Category Archives: Design

Adventure Design: A Word on Encounter Triggers

In Out of the Feywild (see review in the last post), there’s an encounter with an invisible pixie. The encounter says it trails the PCs invisibly unless they seem friendly. What then makes the pixie interact with the PCs? It’s … Continue reading

Posted in D&D 5E, Design | 1 Comment

Presenting Monster Stat-Blocks in Published Adventures

Over the years, Dungeons & Dragons adventures have tried many different techniques of presenting monster stats in the adventure. The first adventures – Steading of the Hill Giant Chief – listed the hit points of the monsters and then expected … Continue reading

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Greyhawk: A Look at Veluna

Veluna is a good-aligned theocracy in the World of Greyhawk, and the setting of my current Greyhawk campaign. It wasn’t originally, but it’s where the adventurers have ended up. As a result, it behoves me to have a look at … Continue reading

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Hit Points Through the Editions, part 3

Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd Edition was a major change to how Dungeons & Dragons worked. Over the years, AD&D 2E had become a sprawling beast that had a lot of very good ideas, but no unifying mechanics. Every supplement presented … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 3E, Design | 3 Comments

When Concentration Fails

One of the more fascinating mechanics of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons is the concentration mechanic. For those not familiar with the mechanic, it creates a limitation on how many spell effects can be used at once. Each … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Play Advice | 6 Comments

Designing Dungeons: Empty Rooms

When you design a dungeon, do you put in rooms with no monsters or traps? I do. Apart from anything else, they provide space that prevent every monster in the dungeon learning that there are adventurers present and converging on … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design | 1 Comment

Thoughts on Campaign Structure

It’s Friday night, and I’m at home not playing an RPG. This feels odd. The reason I’m not playing an RPG is that the hosts of our Friday Night RPG sessions, Martin and Peggy, have wandered off to another part … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Shadow of the Demon Lord | 3 Comments

An Encounter in the Savage Jungle

The latest adventure compilation by Jeff C. Stevens, Encounters in the Savage Jungles, is now available on the DMs Guild. It’s a collection of short adventures and encounters to use in any jungle-based campaign, such as Tomb of Annihilation. It’s … Continue reading

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Examining a Subclass: Path of the Courageous Heart

I’m fascinated by the new subclasses in Xanathar’s Lost Notes to Everything Else. In fact, most new class designs fascinate me, although actually evaluating them? It’s hard. You need to playtest them. As it happens, the element of D&D that … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design | 3 Comments

Xanathar’s Lost Notes to Everything Else – A First Look at the Subclasses

One of the interesting innovations of the DMs Guild and Wizards of the Coast this year has been to elevate the work of a group of skilled designers. Titled the “Guild Adepts”, these designers have had early access to upcoming … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Review | 6 Comments