings Every Friday, I'll be uploading a video to my channel. It'll simply be me reading aloud the articles I've written, from Legendary Lessons to Worldforge. In addition to giving my readers and viewers another outlet to see my work, it's a good exercise for me to read content aloud; my speaking or improv voice is fine, but I've found that my "reading" voice could use improvement.
In the videos, I'll review what I&#…

The Major Powers in Your D&D Setting

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The dry chamber was silent. All the grand chairs were filled, the table was littered with maps, pins, papers, and quills; yet no one spoke. They were all here, representatives from the greatest powers across Aphesus: A mighty dwarven battlemaster from Utgarda; a bloodthirsty gnoll warlock from Dol Dohur; a shy, enigmatic wood elf from Daioda; a zealotos life cleric from Lorinth; a wild halfling atop his raptor from Zinae. Yet no sound emerged from any of them. They all knew the severity of the disaster that brought them together — the decimation of the gnome country Klavangra — but none could muster the courage to speak. In this sultry, remote outpost, they sat, stunned and unsure of what to say or how to approach the matter at hand. Eventually, the silence would break; these are powerful people after all. Surely they’d know what to do. Here in this arid desert hideout, peace would be brokered...or war declared.

Thus far in the worldbuilding process, we’ve formed core tenets, establish…

Great Ways to Use Spell Components in D&D

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Desperate for a companion in this haunted forest, a shy elf druid pulls out a charred fish and motions toward the crouched lion as green, shining magic courses between her and the animal. In the midst of battle, a near-death halfling wizard pulls out and uncorks a wooden flask, shouting an arcane phrase as water flows from the flask and forms an icy haze around his being. With the only way out the size of a small goblin, a human sorcerer splashes a pinch of powdered iron across the glowing glyphs on her face as she recites an ancient spell and begins to shrink in size.

By many folks, combat is seen as simply a tactical battle, a confrontation between foes, a bloody skirmish. Turn by turn, we go around the table and portray our characters who battle against a squad of squirming goblins, a raging dragon, or a mess of elementals. We hit them, they hit us back, and when someone falls, friend or foe, there’s usually a chance to cast some roleplaying and narration into the battle. Some peop…

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