About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, the Geek's Dream Girl.

10 Things I Dig About the New “Monster Manual” (And 5 I Don’t)

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I was one of the fortunate few to get my grubby mitts on an advance copy of the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons. We’ll have a full review of the book in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to explore some of the aspects that jumped out at me as we flipped through.

Dungeons & Dragons “Monster Manual” Preview: The Bulette!

Bulette Preview

Our unofficial mascot here at Critical Hits, since the beginning, has been the powerful combination of an Umber Hulk riding a Bulette.

First Impressions Review: “Player’s Handbook” for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

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The Player’s Handbook – and the D&D 5th edition ruleset as a whole- feels very polished. In fact, I’d go as far to say they focused on taking everything they had from previous editions and worlds, ran with it, refined it again, and so on.

“Basic Dungeons & Dragons” Rules PDF is Online

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This is a full game of D&D, including 4 races, 4 classes (going all the way from levels 1-20) and everything you need to run them including equipment and spells. There’s also the rules of how the game runs. The only thing it’s really missing to be fully playable are any monsters.

Stealing From Games (And A Game About Stealing)

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I see this a lot among game designers of all kinds, both new and experienced: “I really want to use [game mechanism X] but I worry it’ll be too much like [popular game].” I am here to set you free and tell you not to worry about that.

“Dungeons & Dragons” New Edition (Formerly “Next”) Gets Release Dates, Cover

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“Dungeons & Dragons”, the new edition, has a release date, just in time for Gen Con, as well as product covers and a few surprises.

Project Paradigm: Making Magic

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In a game where everyone uses magic, magic becomes the cornerstone of design. This is one of the big areas that makes Mage: the Ascension different from Sorcerer from a Harry Potter RPG.

Project Paradigm: Some Thoughts on a Mage-Inspired Fate Game

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I’ve written before about my love of Mage: the Ascension. I even went and hacked another game system to play it in a way I really enjoyed, and have run it that way multiple times now. I’m not the only one who wanted to bring Mage back with a modern system. Ryan Macklin also wrote up the hack he was playing with. Now we’re joining forces on it.

D&D Next to Release in Summer 2014

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Wizards of the Coast today announced that the highly-anticipated new rules system for Dungeons & Dragons will release in summer 2014.

“The 5×5 Method” Dragon Magazine Article

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I have an article in the 2nd to last (for now) issue of Dragon, and it’s a redone version of my most popular article on Critical Hits. It was also my first paid piece in my RPG designer career.