Month in Review: May 2011

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on June 1, 2011

May was another great month for us here at Dungeon’s Master. We continued our exploration of racial powers, shared our weekly experiences with D&D Encounters and took a detailed look at divine classes. We also covered monster variety, DM rehearsals, controller powers and a look back at fantasy movies from the 80s. If you missed any of the great articles from May this is your opportunity to get caught up.

And of course the Dungeon’s Master team would like to take this opportunity, as we always do in the Month in Review, to thank everyone who visited our site and commented in May.

Highlights

DM Resources

  • Curses as Skill Challenges– Just because 4e D&D doesn’t have cursed items in its rule set doesn’t mean that you can’t improvise a good skill challenge the involves a nefarious curse.
  • Mandatory DM Rehearsal – A good DM gains experience by running many different gaming sessions; a great DM gains experience from running the same gaming session.
  • Accepting a Suicide Mission – How might this kind of game be different form a normal D&D adventure, knowing from the outset that your PCs won’t be coming home in the end?
  • More Monster Variety – Put Undead to Rest – In a closed environment undead are the staple go-to monsters, but don’t forget about all the other creatures equally suitable to environments without food, water or light.

Player Resources

  • What Is The Best Control Power? – With all of the possible controlling effects (including, but not limited to, stun, daze, immobilize, slow, push, pull, slide, knock prone and weaken), we ask you which one you think is the best.
  • Move Over Character Builder – The D&D Online Compendium is quickly becoming a more valuable and versatile tool during character creating than Character builder, as we explore in this article.
  • Top Fantasy Movies From the 80s– Inspired by the forthcoming reimagining of Conan the Barbarian movie schedule for release this summer, we look back as some great (and not so great) classic fantasy films.

Exploiting Racial and Class Powers

Our exploration into racial powers and how best to maximize them during game play continued throughout May. After covering the Dragonborn, Dwarf and Eladrin last month, we moved on to the Drow, Elf, Tiefling and Warforged in May.

Divinity in D&D

  • Divine Connections– Wimwick explored motivations of each of the divine classes as well as their relationship to each other and their respective churches.
  • Divine Organizations (Part One)– As a follow-up to the Divine Connections article, Wimwick looked at divine organizations specific to Clerics and Runepriest along with possible adventure hooks for those organizations and classes.
  • Adventure Hooks for Divine Characters (Part 1 | Part 2) – Together these two articles provides DMs with 20 adventure hooks that all revolve around a divine character. The real challenge for the DM is to decide on which side of the conflict the PC will fall.

D&D Encounters

March of the Phantom Brigade

In May we completed the 13-week adventure, bringing D&D Encounters season 4 to a conclusion. Following the final encounter I put together a report card addressing season 4’s highs and lows.

Dark Legacy of Evard

Without missing a week, we dove right in to D&D Encounters season 5. In addition to the weekly field reports we also put together level 3 versions of our pre-generated characters based on reader feedback.

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as other great D&D Encounters articles and resources.

A Look Ahead

In June Dungeon’s Master is hosting the RPG Blog Carnival, watch for our announcement coming later this week in which we divulge all of the details. Also in June we’ll explore good class pairings that every party should consider, how to draw inspiration for your next encounter’s battle map by looking at real life locations, and in-game social issues at your gaming table. Our regular features will include the next articles in our series of exploiting racial and class powers featuring the Halfling’s Second Chance and the Half-Elf’s Dilettante power. And of course we’ll keep bringing you weekly field reports from D&D Encounters. There’s plenty of great 4e D&D resources in store for June so be sure to visit us every day.

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