Some skill checks answer simple, immediate, yes/no questions. Do I see that goblin hiding in the bushes? A 15 — why, yes, I do. A simple yes/no die roll is appropriate and satisfying for those situations. But a single check doesn’t always feel right for other situations, particularly those involving ongoing, progressive challenges in which […]Read More Breakthroughs & Setbacks: How and Why We Should Bring Back Skill Challenges. Kind of.
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 […]Read More Gaining an Edge in the Great Bazaar, Part 3: Avoiding Trouble
Note: The text below continues from a previous article, and constitutes Part II in a three-part sequence. Making a Deal. When you discover wonderful stuff in a marketplace — if you somehow get a great deal on a spell for your spellbook, a legitimate magical item, or some masterwork plate armor — it is likely to be […]Read More Gaining an Edge in the Great Bazaar, Part 2: Making a Deal
Fresh from a lucrative quest and loaded with gold, the adventurers have arrived in a city large enough to handle a thriving market. “I wonder if I can find someone who will sell me a magical shield,” one says, optimistically. “Not sure if we have enough for that,” replies another, “but maybe we can find some […]Read More Gaining an Edge in the Great Bazaar, Part 1: Knowing Where to Shop
I can tell you with no ego, this is my finest sword. If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut. — Hattori Hanzo, Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Miramax Films, 2003. Keeping with this week’s theme about equipment in D&D, I thought I’d talk a little bit about the current edition’s lack […]Read More “God Will Be Cut”: Giving Nonmagical Equipment the Hattori Hanzo Edge
Past editions of D&D have permitted clerics to serve an entire pantheon, rather than a single god. The 5th edition Player’s Handbook is silent about this matter, but the new Dungeon Master’s Guide (p. 11-13) seems fairly flexible, often repeating paragraphs wholesale from 3rd edition’s Deities & Demigods. Few clerics, even in the old days, have taken the pantheonic route, […]Read More Serving a Divine Court, Instead of a Solo God
Note: The text of this article, including the Death domain presented here, is designated as Open Game Content. (Click here for the license.) I f you’re using a Death domain for clerics in your campaign, chances are that the version you are using explicitly assumes an evil spellcaster. When designers select spells and powers for Death […]Read More A Death Domain Variant for Neutral Clerics
Robijeign, Arch-Diviner of Stull, gazed at the runes. Jagged hashes, rough, and deep, the strange markings had been found carved into the underside of the banquet table: ten of them, forming a circle, with an additional marking in the center. Eleven markings, total. Mere moments earlier, the emissaries dining at that very same table had been at each […]Read More Smarter Intelligence Checks