Gen Con 2012: D&D Keynote and More

D&D is in a transitional period, and that showed quite a bit at Gen Con. No longer in one big room at the Sagamore, D&D events were spread out across different rooms in the convention center, with the booth in the exhibit hall focusing mainly on showing off the new MMO expansion, the Lolth statue, and selling branded merchandise. Organized Play such as Living Forgotten Realms and Ashes of Athas kept the torching going for D&D 4e, while other rooms were dedicated to demoing Next. Let’s start with the current offerings from D&D and move forward from there.

Rules For Optimum Gen Connery, 2012 Edition

Last night, I dreamt of Gen Con. This happens to me 4-5 times a year, and though the details are usually different, there are some common threads. First, it’s always the second or third day of the con, and I haven’t done even close to everything I wanted to do. Second, something insane happens, and I’m no longer gaming, and usually my life is in danger. Sometimes, I’m a secret agent. Once, I was at a surfing academy, and my classes were conflicting with all the best seminars. In the most recent iteration of this dream, I found a holy lamppost that told me how to get a date in Victorian England and threatened to unmake reality, and I was really bummed that I was going to miss True Dungeon.

The Architect DM: Structural Dungeon Design

Back in one of my earliest Architect DM posts I said that structure was one of the most overlooked elements of dungeon design. These days most of the published dungeon maps that I see are not bad with regards to structure, but from what I’ve heard this is still something that a lot of people would like to learn about for their personal, hand drawn dungeon designs.

Zen and the Art of Dungeon Mastering #4: What is Your Intent with my Dungeon?

Chatty’s series of DMing advice continues. This time he discusses how you can help players focus on what they want to do in their turns by asking a simple question.

2012 ENnie Award Nominations Announced


The 2012 ENnie Award nominations are out, if you haven’t heard. Just as in previous years, here’s my thoughts on some of the nominees, particularly the ones that I’ve read or played.

Zen and the Art of Dungeon Mastering #3: Mind your Players’ Styles, Part 4 of 4

Chatty concludes his four part sub-series (and hits his 900th post) about helping DMs understand what motivate their players and how to tap into this to make a more satisfying game for all. In this article, chatty discusses Lurking and Instigating play styles and also broaches the subject of selfish players.

Zen and the Art of Dungeon Mastering #3: Mind Your Players’ Styles, Part 3 of 4

Chatty’s series on adapting a DM’s natural style to take into account those of his players continue with three more set of player motivations: Specialty Characters, Method Acting and Storyteling. Don’t miss it!

Zen and the Art of Dungeon Mastering #3: Mind Your Players’ Styles, Part 2 of 4

In which Chatty tackles three well-established playing styles (Power Gaming, Butt Kicking and Tactics) and shares advice to tweak encounters to take them into account.

Zen and the Art of Dungeon Mastering #3: Mind your Players’ Styles, Part 1 of 4

Chatty’s new Back-to-Basics DMing series continues by tackling a cornerstone issue of understanding and catering to what bring (and keeps) players at your gaming table.

Interview: Mike Mearls on the Playtesting Process of D&D Next

On June 15th, we conducted an interview over Skype with Mike Mearls, head of Research & Design of D&D at Wizards of the Coast. Also during that day, Mike was participating in an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, so some of the answers make reference to that. This interview has been transcribed, paraphrased, and edited by us from the call. We chose to mainly focus on the process of playtesting and design for D&D Next for this interview.