Each week I put together a roundup of content related to roleplyaing games (mostly 5th edition D&D). I’ve just recently started publishing these on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays. Here’s this week’s roundup:
For players and dungeon masters:
- ‘Dungeons & Dragons Stumbles With Its Revision Of The Game’s Major Black Culture’ Kotaku – this article looks at the problems with how black characters and cultures have been portrayed in D&D in the past. Cecilia D’Anastasio says that in Tomb of Annihilation there are some improvements but many of the same mistakes.
- ‘Knife Theory’ reddit/DND – this thread shares a way of writing a player character’s backstory, which offers the dungeon master lots of options for raising the stakes of the story for each player character
- ‘Dragonmarks: Aasimar’ Keith Baker – in this post Keith Baker looks at how the aasimar player race could fit into his Eberron setting
- ‘Human, Subraces’ Dungeon Master Jeremy – here we have some human subrace options designed for Sasquatch Games’ Primeval Thule setting
- ‘Warlock Pact: Interplanar Imperator’ Kobold Press – here’s a new patron option for warlock player characters
- ‘9 Must-Have Tools For The Vampire Hunter’ High Level Games – if you’re making a character with a focus on hunting vampires, these are some items they might need
For dungeon masters:
- ‘The Cailleac Bheur (or the Blue Hag)’ Kobold Press – last year Volo’s Guide to Monsters gave us Wizards of the Coast’s take on the bheur hag, but here’s Kobold Press’ contribution: a legendary bheur hag
- ‘Making the Best of the 5-Minute Adventuring Day’ DM David – this article looks at how wilderness adventuring can skew the balance of D&D and how to address this. As I’ve just started running Out of the Abyss, which involves a lot of Underdark travel, I think this will be helpful.
- ‘Players Create the Best NPCs’ The Weem – this post talks about how you can let your players guide which non-player characters are important in you game
- ‘Top Tips from A Sample of 4.000 Dungeon Masters’ Sly Flourish – I’ve often found it helpful being able to look at the data Mike Shea gathers from dungeon masters, which is why I’m always recommending his book The Lazy Dungeon Master. Here he’s posted the top advice received in his 2016 Dungeon Master’s survey.
For anyone who wants to reflect more deeply on the themes:
- ‘How Dungeons & Dragons and Theoretical Physics Create the Basis of Stranger Things’ Nerdist – this article looks at the complex relationship between D&D and ‘the Upside Down’ in Netflix’s Stranger Things
- ‘Why the trial by ordeal was actually an effective test of guilt’ Aeon – this article explains why medieval European practises of trial by ordeal (eg. requiring the accused to fish a ring out of boiling water) may have actually been quite effective
My recent content:
- ‘Thoughts After Running In Volo’s Wake’ – last week I finished running In Volo’s Wake with my regular D&D group. Here are my thoughts on how I think this simple adventure can be deepened, and also some observations on how I could improve my DMing if I was to run it again.
- ‘Zygmunt Bauman, Social Division and Flesh Golems’
- I’ve just started running Out of the Abyss with my weekly group. These are some character illustrations I made for the non-player characters who the party found themselves imprisoned with: