Category Archives: Design

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

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Lost Mine of Phandelver, Play Advice | 4 Comments

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

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

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

Posted in D&D, Design | 8 Comments

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

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design | 4 Comments

Original Dungeons & Dragons: The Magic-User

I recently ran a set of three short sessions using the original Dungeons & Dragons rules. I tried as much as possible to keep to the rules as presented in the original three booklets (plus Chainmail), without introducing any of … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, Design | 6 Comments

More on Miniatures

One suggestion that has been made to me many times is that miniatures are much cheaper if you paint them yourself. Right… There’s just one problem with that: painting miniatures takes time. And quite an investment up front in the … Continue reading

Posted in D&D Miniatures, Design | 2 Comments

The Joys and Horrors of Passive Perception

In the beginning, when a party of adventurers encountered a group of monsters, both sides rolled a six-sided die. If a side rolled a 1 or 2, that side was surprised and had to stand by while the opposing side … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Play Advice | 13 Comments

More on Improvising Sessions

At my current point in life, I’m finding myself extremely busy with work and with running Dungeons & Dragons, but with very little time to set aside to preparing adventures (or writing reviews or blog posts). I steal what time … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Play Advice | Comments Off on More on Improvising Sessions