Monday, November 30, 2015

D&D 5e: The Half-Orc Personality

I've been doing a thing for awhile now with personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws for each race, and this time around I'm taking on the half-orc. It's a race I've never had any great amount of interest in, but I think a lot of that is the result of racial writeups always viewing them from the outside. Surely they have their own perspective and things they would regard as their virtues? The writing on half-elves has gradually shifted around to viewing half-elves as something conceptually independent of their component kinds, making them diplomats because of their broadened perspective. A full rewrite of the half-orc description is beyond the scope of this post, but this may help to explain places where my ideas conflict with the stereotypical half-orc.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

D&D 5e: Alternate Research Rules

As anyone playing Dust to Dust or Fallen Earth knows, I think it's cool for characters to perform research to unlock new content, such as spells or crafting formulas. Games have a lot of ways for combat or social power to leave a mark on a setting; research is a way for a character's or player's intellectual ability to do the same. There's already a Researching downtime activity in the Player's Handbook, but it covers information-gathering rather than R&D. I'm proposing a system to cover the latter, working within the existing framework of Researching. I am pretty convinced that the majority of people who choose the Wizard class do so hoping that spell research will be possible in the course of play.

Monday, November 23, 2015

D&D Dungeon Postmortem: Thanar's Ruin

We just finished a pretty important side-quest in my D&D campaign and the session went really well, so I want to talk about some of the things that I did to prepare for it and how it all worked out. Special thanks go to Stands-in-Fire, who normally plays in this campaign but is still out on new-baby hiatus. He was instrumental in planning and building the main battlefield of the adventure.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

D&D 5e Playtest: Light, Dark, Underdark


I'm a little late to the party on this, but at the beginning of this month, WotC released a new Unearthed Arcana, with subclasses and fighting styles particularly targeted at Underdark campaigns. The good news is, nothing in them requires the Underdark - their conditions just come up more often there. Let's see what they've given us here.

A Fifth Year of Blogging

It's five years now that I've been writing this blog. Each year has had slightly fewer posts than the year before it, though if you add in all of the articles I've written for Tribality, I'm well above the writing output of my first year. It's been a busy year; I've also written an article for ENWorld, I'm working on a piece of freelance writing for Green Ronin, and Dust to Dust needs as much or more writing now as it did when we began.