Sunday, April 24, 2016

D&D 5e: Crown of Madness Rework

Crown of madness is a spell with excellent theme and, in my view, underwhelming mechanics. In this post, I discuss what I see as the problems, propose an alternate implementation, and explain my reasoning. I have every expectation that this spell has its hardcore supporters, or perhaps just those who oppose any change to the mechanics on principle. But, well, that's the internet for you - it's pretty clear that the community as a whole is on my side here. I am open to the possibility that I'm wrong about this spell, though.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

D&D 5e: The Other Side of the Screen

In every edition of D&D I've played, I've spent much more time as a DM than as a PC. I played maybe two sessions of 2e, compared to the hundred-or-so that I ran. I ran considerably more 3.x than 2e, maybe double or so, but also played a good bit more; instead of 50:1, it was probably more like 20:1. Of all the editions of D&D, 4e is my high-water mark - I probably only ran two sessions for every one that I played (special thanks go to Stands-in-Fire and the Marsupialmancer for this being the case). I've been running 5e since the beginning of the D&D Next public playtest, and because it's mostly been a single ongoing campaign, my session log even tells me how much Next/5e I've run: 54 sessions. Up against that, six sessions as a PC, spread across three different characters. Because my view is otherwise so slanted toward being a DM, I wanted to say a few words about 5e from the other side of the screen. There are some great game-running lessons to learn from both of my DMs.

Friday, April 15, 2016

D&D 5e: Winter Kin Sorcerous Origin

Shortly after I sold my first article to ENWorld, full of Halloween-themed subclasses, I tried to do something similar with winter-themed subclasses. It didn't fly, and it was a little while longer before I tried again. The important thing is that the Winter Kin sorcerous origin is something I dreamed up for that, but only now got around to hashing out for real.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D&D 5e Playtest: Gothic Heroes


This month's Unearthed Arcana offers playtest support for the new and widely popular (from all that I've heard) Curse of Strahd adventure. It is relatively brief - three pages, covering one new subrace that is available to many races, one fighter archetype and one rogue archetype. Let's go through it and see what we've got.