Posts

On House Rules

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(Has it really been 10 months since my last post? I really need to post more often! I do have things I can put up here...anyway, I digress).

While tweaking my Campaign Guidelines page recently (though I'm still not satisfied), I realized that I’m not a huge fan of “house rules”. I use them like everyone else, but I’m trying to minimize that. To me, when you sit down to a game at someone’s table and they say they’re playing “Game X”, if you already know that game you shouldn’t have to re- learn a bunch of things you already know. I can’t get away from tinkering a least a little bit, but ultimately I have to ask myself if a change is really necessary. Most of the time, it isn’t.

That said, I do consider there to be two types of “house rules”: rules changes and option availability. The former are actual changes to existing rules, like saying that active Perception rolls can’t be lower that a character’s passive Perception score, or that items need to be saves if their possessor fail…

The Truth About World-Building

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I recently read a somewhat old post about world building from the Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque blog. I've talked in the past about simplifying world presentation, and the post really resonated with me. Years ago, I definitely was the type of DM who wanted to detail his world to the nth degree (though generally after I over-detailed something I would get tired of it and move on to something new - tells you something about doing that which I didn't catch onto for too long...). But I've seen that, in general, your players really don't care about that sort of thing. Heck, when I'm a player I rarely care about that much detail.



Which is the point that the post above makes, among other things. World-building is a fun activity, and if you want to go into hyper-detail mode, go nuts. But don't think you're doing it for anyone other than yourself.

Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't flesh out anything in your world or just drop it for a pre-…

3D Printing Project: Fortified Temple

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A couple months ago I backed Printable Scenery's "Time Warp" Kickstarter, specifically the "Rampage Castle" (the Western buildings were cool but I didn't need them, and the Europe line, also cool, wasn't something I was that interested in). The first thing I built with the castle sets was a basic tower; I'm not going to go into that here since detailed instructions on available on the PS site and in their YouTube channel.

My second project was a simple stronghold. Took awhile to print (~400 hours) between two printers. Actually took longer than that since I miscalculated some of what I needed and ended up printing a few pieces I didn't need (though that gives me a jump on the next castle, I suppose). It actually looks more like a church or temple - a friend mentioned it reminded him of the cathedral from Diablo - but that's OK :) Anyway, I told the 3D Printed Terrain & Miniatures group on Facebook that I'd provide a parts list for th…

3D Printing Game Terrain

I recently (well, about 7 months ago) got into 3D printing, initially spurred on by Fat Dragon Games' second Kickstarter for their Dragonlock line. Since then I've also been printing objects from Printable Scenery, free objects from Thingiverse, and other places. As I've been a little light on blogging here, I figured I'd start adding discussion about this new facet of the hobby. It's very cool, more affordable than ever, and the potential is pretty amazing.

More posts coming...

On Wilderness Travel and Evolving Gaming Styles

While cleaning up some old bookmarks, I found this blog post from almost 10 years ago: Guiding player movement. It's interesting since what Shamus describes is something that I've started doing recently (with a fair amount of success), though I originally got the idea from the excellent Hill Cantons blog. Specifically, his first post on "point crawling" (and one of the commenters references the other article).
I may end up writing up some posts on how I use "point crawling" for my game, but I'm still working the kinks out. In any case, I think it's preferable to using a hex map since it makes it easier to "fast-forward" wilderness travel if nothing interesting is happening, but it still allows for player choice. The choice isn't as great as "which direction of the six do you want to travel out of this hex", but it tends to be a more meaningful choice. Hex crawls have the danger of turning into punctuated slogs, whereas point…

Campaign Guide updated

The Campaign Guide and House Rules page has been updated to reflect allowed material from Princes of the Apocalypse and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, as well as clarification regarding material from Unearthed Arcana.

Settlement Business and Services Summary

In a previous post I discussed the details of settlements in Mythosa. This is a follow-up to that post, summarizing the availability of businesses and services in each of the settlements. They are shown in the table below (businesses are in brown). Most services that produce physical goods are not listed as their presence is implied based on the equipment lists in the PHB (i.e.; if the PCs can buy a sword in a settlement, you can assume that there are smiths; if they can buy arrows, assume fletchers are present, etc.). If a percentage is shown, that is the chance that one individual of that type is found in the settlement.

Service/BusinessHamletVillageTownCityMetropolisAlchemistNoneNone50%3 (2 to 5)5+ArtistNone50%3 (1 to 5)10 (5 to 15)15+AstrologerNoneNone50%3 (2 to 5)5+BankNoneNoneNone2 (1 to 3)4+Boatwright*None50%3 (1 to 5)10 (5 to 15)15+Book DealerNoneNone50%3 (2 to 5)5+Bounty HunterNoneNone3 (1 to 5)10 (5 to 15)15+BreweryNoneNone2 (1 to 3)5 (3 to 7)8+BrothelNoneNone2 (1 to 3)5 (3 t…

Archfiends of the Nine Infernal Kingdoms

The Nine Infernal Kingdoms are regions of the plane of Maledicium where powerful archdevils have established their domains, pockets of stability and order surrounded by demon-infested chaos. Brief descriptions of these "kings of Hell" and their dominions are listed below (in order of relative power, weakest to strongest).

Note: Each archdevil is listed with aliases as it is ill-advised to say their names aloud, outside the context of a ritual or invocation. To do so is said to invite misfortune upon oneself.


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Ilsidris, King of AvernusThe Hawk, the Whisperer

Ilsidris is the ruler of Avernus, and is the third ruler of this kingdom in recent history. He has the form of a human male with a hawk's head, bird wings, and taloned feet. Ilsidris speaks in a sinister whisper, causing feelings of dread and uneasiness to those who hear his voice. The avian archdevil is the weakest of the infernal kings, but he is able to ally and manipulate the others in such a way as to ke…