Showing posts from January, 2021

Golems: Gobs of Magic and Material

Rules as written, golems generate uninspired foes. They are constructed creatures made from a natural resource such as clay, iron, or stone mixed with the key ingredient in many Dungeons & Dragons worlds: magic. Most golems are not sentient. They serve as glorified bodyguards or muscle at a scholarly establishment. Perhaps they are soldiers in the army of a mad mage. Maybe they’re abandoned creations of an ancient people. At their best, golems are mysterious constructs of material and magic that might be wielded by an interesting foe; mechanically, they are phenomenal! Sadly, at their worst, golems are simplistic metallic monsters for the party to fight; if that's what the party is searching for sometimes, then they're adequate enemies. But we do not want adequate enemies because we're not adequate Dungeon Masters.  Let’s remedy golems, first by exploring their history in D&D, then by defining how we can ensure they’re compelling foes to fight and interact with. His

How to Create a Compelling D&D Villain Part 1: Villains Die

As Dungeon Masters, we follow the player characters in our Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. If we’re playing D&D as many believe it should be played, the player characters are the movers and shakers, the folk we focus on. They adventure, interact with the world, and ascend in power. We help them rise from novice wizards and green fighters to epic archmages and weapon masters; from arrogant vagabonds to heroes of the realm; from disparate allies to close companions. However, they will rarely evolve without a catalyst. We must curate the perfect catalyst for them, else their growth will cease and our campaigns will suffer. For our campaigns to thrive and the player characters to evolve, we must create compelling villains . But the formation of a villain is a complex process, especially in a game like D&D. In a movie or novel, creators know how the protagonists will react. They understand on what terms good and evil will battle. They control everything. In D&D, that’s not th