Optional Rule

RPG Resources

Summon the Unusual - 3 New Spells for DnD 5e

As a fan of magically animated minions, I’ve always felt somewhat limited by the options available in the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. If you’re intrigued by the idea of a “pet” class in D&D, your primary option is to become a Necromancer and use Animate Dead. However, the image of a group of shambling undead isn’t always what players envision. Given the rich narrative tradition of casters animating objects, constructs, or elements, it’s perplexing that these options aren’t more prevalent in the game.
RPG Resources

Gritty Survival in 5e - Breathing life into Death Saves

Ever found yourself scratching your head over the peculiarities of the Death Save system in Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) 5e? In particular, how the system seems disconnected from the gameplay and action. It can seem counter-intuitive when zero hit points result in the same outcome for any character, regardless of how they arrived there. The Death Save min-game is the same, whether you’ve taken a single point of damage, or sustained a catastrophic 150-foot fall. In this post, I aim to dissect the effects of this system on the game and propose a house rule that could shake things up to make the prospect of death an exciting part of the action again.
Analysis · RPG Resources

Decoding D&D - The Enigma of Armor Class

Delving into the oft-debated mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), it’s hard to overlook the perennial discussion points: Armor Class (AC) and Hit Points (HP). While they may seem simple on the surface, these fundamental aspects of D&D often engender misunderstandings and heated debates. Armor Class, though instinctively viewed as a gauge of whether a character is struck or not, is in fact a more abstract concept. Following my recent post What are HPs in D&D anyway?, it’s fitting that we now unpack the intricacies of AC and its symbiotic relationship with HP - the two crucial pillars that underpin the game’s combat system. Rock, Paper, Greatsword! The Genesis of Armor Class
RPG Resources · Monsters

Malevolent Monsters - Rage Husk

Welcome, intrepid Dungeon Masters, to the next thrilling addition to our bespoke bestiary: The Rage Husk. This terrifying creature is no standard zombie; it’s a psychic construct, the haunting aftermath of a Mind Reaver’s psychic assault. Incorporating elements of D&D 4e’s Minion mechanics, Rage Husks serve as a swarm of formidable adversaries that, while dispatched with a single blow, offer a uniquely relentless and ruthless challenge. Join us as we delve into the grim lore of these dreadful entities and explore how they can elevate your campaign, introducing fresh layers of tension, suspense, and strategic complexity. Embrace the dread, harness the horror, and let your adventurers feel the chill of the Mind Reaver’s shadow with the introduction of the Rage Husk.
RPG Resources

Pitch Perfect - Using a Pitch Deck for Your D&D Campaign

Launching a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign is no small feat. It requires not only the arduous task of finding players, but also identifying those who are the perfect fit for your envisioned adventure. Even before delving into character backgrounds, safety tools, or other vital session zero elements, a Dungeon Master’s first hurdle is convincing potential players to invest their precious time and energy into the unfolding saga. This initial step bears striking similarity to pitching a fresh product or service. Just as entrepreneurs entice investors with the promise of innovation and value, DMs need to captivate potential players with a compelling campaign concept. Enter the Pitch Deck - a tool commonly used in the business world, but equally potent in setting the stage for a thrilling D&D campaign.
Analysis · RPG Resources

Decoding D&D - What the heck are Hit Points Anyway?

The conversation around what Hit Points (HP) are and what they represent in Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a cyclical one. It’s a concept that periodically bubbles up in the tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) community, like an ancient dragon in its cyclical slumber, and we seem to be in the midst of another awakening.
RPG Resources

You Have the Power - Places of Power in D&D

The untamed forces of magic in Dungeons and Dragons have long held the power to both awe and terrify, a duality echoed in the narrative threads of fantasy literature. This house rule invites players to embrace this paradox, offering a high-stakes opportunity to amplify their spells beyond conventional limits. But, this isn’t a risk to be taken lightly; mastery comes with potential for both magnificent success and cataclysmic failure. This high-risk, high-reward dynamic is not universal, but rather tethered to Places of Power - locations within the game world steeped in raw, wild magical energy. Here, spellcasters can attempt to weave this abundant power into their own spells, pushing the boundaries of what they could usually achieve. However, the road to arcane supremacy is fraught with peril, and the volatile energies of these places can lead to unexpected and dangerous consequences.
RPG Resources

Reimagining the Mark Option in D&D 5E - Empowering Martial Characters

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition’s Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) presents an array of optional rules that, regrettably, often recede into obscurity. One such overlooked provision, nestled within Chapter 9 of the DMG, is the “Mark” option. This rule, seemingly promising on the surface, is burdened with unnecessary complexities, offering marginal benefit.
RPG Resources · Monsters

Malevolent Monsters - The Mind Reaver

In the thrilling realm of Dungeons & Dragons, where weI’ve crafted epic battles and monstrous foes, I’m thrilled to introduce my latest creation, the Mind Reaver. This new entity is a nightmarish variation of the classic Mind Flayer. It’s not just a twisted iteration but an entirely different beast that thrives in chaos and malice, unlike its lawful evil kin. The Mind Reaver promises to surprise, challenge, and instill a sense of dread in even the most seasoned adventurers. As I bring this unpredictable creature into our stories, I aim to add another layer of depth to our collective adventures. So get ready, fellow Dungeon Masters and players, as we dive headlong into the chaotic and terrifying world of the Mind Reaver.
RPG Resources · Lore

Vathirond City of Wild Inspiration

As a Dungeon Master, there's nothing quite as enticing as the prospect of molding a lesser-known city into a stage for unforgettable adventures. In 2019, I found myself drawn to the city of Vathirond, tucked away in far eastern Breeland, on the fringes of Eberron's haunting Mournlands. With the Brey River's southern bank underfoot and the specter of the Gray Mist as a backdrop, Vathirond was an irresistible canvas for my homebrew campaign. Yet, as fate would have it, our journey through this enigmatic city was cut short due to the COVID pandemic. Now, after a couple of years, I've dusted off my notes and decided to share them with the world. Whether you're a seasoned Dungeon Master or a curious reader, I hope you find these glimpses into Vathirond - the city on the edge of the Mournlands - as fascinating as I did while crafting them.