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?

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

The best way to level up: milestones or XP?

cle, I look at the pros and cons of both milestone levelling and traditional XP in the hope to guide you as to which is right for your campaign. Tl;dr: they both have their place.cle, I look at the pros and cons of both milestone levelling and traditional XP in the hope to guide you as to which is right for your campaign. (Tl;dr: they both have their place.)

Spellcasting rules you never knew

Part One Part Two Part Three Over the last month, I have written three posts examining some of the most easily overlooked rules of the Player’s Handbook. Today I am looking at Chapter 10: Spellcasting. I am not doing Chapter 11: Spells because there are more than 300 spells in the PH alone! However, I might … Continue reading Spellcasting rules you never knew

Core Rules You Never Knew

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

Nine reasons why counterspell is not as annoying as you think

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

Hack the game: improved skills in 5e

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