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, their two dogs, and two cats.

Goodbye, Sir Terry

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Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, passed away today at the age of 66, following a battle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

A Quick D&D 5e Spellcasting Primer

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New to D&D 5e and interested in a spellcasting character? Here’s what you need to know.

My 2014 as a Freelance Game Designer

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Dave recaps his 2014 as a freelance game designer in both tabletop and RPG, and learn how too much clicking can seriously derail a plan.

Review: “Dungeon Master’s Guide” for “Dungeons & Dragons” 5th Edition

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Does the DMG fill in the gaps? Is it more for new DMs, experienced DMs, or all? What about all the rules modules discussed earlier in development? Find out in this full review.

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!

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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.