Is rolling initiative a pointless ritual?

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?

Foundry VTT: an exciting alternative to Roll20 (review)

Click here for an older post about online play. For many of us, the pandemic changed the way we play D&D. Our games moved online, and our dice became virtual. For me, though, online D&D was the norm. I got back into D&D after a hiatus of nearly a decade in spring 2016. My friends … Continue reading Foundry VTT: an exciting alternative to Roll20 (review)

Seasons, one-shots, and epic levels: campaign length for beginners

How long should a campaign be? Tl;dr answer: as long as you want, of course. But it’s an interesting question. Ultimately, it comes down to five things: How often do you play?How long are your sessions?Do you use XP or milestones?What level do you start at?What level do you want to reach? Think of these … Continue reading Seasons, one-shots, and epic levels: campaign length for beginners

Welcome to the Arena: How to Run PvP D&D

If you’re a fan of RealmSmith, you might be following Champions of the Realm, a charity tournament of PvP (player versus player) combat. It’s good fun. They even got Bruce Buffer to do the announcements. If you want to run a PvP tournament in D&D, how do you make it work? Players and scheduling Realistically, … Continue reading Welcome to the Arena: How to Run PvP D&D

My Golden Rule For Making Combat More Interesting

Generally speaking, I don’t believe in telling people how D&D ‘should’ be played. There are different DM styles and different game styles, and that’s OK. Even now, I’m really offering a tip, not an instruction. But if there’s one easy way to improve combat, it’s this: Stop describing every hit and miss. Sacrilige! I hear … Continue reading My Golden Rule For Making Combat More Interesting

How to get started with Dungeons & Dragons

So, you’ve heard about this amazing game called Dungeons & Dragons. Perhaps you found out about it from watching Critical Role or Stranger Things. Maybe you were given the D&D Starter Set or Essentials Kit. Maybe you played years ago and want to get back into it. This article is a guide to getting started with D&D.