I often draw tabletop RPG inspiration from playing totally unrelated games. In the Pokemon game series, you can breed your Pokemon together for a variety of reasons, including learning new moves. How can we adapt this concept to make more creative monsters?
We often say an attack that misses by 2 hits your shield. Yet, a shield isn't your last line of defense--it's one of your first! Can we establish an order of operations for missed attacks that assists us in narrating combat more accurately?
Traps can be fun. A great myth is that traps need to be carefully curated to be worth anything. While curated traps are wonderful, even simple traps can be great. Here's a simple system for running fun and impactful traps at your table: Download the PDF via DM's Guild Elements of a Good Trap For … Continue reading Simple Trap System
In last week's post on Breath Weapon Dice Pools, I suggested that you could power up the breath weapon by allowing the dragon (or other monster) to charge their breath weapon beyond its normal limits. This week, I've developed an overcharge system to drive more dynamic combat. We'll be using the Breath Weapon Dice Pools … Continue reading Breath Weapon Overcharge
Torching the whole party with a dragon's breath weapon is one of the most fun moments as a Dungeon Master. How can we tweak this rule to have greater control over its power and establish ludonarrative harmony?
Metagaming is one issue we encounter in tabletop RPGs. Players have their characters act on player knowledge that their character does not possess. A DM's defense against this is to gently remind the player to act within the confines of character knowledge. This can lead to an overcorrection where every time a single PC finds out information, the other players ask "do you tell us that?" Any time a strange routine like this becomes habitual, we should streamline the process.
Critical Hits are often the subject of homebrew rules. Driven by the perception that critical hits frequently underperform, these homebrew rules juice up the damage of critical hits to a more impressive level. They're often implemented after a player waits 20 rolls (on average) to score a critical hit that lands with a thud. But, is this underperformance a reflection of perception or reality?
Why do we only use one side of the DM screen? Make use of the player's side to your DM screen to keep your D&D sessions running smoothly!
Can we rewrite the Shield Master feat to fix its fiddly action economy?
This is my dirtiest DM secret: I don't fudge dice. I fudge entire monsters. This DMing tip can help you manage the tide of combat to dramatic conclusions.