Here are my thoughts on how I can use content from Arcadia in my 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons game. Arcadia is a new magazine style digital publication for 5e in the tradition of the old Dragon Magazine. In particular, the content is a useful buffet of DM resources, adventures, and lore that enhances existing games.
This is my remix of the Foaming Mugs quest from the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons module, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. You can use this to spice up your encounter with a bit more intrigue, potential negotiation and roleplay. It also ties back to The Chardalyn Syndicate, a faction that is part of the Far North & Ten-Towns remix posted here previously. Check out the RotF and Remix tags on this site for more remixes.
This is an NPC I’ve used in my Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign as a foil in Bryn Shander and to introduce a political ingrique plot for the players early on in the game.
I will write a whole post someday on the importance of friendship in Tabletop Roleplaying groups. Today though I want to capture two tweets I made because I don’t think you can ever say this enough.
I have always had a bit of doubt about the overall benefit of the Great Weapon Fighter fighting style and the Improved Critical ability for Champions in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, so I dig into it a bit below.
With the publication of Tasha’s Caldron of Everything, the game introduced the concepts of Supernatural Regions to 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Areas that have variable and mysterious effects that might be invoked by specific actions or conditions. Within Icewind Dale are localized arcane phenomenon zones said to manifest The Heart of Winter, that is the conjunction of planar regions brought into alignment with Icewind Dale as a function of Auril’s ongoing enchantments. Small clusters of these supernatural phenomenon ebb and flow across the region and it has been growing in frequency, intensity, and size as time progresses.
The Ten-Towns of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden provide rich plot, roleplaying, and excellent modular encounters for your 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons game. These early adventures setup the core tension of the adventure, and provide some of the most obvious ways to allow heroes make an impact on the region. What follows here are a few updates, changes, or additions to Ten-Towns to spice up your sessions in different ways. The factions section below provide a bit more political context to the adventure, the Sacrifices to Auril section provides a bit more background and context for the dangers faced and how each town is adapting, the Winter Survival Gear and Travel section enhance the survival mechanics in the setting. Like any remix, this is just a skew toward a specific style of running the game, use what you find useful and ignore the rest. Many of these core components setup remixes for individual encounters I will post over time.
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.
Livestream of my discussion on 5e D&D campaign prep, talking about Failures and Rising Tension, creating Thrilling Heroics and more. Join me every Saturday at Noon EST on Twitch and YouTube to join in the conversation.
Owing to a small thread on twitter earlier this week, I listed out the options 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons provides for effecting rolls. This is useful for creating your own roll effecting homebrew rules, if you want to understand the relative power level compared to other elements in the ruleset.