The following is part adventure recap, part DM strategy session, and part after action report. I’m approaching this edition of D&D with game design/writing credits and a love for story and indy-game approaches. Ultimately, I want The Great Dungeon series to be informative to the reader, but also provide a method to refine the approach to my own DMing.
I tried to ask questions about what the group collectively wanted. After listening a bit, and trying to steer the conversation towards what game experience people desired, I scrawled out a grid of game traits and players. Then, I began marking off what people wanted (and didn’t want).
Find the ruined temple where the cult of Nam-Shub sits on one of the world’s last stockpile of pure Thaumium rods… and TAKE IT!
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.
While I read the newest Monster Manual, I could feel the monsters coming together in and around dungeons and world events. There is easily digested lore for every monster in the main part of the book, and each of the 2-3 pieces of lore has something a GM can sink their teeth into and turn into a piece of an adventure.
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.
Our unofficial mascot here at Critical Hits, since the beginning, has been the powerful combination of an Umber Hulk riding a Bulette.
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.
I had to adapt my approach to prepping. I needed a way to do a little amount of prep whenever I had a short break: during lunch breaks, long meetings or at home. I got the original idea, of all places, in a task management book called From Zen to Done.
The risk inherent in mentioning optimization, rules complexity, and story vs. rules in a discussion is great. People may fall back into entrenched positions on all sides. So I want to quickly clarify some points that will also frame my discussion going forward.