Category Archives: Design

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

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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

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The Joy and Frustrations of Investigations

I’m currently writing a Convention-Created-Content adventure for premiere next year. It also happens to be an investigation. Yes, two things I’d never thought I’d do. Investigations are tremendously popular as D&D Adventurers League scenarios, but they’re very different to the … Continue reading

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Decisions and Consequences

Why do you put a puzzle in a game of Dungeons & Dragons? The answer: To challenge the players. I feel it is a great mistake to believe that it’s there to challenge the characters. They’re imaginary. They’re not playing … Continue reading

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Examining Phandelver: Side Quests

One of the excellent aspects of Lost Mine of Phandelver is that it includes a number of side-quests. These are quests which don’t advance the main storyline that you can get from NPCs you meet. Side quests allow a Dungeon … Continue reading

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Player Choices: Into the Land of Iuz

In the World of Greyhawk, there’s a kingdom ruled by an evil demigod. The kingdom and the demigod have the same name: Iuz. In the past 20 years, I’ve run a lot of campaigns set in Greyhawk, and we’ve often … Continue reading

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Hit Points Through the Editions, part 2

One aspect I didn’t touch on in my first article about hit points was the rate of natural healing. For those of you who began with the current edition, it didn’t work the same way. It was slower. In Original … Continue reading

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Hit Points Through the Editions, part 1

In the beginning, there was Chainmail. And, in Chainmail, characters were either alive or dead. A single hit was enough to kill most characters. However, this was a miniature game, and a single player controlled many characters. Well, figures or … Continue reading

Posted in AD&D, AD&D 2E, D&D, D&D Basic, Design | 1 Comment

The Incomplete Adventure

There’s one feature of Dungeons & Dragons adventures that anyone who runs the game quickly comes to learn: Adventures are incomplete. Not just incomplete in the sense of “add players and a Dungeon Master”, but incomplete in the sense of … Continue reading

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Greyhawk Initiative: Another Look

Mike Mearls’ “Greyhawk” Initiative system has provided a welcome shake-up in the consideration of the Dungeons & Dragons rule system. It’s a completely optional system, and one that seeks to provide a little more unpredictability and tension into combat by … Continue reading

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