Game Master's Journey 136: Building D&D Encounters using the Unearthed Arcana

Game Master's Journey 136: Building D&D Encounters using the Unearthed Arcana

Today I’ll discuss an alternative method for building encounters for D&D that Wizards has provided in the Unearthed Arcana. After some playtesting, I’ve found this method to be easier and work better than the method presented in the DMG. It’s also not nearly as confusing or involved as it may seem. I also discuss the dangers of getting too used to adjusting encounters on the fly instead of designing them correctly to begin with. Finally, I give some pointers on creating a legendary version of a non-legendary monster to throw at your PCs.

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Game Master's Journey 132: Bringing PC Backstories into the Adventure

Game Master's Journey 132: Bringing PC Backstories into the Adventure

Today I’m discussing PC backstories and how to bring them into the story of your campaign. I’ll give advice not only for GMs, but also for players on how to better give the GM what she needs in order to bring your backstory into the main narrative. Not only will using these character hooks enrich the story of your game, but it will also increase player buy-in and engagement. I also talk a bit about the new player options for D&D being released in the new Unearthed Arcana articles and how you can, and should, make your voice heard.

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Game Master's Journey 130: Primordia 2.0 - Improving Your World Through Revision

Game Master's Journey 130: Primordia 2.0 - Improving Your World Through Revision

Today I’ll discuss some revisions I’m considering for Primordia as I begin preparations for my first campaign in the setting. I’ll also answer a few remaining listener questions about the setting. This is a great example of how worldbuilding is a process that never truly ends. Never be afraid to make necessary revisions to your setting, even when you already have campaigns up and running.

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Game Master's Journey 127: Adventuring in the Wilds of Primordia

Game Master's Journey 127: Adventuring in the Wilds of Primordia

Today I resume discussion of my homebrew D&D world of Primordia. I talk about how some of my assumptions about the world have come into conflict with running actual adventures in the world and the solutions I found to the dilemma. I also discuss what adventures in Primordia will be like, and I talk more about the Wilds of Primordia and what kinds of things you’ll find out there. What makes Primordia unique, and what will the life of an adventurer really be like in Primordia?

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Game Master's Journey 123: Storm King's Thunder First Impressions

Game Master's Journey 123: Storm King's Thunder First Impressions

Storm King's Thunder has more to offer than just an adventure. I discuss some of the early highlights of this book and thoughts they've inspired, including giving DMs and players choices when handing out "random" magic items, how to use the coins in treasure hoards to help keep PC wealth where you want it, and some ideas on what to do if you have a TPK. I also discuss how the adventure gives the players special NPCs to play, and how we can use its enhanced monsters as a springboard of inspiration for creating our own bad-ass one-of-a-kind monsters.

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Game Master's Journey 122: Tome of Beasts Review

Game Master's Journey 122: Tome of Beasts Review

If you're looking for an extensive review of Tome of Beasts by Kobold Press, then you've come to the right place! I dig into this new monster manual for D&D fifth edition in detail. Will this book be right for you, your game, your setting and your group? You'll have to decide for yourself, but I'll give you the knowledge you need to make an educated decision.

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Game Master's Journey 117: Handling Off-the-Wall PC Actions On-the-Fly

Game Master's Journey 117: Handling Off-the-Wall PC Actions On-the-Fly

Today's topic is making rulings on the fly as a GM--specifically, calling for rolls that aren’t necessarily covered by your system of choice. You don’t need (or want!) a game to give you a mechanic for every little thing. Once you’ve grasped the basic resolution mechanics of a game, you can apply that knowledge to resolve any crazy thing the PCs come up with to try. I’ll use the current incarnation of D&D as an example.

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