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Showing posts from April, 2020

Loose Plot Threads in D&D

What awaits within the forgotten planar prison? Where is Bahamut, draconic deity of law and justice? Did the tiefling templar survive the deadly inquisition? How many years have passed since the party traveled to the Plane of Faerie? Why does the benevolent patron seek freedom from his gnomish bindings? These are all plot threads that should be tracked and solved by the end of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
Pay attention to the key word there: should. 
It’s understandable that not everything plot or story that comes to light during the campaign will be solved by its conclusion. Some of these threads can be left for future campaigns or adventures in the world. Others will comprise the epic ending of the campaign, bringing joy to the players and their characters. This is even more important when players deeply enjoy mysteries in the campaign. These players should be rewarded at the campaign’s end, the mysteries should have substance, meaning, and an effect on the world around them.

How to Begin a D&D Campaign

The world is created, the characters are made, and the starting location is set, but how do you begin a Dungeons & Dragons campaign? There are many lines to check off on your list. Is the starting point created? Are all the session zeros finished? Is the initial plot formulated? Is the opening scene ready to go? As I prepare for the start of my next D&D campaign, Caught in Galen, I’m going to help you or anyone else out there itching to begin a campaign correctly complete their pre-campaign checklist.
The D&D Campaign’s Starting Point Where will the campaign begin? This is a key question you should know before your players begin to make their characters that I dedicated an entire article to awhile back. Will the party explore the titanic ruins of a dragon empire on a jungle continent? Will they delve into the depths of the Subterrane in chase of a rogue celestial? Will they begin caught in a giant city of an inherently magical population? Know this before anything else. Y…

Introducing Tales of Galen

Welcome to the premier article of Tales of Galen, a new series that will recount the next campaign in the world of Eldar: Caught in Galen. Right now, I’m in the process of preparing everyone for this campaign, going through each of the steps I’ve advocated for here on rjd20.com, in addition to a few new additions I’ll talk about in good time. As I build the starting point of Caught in Galen, speak to the players about their characters, and imagine the nonplayer characters they’ll interact with, I thought I’d share some initial thoughts on the campaign and this new series with all of you.

The Tales of Galen articles will not replace the weekly articles released every Friday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time; they will accompany them, being released sometime throughout the week. They’ll range from short to long, focused or meandering, but always revolve around the Caught in Galen campaign.
My plan with this campaign is to share the process, from beginning to end, with all of you. And then, onc…

Avoiding Animus at the Table

After a bloody battle against a warforged sneak, his juggernaut underling, and his skeletal minions, each of the party members lies dead on the ground. In the fields of a scarred farm, a bulette-riding goblin with a massive, stone maul executes each of the living party members, goblins hollering around him. As a kobold warlock saves a fellow party member, the speeding boulder rams into him, shattering his bones and sending his soul to the Nine Hells.

All of the situations I described above are encounters that have gone wrong for at least one person in my party. Whether it was the dice not rolling their way, the odds being against them in every way, or them mistakenly taking a battle against a powerful foe, at least one of them died; their character’s soul left its mortal shell, grey mist coiled around it, and it made its journey to the Astral Plane, where it would soon enter a portal to its respective eternal resting place.

Of course, in-game this is a sad or infuriating event. If a…

Playing D&D Online

The world as a whole is experiencing an event like no other right now. Businesses are shut down, families are huddling inside, people are severely sick, and the invisible enemy is combated by heroic folk. During times like these, it’s extremely important that we stand together against the darkness that is here and will pervade our lives for the weeks and months to come. One way to accomplish this is to continue gathering with the people we love and share common interests with, including our Dungeons & Dragons groups.

We might not be able to physically reach across the table in glee when the vile red dragon falls, or feel the tremble of the wooden table under the weight of a maximized fireball’s d6’s, but we can still create stories & battle monsters in worlds of our own design. All we must do is utilize the tools that are given to us, namely the internet. During times such as these, we can transfer our in-person groups to a virtual tabletop, a voice and/or video server, or a …