Review: “Monster Manual” for “Dungeons & Dragons” 5th Edition

With a fantastic design, writing that inspires the imagination, and mechanics that make monsters fun to run and fun to fight, the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Monster Manual may very well be the best monster book ever written.

A Life Playing D&D

It’s quite possible that, when we look at the small things that form together to build a happy life, D&D can be high on the list. This might surprise us. Yet if we think about it, the fact that we get so much joy playing D&D might not be all that surprising at all.

Interview: Rob Heinsoo on “13th Age”

On November 5th, Mike Shea of SlyFlourish interviewed Rob Heinsoo, one of the lead designers of 13th Age, live on Google Hangouts.

Review: “13th Age”

30 Second Summary 13th Age feels like the spiritual successor of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons mixed with the storytelling mechanics of games like Fate and Fiasco. Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet give us a fully refined RPG mixed with a pile of house rules we can drop into any d20 game. While it’s great […]

The Exaggerated Death of 4th Edition

Just because Wizards of the Coast pays little attention to 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t mean its dead. D&D isn’t Star Wars Galaxies or City of Heroes; WOTC can’t shut the servers down. With currently published material, we can play 4e as long as we desire and the 4e products released since late 2010 are the best in the edition. 4e didn’t die — it finally became stable. It’s not only alive, it may now be the best time to play!

Steve Townshend on Adventure Design Podcast

Mike Shea of Sly Flourish and Steve Townshend, freelance WotC designer and trained actor, discuss the ins and outs of great adventure design in this most recent Critical Hits podcast.

Initial Impressions of the New D&D

30 Second Summary Though we know little about the final game, the foundations of the new D&D are solid. The focus on ability scores, flatter power progression, and faster gameplay give freedom to both players and dungeon masters. The refined nature of the game puts a focus on the imagination of the players and the […]

Critical Hits Podcast #34: The Id DM and the Psychology of D&D

Mike Shea of Sly Flourish and Michael Mallen, practicing psychologist and author of the Id DM D&D blog, discuss the psychology of the gaming table. This podcast discusses some of Mallen’s excellent studies into the mind of the players and the dungeon master and statistical studies of the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts.

Critical Hits Podcast #33: Erik Scott De Bie and Mike Shea on Sandbox Gaming

Mike Shea and Erik Scott De Bie talk sandbox gaming, specifically in Dungeons & Dragons 4e.

The Scaling Woes of 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

D&D 4e is a wonderful refined combat-focused RPG but it scales poorly as levels increase. While many of the elements of 4e scale along a linear path, many powers and effects scale at a much greater rate resulting in large imbalances between PCs and the threats they face at higher levels. This makes it hard for dungeon masters to challenge PCs.