A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons
Check out this excellent post with “Formulas for Crafting Magic Items“
The people that run Skull Splitter Dice not only sell nice dice but they provide some good information for players of my favorite role playing game.
They have some well written guides for the different D&D classes and some other guides for Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons as well.
Here are some links:
What is Dungeons and Dragons?
How to Play D&D 5E
A Guide to Surviving the Underdark
DnD 5E Character Sheet for Beginners
Five Best Free Places to Find a D&D Dungeon Adventure
Best DnD Map Making Tools
Barbarian Class Guide
Wizard Class Guide
Rogue Class Guide
Fighter Class Guide
Monk Class Guide
Sorcerer’s Class Guide
Cleric Class Guide
Paladin Class Guide
Druid Class Guide
Ranger Class Guide
Warlock’s Class Guide
Bard’s Class Guide
I want to send out a big thank you to Skull Splitter Dice for providing all this great content. You may want to get onto their email notification list for future free content. Also, did I mention that they sell dice?
Here are some useful web sites that I have ran across over the last couple of years. Perhaps you will find some of these useful as well.
ORC PUB version 2. Here you will find an excellent set of tools. These include a Character Builder, Race Builder, Background Builder, Spells, Monsters, Items, Combat Tracker, Encounter Builder, Monster Builder, Spell Builder, Feat Builder, Class Builder and more.
This is a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Encounter Calculator.
This is a good 5e Random Generator. It has traps, treasure, lots of different items, magic and downtime events.
Redkat’s 5E D&D Tools also has a great set of random generators.
This is a good 5th edition SRD (System Reference Document).
These are rules that I find very useful for Converting D&D3.5 Monsters to 5e
I found a lot of excellent resources on this donjon site.
Merric’s Musings has an excellent list of Dungeons & Dragons 5E Adventures by Level
I haven’t use this NPC Generator, but it looks like it could be useful.
Here is another spell list. It is great at allowing you to sort this list in many different ways.
Create your own document. This allows you to create beautiful documents that look very professional and very D&D like. It requires a steep learning curve, but the final results can be fantastic.
For background music – here is an excellent playlist for Dungeons and Dragons provided by MightyBenj.
Here is an encounter builder by the Kobold Fight Club.
Here are some great DnD 5e Monster Cards by Almega-3 on DeviantArt.
Speaking of Monster Cards. Not a pretty, but here you can customize and print out what you need.
Here is a “create your own RPG cards” site.
Need an interactive map of Faerun?
I’ll finish this list with a reference page I found useful. All About Scales.
PS In case you missed it, I have added a “Buy me a coffee” tab to the page links at the top of the screen.
donjon.bin.sh is an online collection of random generators and other tools for pen-and-paper role-playing games. Check out all of these excellent generators. The reason for this post is to recommend their fifth edition spell list that can be accessed here:
You can quickly sort by class, level, which book it is in, etc. Also, if you click on the spell name you get a pop-up with the spells Casting Time, Range, Components, Duration, and (if it is in the SRD) a description. I find it easy to use and very helpful.
First, here is what it says in the Player’s handbook:
A spell’s components are the physical requirements you must meet in order to cast it. Each spell’s description indicates whether it requires verbal (V), somatic (S), or material (M) components. If you can’t provide one or more of a spell’s com ponents, you are unable to cast the spell.
There are some monsters which can cast spells with their innate spellcasting ability they do not have to provide any components. Unless stated otherwise if you cast a spell from an item you can do so without any components.
V – Verbal: Most spells require the chanting of mystic words. Chanting is by definition a clearly audible sound. A sorcerer with the subtle spell meta-magic, or a level 20 druid with the Archdruid class feature can ignore the verbal component when casting a spell. My house rule is that it must clear and a voice that can be heard from at least 20 feet away in normal circumstances. It cannot be whispered.
S – Somatic: Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. This requires a free hand and will be clearly visible. A sorcerer with the subtle spell meta-magic, or a level 20 druid with the Archdruid class feature can ignore the somatic component when casting a spell. Any spellcaster with the War Caster feat can use hands occupied by a weapon or shield. My house rule is that because of the exaggerated gestures required, you cannot cast a spell that requires a somatic component if your hands bound or tied together.
M – Material: If you have a component pouch or a spellcasting focus (which may be a holy symbol depending on your class), you can ignore all material components which have no indicated costs. The Ranger is notable for not having access to a spellcasting focus, and will always need a component pouch or the specific component. A free hand is needed here. If you cast a spell from a spell scroll you do not have to have the material components. A way of the four elements monk does not have to provide material components for their elemental spells.
My house rules regarding material components:
1) Component pouch or spellcasting focus.
This must be presented boldly.
2) Material component with no cost listed.
These are not needed if you are using a component pouch or spellcasting focus. If you are using the material component then I will assume that you stock up on these during your downtime but only if you are in a location where you would have access to them.
3) Material component with a listed cost.
Your PC must have procured the item and have it listed on his character sheet. If not, you cannot cast the spell. I will make an exception for low cost items (typically less than 100gp value). For these I will assume that your character purchased them during his down time and you can simply deduct its value from your character sheet at the time you cast the spell.
4) Rare or uncommon components.
There may be, from time to time, a spell that requires a rare, uncommon, or even unique component. You must, of course, have that component before you can cast such a spell.
Having just finished one campaign and preparing to start another one, I felt that it was time to review my weaknesses as a Dungeon Master. Thanks to an excellent post on “The Angry GM” site, and a candid review of my own DM style by Tim, a former player, I have compiled this list that I intend to re-read before and after each gaming session.
1) Pre-read enough to make the game day run smoothly.
2) Have figures set aside for upcoming encounters.
3) Have monster stats printed out for the inevitable encounter.
Running a D&D game is a storytelling craft on top of die rolls, which makes the DM chair the most difficult but often most entertaining of the game.
There’s two aspects of the game to manage, the character experience, and the player experience. All the players need their characters to have their moment to shine.
Provide variety in how NPCs/monsters interact with PCs. The encounters need not always be a fight to the death.
Always appeal to the players’ sense of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound when narrating.
Begin and end each players turn with narration.
Each turn follows a simple process.
After every transition you need a bit of scene setting. Even if it’s just a single sentence. In fact, that’s all it should be. At the start of every turn in combat, you should say a few words (and NO MORE) about what’s going on in the scene right now, specifically to the person whose turn it is. Even if all you do is remind the player of what just happened.
The transitions out of one turn and into another meld together. The resolution of one action sets the scene for the next.
As a GM, it’s your job to bring the combat to life. To make it feel like an emergency, like a life or death situation.
At the start of every player’s turn, you need to point out where they are and what emergency is happening right now, either to them, or right near them.
In a life-or-death battle, the proper feeling for a player is near-panic. Players should feel panicked and rushed in combat because the characters are panicked and rushed in combat. When it is a player’s turn, they need to begin speaking immediately. And if not, you need to prompt them.
“What do you do? You need to decide or you’ll lose the turn to indecision.” Assume they take the Dodge action (attacks against him have disadvantage).
A GOOD EXAMPLE
GM: Alice, four goblins are charging the party. What do you do?”
Alice: I’ll run up and hit the goblin with my mace. 15.
Alice: 6 bludgeoning damage.
GM: You charge the goblin and smash it with your mace, bringing it to a stop. It’s allies are hesitating. Bob, you’ve got an opening…
GM: The goblin leaps aside, dodging your axe. He tries to dart past you to close with Dave. You get an opportunity attack. Roll it.
GM: The goblin dodges that too and dashes forward, lunging at Dave with his shortsword. Dave, what’s your AC?
GM: Ouch. He stabs you in the side for 6 piercing damage, sending you stumbling backwards while the other two goblins draw to a stop and face Alice and Bob head on. Alice, the goblin recovers his breath from your blow and thrusts his shortsword. A crit! You take 12 damage.
Alice: Damn it! I’m really hurt!
GM: The other goblin closes with Bob as he’s trying to stop the one getting past him. But… Bob sees him coming and dodges the blow. That’s a miss.
GM: The goblins range themselves in front of Alice and Bob while a third goblin is ready to strike another blow at Dave. Carol, they seem to be ignoring you. What do you?