Monday, November 25, 2013

What is D&D?

It's time to step back a bit.  This blog is generally aimed at an audience who plays or GMs table-top RPGs, but I have neglected another facet of my audience: people who are new to D&D entirely.  Since I started the blog, I've had some friends ask me about it.  What is D&D like?  How do I get started?

Now, there are several places I could send you to find out more information, but I figured, why don't I just explain it here, in my own words, for your benefit?  So I'll be doing this in three installments: this week, I will talk about D&D and table-top RPGs in general and how to get started with them; next week, I will post a starting adventure that I created recently, including everything you will need to run that adventure for some friends; and the week after, I will post an account of what happened when I ran that adventure for my girlfriend's parents and some of their family friends.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Everything is Dragons

For a while now, D&D has had a problem with its second D: dragons.  That problem, according to some of the people designing the game and some of the people playing it, was that there weren't enough of them.  Dungeons were everywhere, but dragons? Dragons were high-level monsters - a lot of adventuring parties never survived to see one, and many that did didn't survive the encounter.  The solution, of course, was more dragons.

But now D&D is suffering from a problem I like to call "everything is dragons."  Dragons are terrifying and powerful monsters; encounters with them should be rare and memorable.  Basically, they should inspire awe and fear - an encounter with a dragon should be one of the most dangerous, most tense, most memorable episodes of a campaign.  Unfortunately, the attitude toward dragons expressed by D&D over the past few decades has watered down the threat and the majesty of these iconic monsters.  There are four clear examples of this: kobolds, sorcerers, 3.5 edition's Monster Manual IV, and 4th edition's dragonborn.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monster Monday: Melusine, the Two-Tailed Shapeshifting Mermaid

Today's Monster Monday entry is the melusine, a fey creature with twin fish-tails and shimmering golden wings who takes the form of a beautiful woman in order to marry a mortal man and live the sweet life on his dime.


(And before I start, yes I know I said I would try to update every Monday, and then failed to deliver the next Monday.  But hey, you got a Halloween update instead!)
The following text in gold is available as Open Game Content under the OGL. Open Game Content is (C)2013 Jonah Bomgaars.