Today’s topic is something so iconic within D&D that some people have even named their blogs after it: rolling initiative. Using initiative to determine combat order has a history going all the way back to 1977. But do we need it, really? Or is it an unnecessary hassle? The case for rolling There are two … Continue reading Is rolling initiative a pointless ritual?
I love etymology and lexicography. I even specialized in it at uni. So this post is a bit of nerd-out for me: an unofficial pronunciation guide for D&D. A few disclaimers: There is no standard way to transcribe pronunciation. Well, actually, there is – the International Phonetic Alphabet – but it’s probably not fair … Continue reading Duergar, erinyes, sahuagin, and yuan-ti: how to say it
Want to start a new campaign? Run a session zero first. Here's how!
5th edition is simpler than previous editions of D&D, but it still has considerable depth built into its ruleset. Even after playing for half a decade, there are niche rules that still catch me out from time to time. That’s what this post is all about. This week, I’m mainly looking at Chapters 1 to … Continue reading Core Rules You Never Knew
A couple of months ago, I ran a Twitter poll asking ‘Which of these is the most annoying spell in 5e D&D?’ The options I gave were banishment, counterspell, and forcecage, with a fourth option for ‘something else’. It is striking that out of 66 votes, more than half were for counterspell. I can’t say … Continue reading Nine reasons why counterspell is not as annoying as you think
D&D is more popular than it has ever been. Part of the reason for this is fifth edition itself, which in many ways streamlined the game without losing the flavour that made it ‘feel’ like D&D. I am generally very happy with the changes 5th edition made to the game but feel that skill checks … Continue reading Hack the game: improved skills in 5e
In my previous post, I examined the origins of the 5th edition Monster Manual and concluded that D&D was much less ‘European’ than might be supposed. Of the 215 monsters I looked at, around half, maybe more, originated elsewhere, and many, perhaps a third, were an invention of the game itself. I see this claim … Continue reading How Medieval is D&D?
Don’t get me wrong: I love fantasy roleplaying games. After all, I do write a blog about Dungeons & Dragons. But I also believe that fantasy, and D&D in particular, is not without its problems, some of which can be fixed, or at least mitigated. In this article, I plan to run through four issues … Continue reading Four Problems with Fantasy
A few months ago, following an interesting discussion on Reddit provoked by my post on creating awesome characters, I put the following question to Twitter: are roleplaying games an art form? In hindsight, it might have been better to ask, ‘can roleplaying games be an art form’. Perhaps the wording would have made a difference. … Continue reading Is D&D art?