Archive for the Dungeons and Dragons Category

Start Playing D&D (for free!)

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2019 by boccobsblog

Every day I hear/read people saying that they would like to learn to play D&D but don’t know where to start. Additionally, I’ve met several people who used to play D&D, but who didn’t know how to get back into Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve created a list of resources, some free, some not, that will allow new players to get started playing D&D, as well as aid returning players.

I’ve personally played D&D for the last 27 year, and have played every edition of the game, and I can honestly say 5th edition is the easiest rule set to learn. This is a great time to start playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Free Options

D&D Basic Rules (Free)
“The Basic Rules runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells,
5 backgrounds, and character sheets.” (WotC)

D&D SRD (Free)
The D&D Basic set has a lot of information to get you started, but it only contains a few character classes. When you’re ready to expand into more options, you can use a System Reference Document to access free (under the Open Game License) content legally. There are many SRDs online, I recommend 5thSRD.org as they run a clean site, free of ads. 5thSRD.org can also be downloaded for offline use.

Public Library (Free)
Believe or not, your public library likely has some gaming books, and even if they don’t, they will gladly do an intralibrary loan to borrow the core books from another library.

Character Sheet (Free)
You can get these anywhere, but here are the official WotC sheets.

Die Rollers
Another free option for digital players (those who like to use their phone or tablet at the table) is die rollers programs. You can find many free apps and programs to replace physical dice.

Paid Options

Starter Set (>$20)
“Containing everything you need to leap into a D&D adventure, this boxed set is designed for five to six players, with one of you taking on the role of the game’s lead storyteller, the Dungeon Master.” The starter set is available at your local game store, Walmart, and Target.” (WotC) The Starter Set comes with:

  • 64-page adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started
  • 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1-5
  • 5 pre-generated characters, with character sheet
  • 6 dice

Core Rulebooks ($25-$100)
If you decide to play D&D regularly, you’ll need to eventually pick up the core rulebooks. Players will need a Player’s Handbook (PHB), while a Dungeon Master will need the PHB, the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), and the Monster Manual (MM).

Accessories

Dice (<$10)
Get can get some great dice anywhere, but if you want to outfit your whole table for less than $2 a player, I suggest these dice (5 sets).

A Buttload of Dice (<$25)
If you need a bunch of dice quick, the pound of dice from Chessex is a gamer standard.

DM Screen ($10)
A Dungeon Master’s Screen is not for everyone. They contain a lot of useful information and they can be useful in hiding your notes and miniatures, but some DMs choose to roll and act in the open, lest they be accused of cheating.

Grid Mats
I use a variety of battle mats, but the one that is always on my table is from Chessex. They come in three sizes: Battlemat (23.5 x 26), Megamat (34.5 x 48 inches), and the Mondomat (54 x 102 inches). The Battlemat is a bit small, but a good choice is your table is small. The Mondomat is too big for nearly all tables. I have an eight-foot-long game table and it wouldn’t fit well. My recommendation is the Megamat.

Note: regardless of the pens you use, or what you use to clean your map, they will stain over time. Invest in a piece of clear plexiglass to place over your mat. My Chessex Megamat has never been written on and looks pristine after 5-6 years of play.

Next time we’ll talk about finding a game or starting your own.

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20 D&D Ranger Quest Ideas

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , on January 18, 2019 by boccobsblog

ranger quest ideas

This week’s guest blogger is Nerditor Doug from Nerdarchy.com. He was kind enough to write up 20 D&D ideas for the ranger in your party.

  1. Home for the Holidays. A young scholar needs an escort from their school through the wilderness of your favored terrain back to their home village for a traditional celebration, and your favored enemy’s activity has been on the rise in the region, making the journey perilous.
  2. Timing is Everything. A magical flower with rumored healing powers blooms only once a year in a remote glade in the shadow of Trimount when the light of twin full moons pierces the darkness of the mountain, and a sage wants a sample for their botanical research.
  3. Myth Becomes Reality. Local legend tells of Goldhorn, a white ibex with horns of brilliant gold that are the key to discovering a hidden treasure, but hunters who have pursued the beast in the past all met unfortunate ends according to myths told by the folk of the area.
  4. Pitiless Protector. The beasts of the forest have become increasingly aggressive, and even the plant life has grown dangerous, after a madness infected the wood woad deep within whose heart tree grows from the gravesite of the druid circle that created it.
  5. Fane of the Frost Wyrm. The chieftain of the Frost Wyrm Clan has heard of your exploits and invites you to join in their Great Hunt — an expedition to track down and defeat a remorhaz in their arctic homeland as part of a rite of passage.
  6. Danger Among the Dunes. Travellers along a desert trade route have started to go missing, and it turns out a lamia is using a powerful magical item to cast mirage arcane to create an illusion of an oasis to lure victims into its grasp.
  7. Enemy of My Enemy is My…Enemy? Your favored enemy, normally kept in check, has been growing more aggressive lately and you discover an even greater danger threatening them, causing the uncharacteristic behavior.
  8. Spawn of the Star Toad. Cultists devoted to a froghemoth lurk in the sewers, kidnapping vagrants and feeding them to the star toad’s spawn to cultivate its progeny and transform the tunnels into a swampy lair for their abhorrent master.
  9. Weirder Things. A child from the village went missing, and their friends went into the deepest, darkest parts of the forest to try and find them but the same nothic who abducted their friend now imperils the young adventurers.
  10. What Nobility Wants. A messenger arrives in a frontier town, proclaiming the land is now part of a barony granted to a knight who plans to divert the nearby river for tactical reasons, which would have a severe impact on the town and the environment.
  11. But It Was There Last Week! Returning to a familiar hamlet for supplies and to check on the folk there, the entire place is missing as if it were never there at all with no trace of the people or buildings remaining and the surrounding plant life in full bloom — but it’s winter.
  12. Here, Kitty Kitty. Drawn by an unusual mewling sound, you find two kittens crying out of fear and hunger but they’re no ordinary kittens — their fur is purple-black and they have six legs and two nubs on their shoulders — but how did these displacer beast kitties get here and what happens when mom comes looking for them?
  13. Caravan of Cruelty. Slavers are returning to their remote stronghold after a successful raid with cages full of captives to be sold, and confronting the terrible slavers without any of the captives getting harmed in the process will be difficult — but no one should live in chains! (Alternatively could be drow returning to the Underdark after a successful raid on the surface world.)
  14. Not All Who Are Lost Are Wanderers. Far from civilization, a lost woman is distraught and says she does not remember how she got out here…but the woman is actually a night hag who will haunt the ranger’s dreams and attempt to corrupt or kill them in their sleep during the trek back to settled lands.
  15. Hunter’s Feast. A group of hunters set up camp in the woods and offer a place to rest and a warm meal, except you are the meal when they reveal themselves as werewolves and attack!
  16. Extreme Environmentalism. Seeping emanations from the Shadowfell corrupted a dryad’s tree, pushing her to take on extreme methods to protect the area and those she kills are thrown into a midden heap that’s become a shambling mound.
  17. With Foxes We Must Play the Fox. A fox is caught in a bear trap, and a hungry pack of wolves is moving in for the kill but if you can defeat or drive off the pack and free the fox it shapeshifts into a thankful druid who grants a boon.
  18. Equal Pay for Equal Work. Two groups square off in the wilderness over a pile of treasure, with a group of adventurers claiming ownership for destroying a gnoll encampment and a group of bandits demanding a share for saving them from certain death even though no help was asked for.
  19. Bravery or Foolishness? In order to become a knight and fulfill a lifelong dream, a young warrior is tasked with slaying a green dragon but despite their prowess they’re in over their heads unless you help them.
  20. Haunted By the Past. The ghost of a veteran soldier haunts the spot where they and the knights under his command were killed by a terrible beast, filling the apparition with guilt and remorse that their decision led to the group’s death and no one from their homeland knows their fate.

Nerditor Doug is a writer, editor and content creator with Nerdarchy and clients in the tabletop gaming community. A proud Clevelander, Doug is a news designer by night and RPG content creator by…later in the night. He invites gaming fans to check out the Nerdarchy YouTube channel, Nerdarchy.com and the Nerdarchy Patreon where he and fellow Nerdarchists Dave and Ted are constantly at work to entertain, share their love of RPGs and make new stuff for gamers around the world.


Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

 

 

20 D&D Rogue Quest Ideas

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , on January 11, 2019 by boccobsblog

d&amp;d rogue quest ideas

This week’s guest blogger is author, Thomas Biehl. He has prepared 20 quest ideas for the party’s rogue.

  1. An adventuring group asks you to open a chest for them, it’s empty, but they don’t believe you and think you stole its contents.
  2. The local magistrate wants someone to be gotten rid of ‘quietly’, so they hire you, but then you realize you are the intended target.
  3. You use Mage Hand to pickpocket a wizard’s spell book, which contains dark magic; you think nothing of it until someone close to you dies under mysterious circumstances.
  4. A local noble hires you to spy on his enemy who is gathering righteous forces; to do so you have to impersonate a paladin.
  5. A healer needs money; she asks you wound, but not kill, several people so that she can heal them and split the profits with you.
  6. A party hired you to deal with traps, then left you for dead; you escaped and are ready to get even.
  7. A ranger scout on an opposing side spots you alone in a thick forest, and a deadly game of hide and seek ensues.
  8. A party is auditioning for a thief; the task, steal the jeweled necklace of a local nobleman’s wife, which she never takes off.
  9. Members of your old guild are disappearing when a mysterious note appears in handwriting you recognize and asks you to meet.
  10. A fellow Rogue inadvertently tries out a new form of poison on you…
  11. You awake stripped of all your equipment and weapons; you must escape using only your skills.
  12. A lout at a bar challenges you to a dagger throwing contest, and you win his dagger only to find out that it is cursed.
  13. The only way to get to something you need to steal is by an opening only a child could fit through, what do you do?
  14. A man is certain that his wife is cheating on him and wants proof, he will only pay you for proof. You find out that she isn’t cheating, but is rather attractive…
  15. A dragon suspects a rogue stole from his hoard and tells you to find out who or he’ll roast you.
  16. A lord hires you to attend a dinner party for his noble. He wants you to steal something special from each one of the guests.
  17. You are hired to assassinate a local rabble-rouser; when you got to his home, he isn’t there, but his daughter catches you there.
  18. A member of your party finds things of theirs missing and blames you; you scoff, but the items are found among your belongings.
  19. An anonymous person hires you to test out the traps they set to protect their dungeon, but it turns out to be an old rival who is trying to trap you.
  20. You wake up, hung over, to find out several people were stabbed by daggers, a few died, in a tavern brawl and you are being blamed.

About the author:
Thomas Biehl is a writer, teacher, parent, and petty dabbler in theoretical physics, metaphysical philosophy, and abnormal psychology. Read more at biehlsnotebook.wordpress.com.

 

Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

20 D&D Bard Quest Ideas

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , , on January 4, 2019 by boccobsblog

 

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Yeah, that’s a gelatinous cube in a thong. Art by Mia Johnson.

Today we have a guest blogger, Mia Johnson from Tipsy Badger. She has prepared 20 D&D Quest Ideas for bards.

  1. The children of the surround farmland have been disappearing, some say a satyr play his flute just on the edge of the woods, enticing them to join his dance.
  2. Despite the disappearing members and strange accidents happening around the traveling circus, the troupe seeks new headliners for this evening’s show.
  3. A haunting melody rouses the party from their sleep to see a ghostly veiled woman drifting towards a pond, beckoning the party with her hand before sinking below the water.
  4. Drunken revelry draws the party’s attention to  a crowd of townsfolk gathered round a fighting pit, the betting pot valuing a small fortune.
  5. The whole town decorated in fresh flowers and summer banners, many walls and posts are littered with fliers detailing a competition on the center stage, winner receives a hefty some of gold and a masterwork instrument by a local craftsman.
  6. Many musicians have been disappearing from town, rumor has it a devilish creature stalks through the streets at night with his corpse band chained to his side.
  7. A young red dragon with a belled collar around its neck comes bounding through the woods near the party, followed by an out of breath young elf singing an off-key lullaby in an attempt to soothe the beast .
  8. The thieves guild has got a big score lined up from a nobles manor, and they’re willing to give the party a cut if a big diversion is made in the market district.
  9. After a long evening of celebrating their latest victory, the party finds their pockets and sheaths empty with the vague memory of one of the tavern names that they had visited.
  10. The streets are littered with a variety of statues locked in expressions of fear, in the town square large stone beings gather up statues, dragging them towards the keep.
  11. A symphony of terrified screams bring the party’s attention to a large troll walking down the city street, peering through doorways and windows looking for someone.
  12. Desperate, a baron seeks local performers in an attempt to make his bride to be smile.
  13. A woman follows the party wherever they go, claiming to be the bard’s daughter.
  14. It is an annual tradition for a musician to enter the catacombs perform a song to soothe the restless dead, with a necromancer claiming the area as his own, no musicians have been willing to enter the dead infested underground, and the deadline is fast approaching.
  15. The party stumbles upon a slaughtered caravan, the only survivor, fast asleep among the carnage is a blood covered old man with scars over where his ears should be. As the party approaches, the old man opens his eyes, and a toothy grin spreads across  his face as he transforms into a hideous abomination.
  16. While building a new addition onto the lord’s manor, the workmen discovered a series of tunnels underneath the household as well as a gray cow-like beast with milky eyes guarding them, at least that’s what the surviving woman claimed to his lordship. A reward has been posted to all the surrounding towns for anyone who can slay the beast.
  17. In a run-down tavern, a huntsman recounts finding a carved door surrounded by small shards of glass and other found objects set into a hillside, he swears the door opened a crack when the birds were singing.
  18. A neatly written letter is delivered by courier detailing out a plea by a well-renowned songstress, believing someone is going to make an attempt on her life, asks the party to protect her or take her place on stage.
  19. When performing in a local tavern, a finely dressed heckler insults the bard’s performance. If confronted, it will be revealed that the heckler is in fact the duke that rules over the surrounding land, and will call for the arrest of the party, and will try to have them run out-of-town.
  20. In danger of losing his position as royal court jester, the old fool begs the party to help him perform a simple play of three old maids for his lord. In return, he promises to reward the party his grandfather’s prized possession.

About the Author:
The minute I could pick up a crayon, my parents had to cover the walls with paper to save the walls from my creations. I’ve been fascinated with art, story, film-making and of course Dungeons & Dragons all of my life. I’ve been attending Columbia College Chicago with a major in Cinema Arts & Sciences and minoring in animation to further my love and appreciation for both art and story. I founded the art page Tipsy Badger after finishing a piece for my own D&D game for some extra experience points from my dungeon master. One hairy dwarven maiden pin-up and I was hooked on this genre of art. The traditional hero type I have a harder time connecting with, you’re telling me those huge badonka-honkers don’t have stretch marks anywhere on them? I don’t think so. It’s important these little details, especially in art. Most everyone is going to have sagging bits, or folds, or stretch marks or hair (so much hair). It’s important to be proud of these features, both in-game, in art, and outside of it. If you’re looking for some naked hairy wizards you can find my work at any of the links below.

Teespring: https://teespring.com/stores/tipsy-badger-2
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/tipsybadger/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tipsybadgerdesigns/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tipsy_badger


Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

GameholeCon 2018

Posted in Conventions, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , on January 2, 2019 by boccobsblog
GameHoleCon 2019

Pic by Arcadya Photography

GameHoleCon is a tabletop convention held at the Alliant Energy Center  in Madison WI each fall. We attended GHC for Saturday only, and this is our review.

Free Parking
One of the biggest draws for GameholeCon is the parking. If you’ve been to GenCon or another major event then you’re used to paying $25+ a day on parking. The Alliant Energy Center has nearly 6,000 free spots. There was ample free parking. This was a welcome change.

Food & Drink
This is one area that the con really suffered. The concessions in the AEC are limited. The food was expensive and they only carried Pepsi products. If you prefer or need to drink diet soda, then Diet Pepsi is your only choice. Diet Pepsi is somewhere between demon piss and gasoline. The con had a deal where you could get a refillable cup, but again a refillable cup of demon piss isn’t really a win. There were food carts outside the AEC, but the prices were high (I spent 5 dollars on a bottle of soda from a vendor).

If you attend you should know ahead of time, there are no restaurants close to the convention center.

Booze
The AEC sells beer in their concession area. This is a rare find at most cons.

Hotels
The hotels are close to the hall, but many require a short walk outside. This isn’t a bad thing, but should be considered because booking a room. The Clarion Suites is the onsite hotel with an enclosed walkway to the AEC. There were plenty of hotel rooms available for the con (another welcome change).

Vendor Hall
The vendor area is fairly small, but all the major names and usual suspects were in attendance.

Access to Industry Celebs
The most impressive aspect of this small con was the sheer number industry celebs that attended,, and how easy it was to approach and even game with them. On the one day we were in attendance we saw, Matt Mercer, Chris Perkins, Satine Phoenix and Matt Lillard.

In Conclusion
GameHoleCon has all of the features of a large con-True Dungeon, miniature painting, Adventurer’s League, Pathfinder Society, industry celebrity games (maybe more so than a large con). The staff was extremely friendly, and there was plenty of free parking. GameHoleCon is worth visiting and we will be returning.

5e Resource Page Updated

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , , on December 28, 2018 by boccobsblog

D&amp;D5e Resources

Last night I revised our D&D5e Resource page. I’ve updated the System Reference Document (5E SRD) document, the errata for the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual. Additionally, I added several missing Unearthed Arcana articles. If you see an official WotC D&D5e resource I’ve missed, comment or send me an email. Thank you!

-Andy

Simon D&D Puzzle

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2018 by boccobsblog

SImon

I am a big proponent of using existing games as in-game D&D Puzzles. The following article outlines ways to use a Simon game as a D&D puzzle.

Reminder on D&D/Pathfinder Puzzles
Puzzles should ALWAYS be optional. When you place a D&D Puzzle or riddle at a choke point in an adventure or dungeon the momentum grinds to a halt.

Difficulty
When you successfully follow Simon through a pattern you receive a signal (effectively a point), after 35 signals the game is beaten and you win. In our playtesting, 20 signals presented a moderate challenge and 25 signals presented a difficult (but still achievable) challenge.

The longest recorded game of Simon was at the 25th anniversary party of the game in 2003. 14-year-old Joel Berger beat the game 14 times in a row. (This is often misquoted by the duergar on Reddit as 14 moves, Joel got 35 moves in a row, 14 times, not 14 moves).

Sci-Fi Example
The players discover a crashed alien vessel the doors of which are sealed with four colored buttons, red, yellow, green, and blue. Don’t overuse the locks, protect only sensitive areas that hide advanced weaponry or major plot points.

Fantasy Example (D&D5E Puzzle)
Given the colorful nature of the Simon puzzle, it lends itself to a prismatic wall trap. A room of the dungeon is blocked by a prismatic wall. This prismatic wall seems slightly different than others of its kind. The scintillating pattern is made up of splashes of yellow, red, blue, and green. On the floor in front of the wall are 7 gems, three of the which are dull and grey. The remaining gems are red, blue, yellow, and green.

The players then attempts to complete sequences equal to or greater than the difficulty set by the DM (Usually 20 or 25 moves). If they fail to get the correct number of moves they suffer damage, the type of which is determined randomly (damage presented for D&D5E, tweak for Pathfinder):

Damage Type (1d4)
1 Red – fire
2 Yellow – lightning
3 Green – poison
4 Blue – cold

Damage by Level
1 – 4: 1d10
5 – 10: 2d10
11 – 16: 4d10
17+: 10d10

Damage-less Option
You can replace damage by increasing the difficulty of subsequent attempts by 3 or 5 moves.

Horror Example
A playful spirit hides a clue or point plot, and refuses to share with the information unless a character beats it at Simon. The two-player version can be used or take turns.

D&D puzzles can be difficult to create. This mini-game can lighten a session and be used to break up ordinary gameplay with a splash of nostalgia. Try it and let me know how it worked in the comments.

Any Simon game will work, we used a handheld version. Need one? Grab them here.