Player Secrets

Almost every player I know has multiclassed at some point. At least half of them have also kept that multiclass a secret for an extended period of time. They’ll use features from the multiclass and expect the other players to figure it out. The reality of the situation is that most players don’t really care what a character multiclassed into. Or in some cases there’s a feature so unique to a class that everyone knows immediately. Either way, the secret doesn’t result in the reaction the player wants. That’s how almost all secrets work. Continue reading “Player Secrets”

The Dungeon Direction – Monster Balancing

In D&D 5E, monsters have a CR, or Challenge Rating, which is a measure of how difficult the creature is to defeat. This is, officially, an average of two other CRs, the offensive CR and the defensive CR, so something can be an absolute tank but not deal a whole lot of damage, and something else might hit hard but go down in one hit, and both of these creatures could have the same end CR. So is one better than the other, or does it even matter? Yes. Yes it does. Continue reading “The Dungeon Direction – Monster Balancing”

The Dungeon Direction – Character Agency and Leaving the Party

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. I don’t have a clever introduction to this one, so I’ll just state the premise. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into characters leaving, and more specifically, the reasons I think characters should leave the party. I’m going to spoil it right here: characters should not leave for character reasons, they should leave for meta reasons. Continue reading “The Dungeon Direction – Character Agency and Leaving the Party”

The Dungeon Direction – Season Finales

For those of us in college or other positions in which you can only play D&D for a set part of the year, it’s nice to have some closure at the end of that period. Whether you’re picking the game back up in four weeks or four months, you want to have the players excited to come back, but not left unsatisfied. So, how do you do that? Continue reading “The Dungeon Direction – Season Finales”

The Dungeon Direction – Rule One: The DM Speaks the Truth

Every now and then one of the players will stop and go, “Wait, didn’t you say ‘x’ earlier?” and the DM will reply, “No, John the bartender NPC said that. Now Jake the smith is telling you something different.” That’s not fair, now, is it? Characters that don’t know everything, lie, or know more than they let on are so unrealistic. Well, of course they’re realistic, but there’s a strange dissonance that needs to be established first. The DM tells the truth. The NPCs do not necessarily. Continue reading “The Dungeon Direction – Rule One: The DM Speaks the Truth”

The Dungeon Direction – Let’s Talk about the Monster in the Room

I usually try to stick to system agnostic advice, but this one will be D&D 5th Edition specific, although some of the principles will be more widely applicable. In any case, we’re talking about monsters and using them to beat up your players… I mean your players’ characters. Definitely. But not too badly. Oh wait, they’re dead. How do you do this again? Continue reading “The Dungeon Direction – Let’s Talk about the Monster in the Room”