What does your favourite character look like?

One of the most popular articles I wrote last year was a bit of a surprise. Inspired by Legend of the Five Rings, I came up with 20 questions for deeper character creation. A year later, it is the most-read page on my site! The first question in the article is ‘What do you look … Continue reading What does your favourite character look like?

Happy Belated Birthday, Scroll for Initiative!

Whoops: I missed my second anniversary. Can’t believe it’s been two years! Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting. To celebrate, here are my top ten posts. 10. How to Run Time Travel in D&D This was quite a personal one for me. I had been playing D&D for 20 years and never used time … Continue reading Happy Belated Birthday, Scroll for Initiative!

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

Humour in D&D

This post was difficult to write, for a number of reasons. It’s ironic, but writing about comedy can be distinctly unfunny. Is there anything more humourless than picking apart a joke to explain how it works?Comedy is a matter of personal taste. Take my comedy touchstones, for example: films like Monty Python, Airplane!, Anchorman, Four … Continue reading Humour in D&D

Gods in D&D

Do you have deities in your campaign? How many? What are they called? What are their portfolios? Are they active in the world or mysterious and withdrawn? For some DMs, deities are one of the most enjoyable aspects of world-building: a fun way to define their setting. For others, gods and demigods are just a … Continue reading Gods in D&D

How Medieval is D&D?

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?

Where Do D&D Monsters Come From?

There are some quite contentious claims out there about the origins of D&D’s creature catalogue. Was D&D inspired primarily by Tolkien and European folklore, for example, or was it more international? How many monsters did Gary Gygax invent, and how many are based on real-life mythologies?