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Showing posts from October, 2020

3 Ways a Home Base in D&D Will Improve Your Campaign

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Tuesday night. The characters of the Caught in Galen campaign are all gathered at what they’ve dubbed “home base”, a structure on the western end of their community named the Faded Ember Inn. After almost every adventure, the characters return to this cozy inn to recuperate and discuss the calamity that seemed to be befalling Galen. Concurrently, they confer with many of the colorful characters they’ve met throughout their quests and convinced to come stay at the inn: Rea, an aasimar acolyte of Bahamut and love interest of Ignis; Unread Book, a tabaxi turned mad by the beholder-like expurgat Ixigana; Blast, a brief enemy and current ally forging iron defenders for the party; and those are but a few! At this point, the inn is nearly at full capacity and has been the site of at least one major combat. After a quick discussion, the characters prepare to depart. Alas! The inn’s owner gasps and points out the window. Barreling through the sky is a great airship, heading directly toward the

Caught in Galen Lessons: Sessions 13-15

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We’re almost on track with the Caught in Galen campaign! Next week is session 19; this article reviews and explores the lessons learned and best moments of sessions 13-15. From explosive combats at a lovely little inn and player character robberies, to untimely death in a sewer pit and incredible revelations for major plot points, this stretch of Caught in Galen was extremely satisfying to run. Observing the players pit their characters against near impossible foes, overcome them, and then use the information they gleaned from those encounters is gratifying. Introducing BARDCORE Session thirteen started at the party’s home base, the Faded Ember Inn, as they waited for an important arrival. Sitting in the main room of the establishment, a popular band of their community ascended the newly-built stage to perform their greatest hits in front of an excited audience. You see, the Faded Ember Inn had been closed for almost a week and a half due to a fire beetle infestation and constant visi

Caught in Galen Lessons: Sessions 9-12

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We’re continuing to catch up with Caught in Galen today. As the party prepares to finally enter the legendary and mysterious Jungle of Pipes, we’ll be recounting and pondering over the lessons learned in sessions nine through twelve of this grand Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Plenty happened, from an eerie encounter with a kalashtar, to the to foiling of a major plot. I planned to expect the unexpected and, as always, was still surprised by my genius and unpredictable players. Going Separate Ways There is a famous line in many circles across D&D players: “Never split the party.” Well, this session saw the party diverge for its entirety. Normally, I’d abhor this sort of play, as would my players. However, in the campaign we’re running, there are countless side objectives and stories that can be pursued due to the setting. Galen is a city, an enclosed space. Danger exists, but it doesn’t lurk around every corner. There are pockets of safety everywhere; there are NPCs important t

Caught in Galen Lessons: Sessions 5-8

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The Caught in Galen campaign has been going strong. Next week is its eighteenth session; I last spoke about it after session four! We have a lot to catch up on and a plethora of topics to discuss. Over the past few months, there has been battles in warehouses slicked with oil, interrogations of blathering white dragonborn, realizations about traitorous dwarves and scheming nobles, deadly combats inside shattered temples, brief excursions into the sewers beneath Galen, and much, much more. Let’s discuss and dissect the best parts of sessions five through eight, and see what we can learn. Beggaton is Forged An awesome moment of collaboration between me and the player of Jason Urso resulted in the creation of Beggaton. Once called the Beggar’s Town, now shortened to Beggaton, this slum in the community of Vorici’s Rest is where the impoverished and somewhat kooky magewrights gather to live as one and try to survive the madness surrounding them. Jason’s character has a history in the city

Why the Material Plane is Important

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Most Dungeons & Dragons one-shots, adventures, and campaigns occur on the Material Plane. Also known as the mortal world, the Material Plane is where low-to-medium-level characters quest, smite down evil warlords, and plot against maniacal archmages. The majority of its population is mortal; they are dwarves and elves, humans and halflings, dragonborn and goblins, orcs and giants. Usually, adventures don’t leave the mortal world until higher levels, when conflicts between planar creatures like devils and celestials fling important characters to the Nine Hells, Mount Celestia, the Abyss, or other planes of existence. Even then, the plot might center around the Material Plane. This begs the question: why is the Material Plane important? A Place of Neutral Perfection It’s often stated that the Material Plane is where the elements and alignments of the multiverse converge. The Plane of Fire is a realm of raw, fiery energy: flames blaze across the sky and rivers of lava flow into molte