Tag: D&D

Hit Points As Conflict Points

Yes, I know that hit points are not meat points. They aren’t even anything resembling something close to reality. They’re a resource that is consumed–some might say *involuntarily spent*–to stave off character death. Problem is, new school D&D (NSD&D) doesn’t want character death on the table in the same way that old school D&D (OSD&D)…

Converting D&D to d6s

As my Curse of Strahd campaign continues, I’m returned from my flirtations with Fate Core to the d20 niche, and it feels like home. The d20 system is familiar and everything about it makes sense to me in a way that some parts of Fate do not–probably because the d20 mechanics more model a simulation…


You’re probably playing D&D wrong: hit points and Armor Class edition. (2/3)

As I mentioned in my last post, you’re probably playing D&D wrong. Let’s talk about what the fuck a hit point is, aside from an abstract unit that measures how close a character is to beating an expeditious retreat and/or rolling 3d6 down the line. First: hit points are not meat points. They kind of…


You’re probably playing D&D wrong. (1/3)

Gary Gygax says: The ultimate aim of the game is to gain sufficient esteem as a good player to retire your character — he becomes a kind of mythical, historical figure, someone for others to look up to and admire I’ve been spending the past few weeks reading a lot of OSR stuff. A lot…


Getting Familiar with Familiars

Since its inclusion as a default wizard/sorcerer class feature, the familiar has been maligned in D&D. There is good reason for this. The D&D 3e rules state that: A sorcerer can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that…


So You Want to Write a d20 Fantasy Heartbreaker

Here’s a bit of friendly advice: don’t. As a wee lad, I was certain I would publish the successor to D&D 3e. I would amend the rules, revise the math, and eliminate the bloat, and then my game would reign supreme as the true heir to the d20 throne. Perhaps you share flights of fancy…


You can play anything you want with D&D, as long as you’re playing D&D.

Over yonder on Reddit, there was a frustrated poster having issues with D&D. In my experience, most roleplayers seem to dislike D&D and consider it a poor RPG. I’ve been a member of three different RPG clubs each with dozens of members, and been to the UK nationals, so I’ve met a fair few roleplayers….


Limit Your Campaign

I read a brilliant post over at Hack & Slash, “On a Limited Campaign.” The author writes: You want a good campaign, keep it limited. 7 races. 7 monsters. 7 significant NPC’s. 7 forces. Seven schools of wizards with seven spells per level. Seven fighting styles. Seven ancient lores. Seven great weapons. That might be…


Should good-aligned D&D priests charge for healing?

After the resurrection, Jesus handed Lazarus the invoice.  “Now, that is a 7th-level spell that cost 5,000gp worth of diamonds…” The rule of thumb is that when an article or editorial asks a question in the headline, the answer is always no. In keeping with this, I almost asked, “Should D&D priests not charge for…


On Gygaxian Naturalism

I’m sure every teenage boy reading through his D&D books has daydreamed about living in a fantastical world of wizards and dragons.  (Heck, I’m an adult boy and I still do it.)  What would that world be like?  “Gygaxian naturalism,” a term coined by James Maliszewski,  tries to answer that question.  Maliszewski defines this as…