Optional Rule

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.
RPG Resources

Experience Matters - The benefits of XP in 5th edition

In the diverse world of Tabletop Role-Playing Games (TTRPGs), the progression system you choose can significantly influence the way your campaign unfolds. In 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), two popular methods of character progression exist: Experience Points (XP) and Milestone Advancement. While Milestone Advancement has its merits, I am here to make a case for XP, an often overlooked, but immensely beneficial system.
RPG Resources

Origins of the Astral and Ethereal Planes in D&D

Recently, DMDavid posed a fascinating question on Twitter about the origins of the Astral and Ethereal Planes in the early editions of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD). As a devoted Tabletop Roleplaying Game enthusiast, I’d like to delve into this intriguing query and shed some light on the cultural and historical influences that shaped these iconic facets of the game.
Shadowdark · Lore

Design Goals of Etherea

Yesterday, I posted some initial lore for Etherea (Ah-Ther-ee-ah), a homebrew world am interested in developing for a setting I’m creating for a new Shadowdark game. This is a personal endeavor, not intended for publication (other than on my blog here). I’m captivated by the idea of things manifesting in the world based on emotions, beliefs, etc., and the resulting chaos of magic surrounding it. The concept is akin to the Umbra from Werewolf: The Forsaken, Spren in the Stormlight Archives, or entities like the creature in the Babadook that manifests from fear or unfulfilled wishes.
Shadowdark · Lore

Introduction to the World of Etherea

Etherea is the initial idea for a setting I’ve crafted for the Shadowdark Tabletop Roleplaying game, designed to foster a sense of intrigue and danger inherent in the exploration of magic and the supernatural. The core concept of the world, the Umbraweave, is meant to evoke a persistent sense of mystery and unease, underlining the idea that behind the veil of reality, potent emotions and intense events birth spirits that drift in the shadows. The aim is to instill a constant sense of tension and wonder in the players, offering them a world where magic is as unpredictable and dangerous as it is powerful.
RPG Resources

Revised Injured Condition

Introducing a lasting injury system in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition can greatly enhance the depth and realism of your adventures. Combat, a cornerstone of the game, gains significant weight as each encounter carries potential long-term consequences. This system not only makes every decision in battle consequential but also turns health into a crucial resource that demands thoughtful management, adding a layer of strategic complexity.
RPG Resources

The Return of the Write Spell - A Nostalgic Callback or Unnecessary Complexity?

As fans of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, we’re always excited to see what new playtest material the developers come up with. Recently, there’s been a proposed change to how wizards scribe spells into their spellbooks that has stirred up some debate in the D&D community. The change involves introducing a spell called “Scribe Spell” to handle the scribing process, a concept that harkens back to an earlier spell called “Write” from the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the history of these spells, their potential purpose in the 5th edition, and whether they add value or just unnecessary complexity to the game.