Goatlands GL1: Spiders on the Storm

In 2016, I was recruited to be part of a creative team for a new D&D setting published by Fainting Goat Games and led by Jason Tondro. Although gamers with broad experience may recognize both Fainting Goat and Tondro as producers of superhero gaming material, I’ve played D&D and talked D&D with Jason since the day I […]

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Raicho the Recusant

An Experiment with Narrative Because character is best revealed through narrative, I thought I’d present most of this installment of Dice Unloaded in story form. It’s an experiment. Raicho the Recusant—fourth and most controversial in my ongoing series on reskinned clerics—is a divine mercenary, fiercely independent and beholden to no single god. Instead, temples hire him, […]

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Gaining an Edge in the Great Bazaar, Part 3: Avoiding Trouble

Note: The text below continues from a previous article and its sequel. This installment constitutes Part III in the sequence. Avoiding Trouble There are four dangers adventurers should worry about while shopping for unusual equipment in a city: drawing the attention of thieves, drawing the attention of authorities, drawing the attention of those inclined to manipulate them into serving […]

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Reopening the Tavern Scene

If you flip through enough GM guidance, you see repeated disdain for one fantasy-gaming trope in particular: the tavern opening. You know the one: You’re all sitting in a bar full of tough mercenaries, enjoying your ale, when a stranger in a cowled robe approaches you. “Mighty adventurers! The people I represent are in dire need […]

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Artificer’s Workshop: Toying about with Minor Properties

Our previous two articles explored equipment themes for 5th edition, specifically some options for attunement and ways to handle high-quality but nonmagical items, respectively. For more cool trinket goodness, we highly recommend Sly Flourish’s article on single-use magical items inspired by Monte Cook’s Numenara game; Behind the DM Screen later published an article on the same subject. Finally, a few […]

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Pantheon of the Vorago

Ihave lately been creating clerics as part of a short series on the divine class. (To read the five clerics in that series, see Galatherina, Bettelfegne, Mitra, Raicho, and Arethkayn.) However, I’ve often been stumped about what to do for gods. I don’t want to use someone else’s intellectual property–not without permission, anyway. That means Greyhawk and Nehwon […]

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Introducing the Ludus Population Engine

Your players have just made enemies of the local Thieves’ Guild. Mortal enemies. Whoops. As a result, they are starting to wonder how much trouble they’re in. “Is it possible,” a player wonders, “to anticipate a Thieves’ Guild attack by storming its headquarters and wiping out the city’s criminal population?” A second player then asks, […]

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