People are stuck in a lot of bad thinking when it comes to how to use traps in 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Traditionally, people see traps as a way to use resources by dispensing some damage along the way. Largely, this falls flat in a 5th edition game where resting lets you recover quickly. Worse, randomly placed traps can come off as spiteful or thrown in just to annoy the players. So, if you want to make traps a more exciting part of an encounter, create traps that drive things forward rather than simple binary events.
5th edition Dungeons and Dragons has a bit of a rough patch with its skill checks model. Given the variability of a d20, all or nothing skill checks can be a fairly harsh mechanic. Indeed, there’s some evidence all or nothing checks is not the designers intent. The DMG Chapter 8 provides some alternative methods to consider with skill resolution under Resolution and Consequences which all hinge on a single die roll mechanic. In cases, there may be some utility using a progressive success or failure system instead of a single checks. Particularly in non-combat encounters, it is best to build skill checks in a way to build tension from failure rather than a collapse. DMDavid sparked a thought after a specific example posted on twitter, how to handle falling with failed climbing checks. Progressive failure and rising tension meshes well with the Thrilling Heroics Rules I posted awhile back. In fact, it compliments it enough that I thought it useful to post some examples here.
Thrilling heroics have always been an important part of adventuring in table-top roleplaying games. The rules of 5th edition are great for covering most basic action but occasionally players want something more exciting to happen. The swashbuckler may want to distract opponents by kicking the table at them, or the cavalier leaps from their charging horse to make a more devastating attack, this is all part of thrilling heroic action at the heart of adventure based roleplaying games.
Doing in-character voices is a hit or miss prospect for some games, and by no means required in a table-top RPG. As a DM that enjoys doing voices for various NPCs in my world I find this table helpful to develop different inspiration for voice types I might use, and having a reference like this lets me make a quick note so I can be sure to use the same voice next time. I compiled this list from a few descriptions for theater actors around the web and hope you’ll find it useful for your game as well.