Friday Favourite: Intelligent Magic Items

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on March 27, 2015

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From July 14, 2009, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: Intelligent Magic Items.

Having a magic sword is one thing but having an intelligent magic sword is a whole new level of coolness. So far there are no mechanics in 4e Dungeons & Dragons for creating intelligent magic items. However a creative DM can always introduce one as he sees fit.

Continuing our look at magic items that began in yesterday’s article What’s a +1 Sword?, today I’m going to share some of the pros and cons I’ve experienced by introducing an intelligent magic item to my campaign. Over the years I’ve have many games that included intelligent items. It’s not something I would recommend for everyone, especially new gamers, but it can add a new and unpredictable element to your game.

I suspect that the forthcoming Adventurer’s Vault 2 will reintroduce us to intelligence items. There are also a few intelligent artifacts in the DMG if you need an immediate fix. Until then here are some of the pros and cons that come with intelligent items in D&D.

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D&D Encounters: Princes of the Apocalypse (Episode 1.1)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on March 25, 2015

princes-of-the-apocalypse-coverWe’re back! After a long absence D&D Encounters begins anew as do our weekly recaps. The new adventure path is called Elemental Evil and in the Princes of the Apocalypse the adventurers find themselves in the town of Red Larch where strange things are afoot.

I’d like to give a huge shout out to our FLGS, Face to Face Games in Toronto. They’re a relatively new game shop and this is the first season they’ve hosted D&D Encounters. For our first official session we ran two full tables with six players in each party. My group consisted of the following PCs: Goliath Bard, Elf Bard, Human Sorcerer (Wild Magic), Human Fighter, Human Monk, and Half-Elf Sorcerer (Dragon Magic).

Last week some of the players got together at our FLGS to make characters together. Afterwards we ran a session of The Lost Mines of Phandelver so they could get a feel for their new PCs. They earned just enough XP from that one session to reach level 2. So our two Bards began this week at level 2.

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Friday Favourite: What is the Town’s Attitude?

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on March 20, 2015

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From February 20, 2013, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: What is the Town’s Attitude?

Kelmarsh medieval villageA lot of D&D adventures begin with the PCs arriving in town. In most cases it’s someplace the PCs have never been before so everything is new – the people, the locale, and the problems. This is just a natural part of the adventurer’s life; going from place to place, getting in adventures and helping people along the way.

I’ll admit that I’ve run many adventures that start just like this. It’s not a bad thing, but it is a bit boring. The longer you play D&D the more often this will happen and the more trivial each town will seem as you continue on your quest for adventure.

After playing through this scenario for the umpteenth time during last week’s D&D Encounters introduction it occurred to me that a clever DM can turn this traditionally boring introduction into something a lot more interesting by adding one little detail – the town’s attitude towards strangers.

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Friday Favourite: Characters with Secret Identities

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on March 13, 2015

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From November 14, 2011, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: Characters with Secret Identities.

dread-pirate-robertsNormally D&D characters are glory hounds. They’re always looking to make a name for themselves. When they accomplish something noteworthy they usually go to great lengths to ensure that everyone knows it. The proudly wear their magical armor and make no attempt to hide the magical weapon hanging at their hip or strung over their back. For most characters, level advancement is synonymous with fame. The greater your reputation the more likely you are to take on better paying assignments with more danger and even greater chances for glory.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with this approach. After all this is what almost all adventurers do, but there is something to be said for keeping a low profile. Certainly most adventuring parties have learned this over time and have likely even had an adventure or two where they needed to conceal their true identity. But what if this was the way your party operated all the time. Think about it. There are considerable advantages to anonymity. Think of what you can do if there is no chance that anyone can tie the deeds to your PCs?

I’m not suggesting that your character don a mask and go on a killing spree; quite the opposite in fact. I’m thinking of all the potential good that can be accomplished by keeping your identity secret, not to mention the fantastic role-playing opportunities that arise from having a dual identity.

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D&D Encounters: Elemental Evil Kit – Preview

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 26, 2015

ee-poster-01On March 18, we begin D&D Encounters season 20. The adventure is called Princes of the Apocalypse and is part of the larger Elemental Evil story arc.

In order to entice new players to come out and try D&D 5e public play, Wizards of the Coast has kindly offered up free rewards for DMs and players. We’ve taken a look inside the box of goodies and today we’ll show you everything.

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Dungeon Master Appreciation Month – DM Cory

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 25, 2015

They say you never forget your first. That’s true for pretty much all great things. In this case I’m referring to my very first DM, my cousin, Cory. It’s Dungeon Master Appreciation Month and I’m writing a series of articles in which I express my appreciation for some of the very best DMs I’ve ever had the good fortune to play with. So far the DMs I’ve featured have all been friends; this time the DM in question is family which makes the relationship that much more important and significant.

When talking about the very best DMs I know I would be remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation to DM Cory for introducing me to role-playing games and Dungeons & Dragon in particular. He is the DM by which I measure all others, and even though we haven’t played D&D together in almost 20 years, he is still the DM I consider to be my all-time favourite.

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Dungeon Master Appreciation Month – DM Liam

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 23, 2015

February has been designated as the month when we should go out of our way to let our DMs know what a good job they’re doing. Of course, I’d like to think that many players do this on a regular basis already, but for those who need prompting it’s time to say thank you. As a DM I get a lot of thank yous from my players so I know how big a morale boost it is to hear you’ve done a good job. With that in mind I’m taking the time in February to write a few blog posts that feature some of my very best DMs I know. It’s my way of saying thank you to them.

This time around I’d like to tell you about DM Liam (a.k.a. Bauxtehude). We met as while playing Living Forgotten Realms together at my FLGS shortly after 4e D&D was released. It only took me a few session to realize that Liam didn’t care for the rigid structure that canned adventures in 4e followed. Fortunately he’s the kind of guy who is willing to put up or shut up, and he put up. He decided that he would rather spend his time running a game that could go in any direction and not have to confirm to a 4-hour time block. He recruited a few players from the FLGS and we began to play in DM Liam’s new home campaign called The Shattered Sea.

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Friday Favourite: Dice Rituals & Superstitions

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 20, 2015

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From March 24, 2009, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: Dice Rituals & Superstitions.

dice-01aIf you’re like me, you have a variety of dice in all shapes, sizes and colours. Many people, myself included, are very particular about their dice and have many superstitions about them. Let’s look at a few.

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Dungeon Master Appreciation Month – DM Monty

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on February 17, 2015

February is Dungeon Master Appreciation Month. Although I tend to be the DM more often than I’m a player, I have had the good fortune to play under some great DMs over the years. Throughout February I’m writing about a few DMs I’ve had, the best of the best, and sharing stories about what I found most interesting and memorable about them. This is my way of reminding them how good they are at what they do and showing my appreciation for fellow DMs.

Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about DM Monty (a.k.a. Steampunked) and why he’s an outstanding DM. I met Monty at my FLGS when I started playing Living Forgotten Realms shortly after 4e was released. He was a fellow player and I was always fascinated by how much careful thought he put into building and developing his characters. He was an optimizer who always looked for the best way to get the most out of his PC. As we met other players at our FLGS we were both invited to join a newly forming home game and for the next two years we played side-by-side week after week.

One night at our new home game someone started talking about the classic Gary Gygax super-dungeon adventure, the Tomb of Horrors. By then a 4e conversion of the original had been released as reward for public play DMs and there was a 4e hardcover that was positioned as a sequel to the original. DM Monty said he wanted to run the Tomb of Horrors as a 4e adventure and try to make it as deadly and fun as the original had been for 1e D&D. I immediately expressed an interest to be in that game.

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Friday Favourite: Is A Blog Right For Your Game?

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on February 13, 2015

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From February 21, 2009, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: Is A Blog Right For Your Game?

The advent of technology has had a large impact on the RPG community. I can still remember several years ago pulling my laptop out for my regular Sunday night game. I explained I’d found a new mapping program I wanted to use for the game. That was the beginning of Maptools for my group and we haven’t looked back.

It seems everyone is getting in on the digital action. Even Wizards of the Coast has jumped on the digital initiative with DDI. It simply the next step in gaming. 

Blogging is all the rage on the Internet. I personally contribute to six blogs including this one. My favourite blog to post to is The Rise of the Phoenix which belongs to my main gaming group.

So is a blog the right fit for your gaming group? There are several reasons a blog could improve your gaming experience and we’ll look at them individually.

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