Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

About Me

My name is Ronny Hart. I was born in 1948. I have been a dungeon master for over 40 years.

I have accumulated a lot of information and created some rules for situations that I would like to share. I thought that this would be a good place to put some of this. You are welcome to use anything you find here in your own games. Hopefully you will share your experiences. Most of the material here can be used with little modification for any gaming system.

I am hoping to start a dialog with other dungeon masters and players of the game.

If anyone is interested, I am also an artist. You can see my photo-realistic pencil drawings HERE. I also have a Ko-fi site where you can support my art and see photos of my latest work-in progress HERE.

145 responses to “About Me

  1. dlatshawpitbullsolutionscom February 12, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    All very good advice. I do have dry\wet erase tiles but they are rigid. I’m admittedly addicted to 3D printing the terrain. Don’t think I could go without now!

    On our next session (we’ve been going every other week) out eldest will find her surprise and I’d like your input. When we get to Old Owl Well the antagonist will present her with a disk containing the sign of Marthammor Duin and a hidden engraving of dwarvish runes. The disk will be a lithophane so the runes will only be visible in the light. She is a hill dwarf cleric of the Dankil clan. Once she solves the jumbled runes she will be presented with a chest containing a warhammer. At first glance it will seem to be a common warhammer but will give her a happy feeling. After killing enough undead, maybe the 12 zombies near by, it will whisper “Whelm” to her. She will not have access to all of its power. I plan on having Whelm level up and gain more personality and power along the way. It will be happy to return to Dankil clan and I’ll come up with more quests to help rid it of the shame of its past.

    So basically a melding not Legacy Weapon and Sentient Weapon. As I see it Whelm is weakened from serving the vampire and needs to be awakened. I’ll have to work on back story on how it ended up at Old Owl Well. Also the DMG says Whelm will do anything to return to Dankil clan and since she chose that name I find it fitting.

    Now I need to come up with a story for our middle daughters battle axe, she’s a noble human fighter.

    Like

    • Ronny February 13, 2021 at 8:24 am

      You are doing much better than I did back when I first started as a DM. Keep up the good work. I like the idea of a magical weapon becoming more powerful as the character advances in level. That way it doesn’t have to be too powerful at lower levels and the PC doesn’t have to swap it out for more powerful weapons later and it can stay with the character throughout his carrier. For help with sentient weapons – hopefully this can nudge you in the right direction.

      ITS SENTIENT ABILITIES ARE NOT KNOWN TO THE PCs.
      My take on sentient objects is that when they were created, however they were created, so much magic was forced into them that they became sentient, usually by accident.
      For each sentient item you need to answer the following questions.
      What are its ability scores? for these abilities: Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma
      How does it communicate? This can be whatever you want: verbal, telepathically, only in whispers to one who holds it – to anyone within a certain range, only to one who is attuned to it, whatever you want it to be.
      What languages can it speak, read, and understand?
      What are its senses? Example: It has Hearing and Darkvision to 120 ft.
      What is its alignment?
      What (if any) is its Special Purpose? Example: The item seeks to defeat or destroy dragons.
      What is its personality? Example: Severely depressed (like Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Except when it is near a dragon it gets very excited and demands that you try to destroy the dragon.
      What demands goes it make if there is a conflict? If its wielder acts in a manner opposed to the item’s Alignment or Purpose, conflict can arise. When such a conflict occurs, the item makes a Charisma check contested by the wielder’s Charisma check. If the item wins the contest, it makes one or more demands, Example:
      The item insists on being carried or worn at all times.
      The item demands that its wielder dispose of anything the item finds repugnant.
      The item demands that its wielder pursue the item’s goals to the exclusion of all Other Goals.
      The item demands to be given to someone else.

      What will it do if its wielder refuses to comply with the item’s wishes? Example: the item can do any or all of the following:
      Make it impossible for its wielder to attune to it.
      Suppress one or more of its activated Properties.
      Attempt to take control of its wielder.

      If a sentient item attempts to take control of its wielder, the wielder must make a Charisma Saving Throw, with a DC equal to 12 + the item’s Charisma modifier. On a failed save, the wielder is Charmed by the item for 1d12 hours. While Charmed, the wielder must try to follow the item’s commands. If the wielder takes damage, it can repeat the Saving Throw, Ending the Effect on a success. Whether the attempt to control its user succeeds or fails, the item can’t use this power again until the next dawn.

      Like

  2. dlatshawpitbullsolutionscom February 15, 2021 at 6:00 am

    Thanks for the compliment, it means a lot coming from a long time DM!

    I think I have more to do on whelm, but it’s ready for the preliminary discovery. I’ve come up with my story for the final daughters surprise. Her bond on the character sheet is “My greateaxe is a family heirloom, and it’s by far my most precious possession.” So instead of her finding a new weapon she will find an elf prisoner at Wyvern Tor upon defeating the orcs. He will recognize her greataxe as the Moonaxe of legend. He will know the ceremony to help attune it to her, but only the first rune will be unlocked. Basically a reskinned moonblade Legacy weapon that was gifted to her ancestor for saving an elf princeling from orcs. The elf prisoner will happen to be a descendant of the princeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grimorio March 18, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Dear Ronny,

    I’m very pleased to meet you, I’m a volunteer for the italian site https://www.dragonslair.it , one of the oldest no-profit realities in Italy about TTRPG and especially D&D.

    On our site we translate pieces from various rpg blogs so that italian fans can benefit in their primary language from all the awesome material that is out there written by authors like you.
    I discovered your blog some days ago and I immediately fell in love with it, you give a lot of useful resources to both players and DM thus I’m writing to ask you if you could kindly give us the authorization to translate your pieces.

    Of course we always credit the authors, we put their name at the beginning of the article and a link to the original piece at the end of the article, here’s an example: https://www.dragonslair.it/index.html/articles/mostri-e-incontri-ii-reskinning-dei-mostri-r1962/

    If you have any questions please let me know

    Best regards

    P.S. I tried to reach on you writing to the mail address you have in the Legal section of your blog, which is the only one I found, but while I didn’t receive any answer I feared my email could have been lost in the spam bin thus I decided to write you on here.

    Like

    • Ronny March 18, 2021 at 10:42 am

      I did receive your email and have just responded to it. I am quite pleased to have my posts translated and appear on your site. Thank you. The entire reason for this site is to share with the D&D playing community. I never expected it to include those whose first language wasn’t English. I only wish I knew more languages. This is the only one I know, and I struggle with it.
      Your site certainly appears to be an excellent resource for those whose first language is Italian.

      Like

  4. Ken October 25, 2021 at 4:17 am

    I hope I have found the right person. Are you the same Old Dungeon Master that makes Inkarnate maps? May I make a request?

    Me, oh glad you asked, 63 Retired Military, retired science teacher, fully retired, (liv’n the dream). I have a particular map need.

    Won’t bother you with details unless you are willing.

    Like

  5. dlatshawpitbullsolutionscom October 25, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Hi Ronny,

    We are going to be finishing LMoP in a few weeks. I have a one shot I’m writing that will center around a Coniferous Treant, Cousin “Neddy”, and a kid that’ll shoot his eye out. I plan to tie in a celebration the town is throwing for Christmas and to give in honor of the heroes beating the BBEG.

    My problem is finding info on running a celebration. Do you have any insight?

    Partway through the celebration will be interrupted because the town Christmas tree is gone as well as at least one of the children.

    Thanks! Dan

    Like

  6. Robert April 19, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    Hey I got a few questions on the ship to ship hex based combat system. I’m going to run the classic “Isle of Dread” and I would love to add some hex grid combat. I get a little lost when it gets to the sailing wind bonus since it’s allowing ships to cross the map in two turns. Your thoughts please?

    Like

    • Ronny April 19, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      I assume that you are referring to the “Ship to Ship Combat – optional rules for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5”. There is a mistake in Table 2. The Close Hauled speed for Severe and Gale should both be 4 instead of 41 and 52. However, even in Moderate or stronger wind the sailing speed is quite fast. Please note, these are the fastest possible speeds – you can always choose to sail at a slower speed, just as a PC with a speed of 30 could choose to only move 10 feet.
      I actually prefer my latest version:

      D&D 5E – Nautical Adventures – Version 2


      – but it isn’t hex based.

      Like

      • Anonymous April 19, 2022 at 6:41 pm

        Thank You for all this great work you are doing here! I like the hexes for ships since it reminds me and the party of Battletech. If I may ask a second question…..When a sailing ship uses its movement points gained from the wind bonus (3-4 hexes based on wind speed etc.) does it exhaust those hexes/ turns based on the wind direction in the ship’s starting position? Then, if the ship is facing a new wind direction it uses its second move (5-6 hexes with the wind) exhausts those hexes / turns. The ship is now in the irons and only moves its base sailing speed. With its last sail movement point it turns into close hauled and gets 2-3 hexes of movement / turns. Is this how you intended it to go?

        Like

      • Ronny April 20, 2022 at 9:48 am

        Let’s say you have a Caravel, which has a sailing speed of 6 hexes. Lets further say that it is pointing North and there is a Moderate wind out of the South. This gives it a sailing speed bonus of 10/6/2 (10 Running/ 6 Broad Reach / 2 Close Hauled). One hex of sailing speed can be used to move one hex. One or more hex of sailing speed (depending on your ship’s maneuverability rating) can be used to turn. Each of the sailing speed bonuses is the maximum number of hexes you can add when travelling in a specific direction relative to the wind direction. This is the maximum bonus number of hexes you can use when travailing in that direction, even if you turn into that direction more than once on your turn. Because the speed and the bonus to speed is used for moving forward and for turning, I find it useful to refer to these as “speed points” that you can spend.

        1) Because it is pointed North, it will have to start by moving North.

        2) On one turn the ship could use all of its turn to travel as far as it could continuing North. That would give it 16 speed points to spend (6 for the ship’s speed + 10 for running with the wind = 16 speed points). Then it could travel a maximum of 16 hexes North. Because the Caravel has a maneuverability rating of 1 it will cost it 1 speed point to begin to move if you began with the ship stopped, so it could then only move a maximum of 15 hexes. Also because of it’s maneuverability rating of 1 it will cost you 1 speed point to turn one hex face, you could spend one speed point to turn to facing the North West or the North Ease, at the end of it’s turn. Or it could spend more speed points to turn more.

        3) Another option would be to use some of it’s speed points to move North one or more hexes at the beginning of it’s turn, then spend some of its speed points to turn, spend some more of it’s speed points to move in the new direction (it now uses the bonus for wind from the new direction), spend some speed points to turn again, and continue moving and turning until it runs out of speed points.

        I hope this answers your question. By the way, this conversation would be more useful to others if you had asked it as a comment at the bottom of the page where I posted the rules you are asking about.

        Like

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