11 Articles Everyone Should Read

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on March 25, 2011

After a long and busy week, Friday is finally here. What better way to relax than putting together a D&D list. It started simply enough, just a list of tips for players. That’s when I realized that buried within the 600+ articles we have at Dungeon’s Master are more than enough tips for any D&D player.

Presented below are 11 articles that I enjoyed re-reading and think you will too. When I put together this list together my only criteria was to find interesting article that would appeal to a wide gaming audience. I wasn’t looking for our greatest hits (although a couple included below have already earned that distinction). These articles are a great place to begin a conversation about various aspects of the great game we call Dungeons & Dragons.

A Beginner’s Guide To Dungeon’s & Dragons

The first of three articles on playing D&D. There’s nothing earth shattering in this series, but it’s a solid place to point anyone who is new to the game. It’s even possible that a grizzled veteran might read a piece of advice that they’ve long forgotten about.

Getting The Most Out Of Rituals

When I wrote this article rituals were a part of the game that I didn’t use very much, fast forward a year and that is still the case. Of course it’s primarily because I don’t tend to play characters that have the ritual caster feat. However, if you are looking for ideas on how to get a little bit more juice out of your rituals this article is for you.

Playing Against Type

Goliath Barbarian with axe. Dual wielding Drow Ranger. The Tiefling Warlock with a nefarious pact. These three class descriptions share the common trait of being common stereotypes for class and race combinations. Now they are common combinations for a reason, they work well. The attribute bonuses of the race mesh well with the class. The combinations are popular in fiction, which usually translates to a positive gaming experience. What I enjoy about this article by Ameron is he highlights the positive aspects of selecting combinations that don’t necessarily make sense from a sheer numbers or meta-game perspective.

Avoiding Death

Nothing is more satisfying than a heroic and well earned death by a well loved character. Nothing is worse than dying because you made a mistake or weren’t paying attention. If you want to avoid dying, you’ll heed the advice in this article.

Deal The Most Damage

I like to deal a lot of damage. I also tend to favour strikers. However, even when I’m not playing a striker I still like to maximize my damage output. In this article Ameron presents a case study and breaks down the most destructive 1st level class. There has been a fair bit of errata since the article was published, but it still stands up regarding the work that needs to be done if you want to create an effective monster killer.

What’s A +1 Sword?

What are the in game statistical bonuses for Excalibur? I’ll admit that I don’t know. I do know that it is one of the most legendary swords ever forged. The beauty of this article is the emphasis on magic items from a role playing perspective. 4e is guilty of presenting a mechanics only view of magic items. We want the item for what it can do for us, not for the lore or status it holds in the game.

The Art of D&D

Art and role playing games go hand in hand. D&D is fortunate to have some of the most iconic artists providing inspiration for thousands of players over the years. This post, the first of two, takes a look at the work of Caldwell, Elmore, Easley, Fields, and Parkinson. Giants in their field. A simple browse through their catalogue of work can’t help but inspire.

Skill Challenges

My favourite page here at Dungeon’s Master is the Skill Challenges tab. Loaded with skill challenge goodness for a DM to add into their campaign. There are also plenty of articles geared towards players on how to get the most out of the various skills the have.

How To Introduce A New PC

If you’ve had a character die at your table, you’ve also had the joy of introducing the replacement character. Of course it might just be a new player your introducing to bolster the numbers at your table. The trick is how do you introduce the new player? This article will guide you straight.

Should I Fight Or Should I Heal Now?

Unless I’m playing a Dwarf, I don’t like to use my second wind. I’d rather attack, even if I know that healing is the better option. This article breaks down the options, examining whether discretion truly is the better part of valour.

Adventuring With A Sub-Optimal Party

I’m currently the DM for a party with three leaders, one striker and one defender. They have healing covered, which is a good thing because the lack of controller is causing them to take a beating. If you’re in a similar situation this article provides some tips on how to compensate.

If you were to provide one piece of advice to a new player or even a veteran what would it be? Would it focus around role playing or character creation? We want to hear from you.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dwayne March 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Great blog..been following it for a little while, A-LOt of great info, just figured I would drop a little 1E stuff on you, Excalibur was an intelligent (LG of course) +5 sword of sharpness, per Deities and Demigods. Keep up the great work!

2 Sunyaku March 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I’m sure it was tough to assemble a top 11 list, and I imagine a number of great articles didn’t quite make the cut… but I will humbly add a 12th anyway. :-)

http://dungeonsmaster.com/2010/03/more-than-just-numbers/

3 Lahrs March 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

Although I enjoyed your A Beginner’s Guide To Dungeon’s & Dragons articles, I would like to see A Beginner’s Guide to DMing articles or a tips and tricks every DM should know. I might have years of experience, but I love learning new ways to get more fun out of the game.

4 Wimwick March 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

@ Lahrs
Great suggestion. I’ll see what we can do to put something together.

5 the Dungeons Dragons June 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Hmmm bookmarked this page, think I’ll have to read through some of those! :D For what ever reason I just can’t get into 4th ed, I guess part of it was a train wreck of a first session, but I find all the party roles a bit distracting, controllers, blasters, leaders?!?!?! Sounds like City of Heroes… not that that’s a bad thing, but I can’t for the life of me imagine anyone classifying any of the iconic heroes of fantasy into any of those categories! (Seriously, what would Conan be???? Although to be fair he was the original multi-class character :D)

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