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.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Saturday, April 23, 2016
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
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
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.