Monday, December 19, 2016

D&D 5e: Running Nightstone (Storm King's Thunder)

Source: Tumblr of Gabriel Cassata, freelance artist (used with permission).
I've just started my players into A Great Upheaval, the first chapter (free from Wizards of the Coast) in Storm King's Thunder adventure path . In a prior article, I've already noted some of the adventure design mis-steps that I've come across just in the reading, but a few other minor foibles have been revealed while running the opening chapter in the village of Nightstone.

So here are just a few small tips for DM's to make it run a little smoother.

Some spoilers follow, so if you are planning to play in a Storm King's Thunder campaign, you should stop reading now. For my own players, you can read this after our early January sessions.

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Star Wars: Rogue One

Disclaimer: This is outside of my usual D&D-related posts, but I have to comment being a huge Star Wars nerd. 

Go see this movie. Just go. Like right now! 

No real spoilers ahead.

Back before Disney, I was never a huge Expanded Universe fan. Many of the books often read like some authors' Mary Sue (or Marty Sue) versions of Luke, Han and Leia at best, or internet fan fiction at worst.

But there were some exceptions... specifically books that featured other characters in the Star Wars universe outside of the core three (or four, if you include Chewbacca, but he never really got his own novel...). The point is I was more interested in seeing different protagonists in the Star Wars universe aside from the movie characters. Among those novels were the likes of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy and Micheal Stackpole's Rogue Squadron.

So when Rogue One was announced, my interest was piqued. I was pretty sure it would not include Corran Horn, but I liked the idea of a movie that told the story of the Rebellion from a different group of Rebels... and the fact that no one has force powers is HUGE.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

D&D 5e: A Plethora of Class Options in Unearthed Arcana

Wow, I must have been sleeping under a rock to miss this one!

I knew that the revised Ranger options had come out in the last couple months, but I had no idea Mike Mearls' Unearthed Arcana articles had been putting out new class options nearly every week!

If you have desired more class options for 5e (I hadn't really... until I read some of these!), then you definitely need to check out the recent UA articles.

There's a few "meh" options, but there's also so much cool. I definitely recommend checking out their wild shape suggestions for Druids. The Druid also has a couple of really interesting new circles... and if you hadn't already been awaiting the Ranger updates, you should check it out! There's really a lot to digest in these.

Be aware that these are play test option, so may be somewhat broken in some places. A discussion between the DM and players needs to occur beforehand, so that there are no hard feeling if the DM has to nerf some power.

Artificer (new class) - Alchemist, Gunsmith
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/artificer

Barbarian Paths - Path of the Ancestral Guardian, Path of the Storm Herald, Path of the Zealot
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/barbarian-primal-paths

Bard Colleges - College of Glamour, College of Whispers
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/bard-colleges

Cleric Domains - Forge Domain, Grave Domain, Protection Domain
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/cleric-divine-domains

Druid Circles - Circle of Dreams, Circle of the Shepherd, Circle of Twilight, Wildshape Options (!)
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/druid-circles-and-wild-shape

Fighter Options - Arcane Archer, Knight, Samurai

Monk Traditions - Way of the Kensei, Way of Tranquility

Paladin Oaths - Oath of Conquest, Oath of Treachery
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/paladin-sacred-oaths

Ranger Revisions - Beast Conclave, Hunter Conclave, Deep Stalker Conclave
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/unearthed-arcana-ranger-revised

More Rangers and Rogues - Horizon Walker, Primeval Gaurdian, Scout
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/ranger-and-rogue

Divine Casters -  Warlock Patron: The Seeker, Arcane Tradition: Theurgy
http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/faithful

Upcoming weeks will feature the Mystic, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard.

Tell me what you like about the new class options in the comments. I'm still wading through a number of these PDFs, but this looks a bit like a Player's Handbook 2 in the making. Also, let me know if you or your player have tried any of these new options. I'm interested to hear what may be broken... Leave a comment!
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