Tuesday, May 27, 2014

No Post This Week (Except for This Post)

Sorry, loyal readers and new arrivals.  Things have been pretty busy here at d20 Despot HQ and I haven't had time to get a post done.  Come by next week (June 2nd) for a new Monster Monday entry.

In the meanwhile, why not browse through the archives?

I've recently made minor changes to my advanced language rules and my old post about swords.  I also added an alternate first page of my Improved Character Sheet v2.0 for people who are playing 3.5 Edition D&D and need that super-long list of 3.5 skills.

Or check out the current most-viewed article on this blog: 3 Undead Monsters More Deserving of Cultural Ubiquity than Zombies and Vampires.

If you're looking for ways to support this blog, share it around the internet.  Last month a reader linked my Togbins post to Reddit and gave this site its biggest month ever.  This month, I've noted a ~33% increase in readership as a result.  I'm pretty terrible at self-promotion, so I rely on *you* to get the word out about my blog and all its free content.  The greater my reader-base is, the more comfortable I will feel investing in producing high-quality PDFs and maybe getting a kickstarter going to print some books.  So if you want to someday own a d20 Despot Bestiary full of original monsters and professional artwork, or a guide to my medieval Indian campaign setting of Chattara full of unique weapons, monsters, and class archetypes, help spread the word!

-your absent d20 despot

Monday, May 19, 2014

Everything Wrong with 'Dark Dungeons', the Infamous D&D Chick Tract

Last week I used the infamous Chick Tract 'Dark Dungeons', by evangelical comic author and professional confused grandpa Jack Chick, to poke fun at the idea that D&D teaches you necromancy.  This week I'm going back to that ancient well to draw up another fetid bucket of laughs to pour down your gullet (don't forget to check for throat leeches!).  'Dark Dungeons' is 30 years old this year, and the fact that the earth has not been consumed by Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath, means that Jack Chick is either laughably incorrect or D&D players are just terrible at the dark arts.  I dunno, maybe they took out the rules for 'real magic' in 2nd Edition or something.

This and all further pictures in this blog post are ©1984-2014 Chick Publications, Inc. I am reproducing the tract in it's entirety here (minus the last page about how you can 'get saved') under what I believe is Fair Use as part of a satirical review piece.  I won't be linking to Chick Publications' website, where you can view this tract and others like it for free.
Without further ado, let us delve into the world of the 1980s D&D scare which, just like the scares about comic books, rock music, and video games, has proven to be 100% valid.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Debunking 6 Common Myths About D&D

D&D has been around for a long time now, and it is the subject of its fair share of myths and misunderstandings.  I feel it is my duty to debunk six of the more common myths right here, before your very eyes, using only this blog and the time I should be spending on my finals.

6. It's Antisocial
Warner Bros. via ofdiceandmen
I may have mentioned before that D&D is an inherently social game.  Either you're playing with a group of friends or you're meeting new people by playing with them.  D&D is basically the opposite of an antisocial activity; unlike, say, videogames, it forces you into social interaction.  And if you really get into it, it forces you into regular social interaction.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fixing the Weapons Table, Part 5: Indian Weapons

The second campaign I ever ran was set in Chattara, a mighty multicultural empire ruled over by a caste of turbaned, woolly rhino-riding dwarves.  I did a lot of research into Indian weapons at the time, to make sure my party could really get the feel of the land they were adventuring through.  For today's post, I'm revisiting these weapons, updating them for Pathfinder and with a more practiced eye for game design.

When D&D books start talking about eastern weaponry, you know they mostly mean Chinese and Japanese stuff.  Pathfinder has been a bit better at this, but I find Indian weapons are still a gap that doesn't get filled in as much as it deserves to be.  That's why I'm Fixing the Weapons Table.  The Indian subcontinent has a rich history of unique and exotic weaponry that deserves a chance in the hands of a PC.  From the thrown chakram to the badass pata to the deadly urumi, here are nine awesome Indian weapons for your D&D game.

The following weapons given in gold text are available as Open Game Content under the OGL.  Open Game Content is (C)2014 Jonah Bomgaars.