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)

Alignment: love it or hate it?

First off, an apology. I was due to write about Foundry VTT this week, but we didn’t manage a full session, so I want to give it another week or so before I write a review. (First thoughts, though: it’s pretty great.) Today, instead, I am looking at a completely different topic: alignment. For some, … Continue reading Alignment: love it or hate it?

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

New Year, New You! 15 D&D New Year Resolutions

Stuck in a rut? Bored of playing the same thing all the time? Here are some ideas for D&D New Year resolutions! Get started with D&D Maybe you’ve been a long-time lurker, and you’ve been meaning for ages to find a D&D group of your own. Well, no time like the present! https://www.scrollforinitiative.com/2021/11/13/how-to-get-started-with-dungeons-dragons/ Play a … Continue reading New Year, New You! 15 D&D New Year Resolutions

Duergar, erinyes, sahuagin, and yuan-ti: how to say it

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

Tools for better improv

When I started DMing D&D games 20 years ago, my approach was often very inflexible. Now, in general, I wouldn’t say I am much of a control freak in other aspects of my life. But when it came to writing adventures, I wanted a bit of security. My dungeons were linear. My notes were thorough. … Continue reading Tools for better improv