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Setting my campaign in the 2e Forgotten Realms

Newbie DM - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:10

So I’m taking my 5e home game back in time a bit. After playing a session of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, I felt a bit dissatisfied with the adventure (mostly due to the way it played with my group), so I’m going to do a bit of a do over. I’m going to usse 5e’s launch as a chance to do something I’ve never done before, and that’s use my old Realms’ stuff for a campaign. I have my 2nd Ed. boxed set which I love, so I’m going to set my game in that era of the Realms, 1367DR, about 120 years before the 5e Realms are supposedly set.

The 2e realms box

The 2e realms box

This will allow me to use all the material (and it’s a hell of a lot) that’s available for the 2e Realms, and give me the chance to actually use the stuff in the damn box for the first time. There’s a neat dungeon crawl intro adventure in there which I’m already looking at converting monsters for, and I know that we’ll all enjoy using the old poster maps, etc. The Realms wiki page is a great aid, and between it, the boxed set, and my 3rd Ed. hardcover (which only advanced the timeline by maybe 5-6 years) I should be okay.

I have maps (both 2e and 3e), sourcebooks, and tons of modules and books on pdf, so I can adventure in that era of the Realms for a long time. 5e was supposed to be the edition that made it easy to use all that old stuff, right? Lets put it to the test. :)

On another note, I’ve been wanting to try out monster design for 5e, so I’m using this as a good opportunity to, since there are plenty of critters in this box and adventure that aren’t available for 5e. So far I’ve created a Mongrelfolk and a Gambado. Check them out and tell me what you think!

If you would like to support NewbieDM.com, perhaps you’d consider visiting Amazon.com for your next rpg related purchase. Check out the following products:

World of Greyhawk AD&D Boxed Set

Menzoberranzan AD&D Boxed Set

Conquest of Nerath: A D&D Boardgame

Legend of Drizzt: A D&D Boardgame


Mane Demon

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sat, 09/13/2014 - 02:51

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Mane Demon

The lowest of the low, these gibbering fiends are beneath even the Dretches! Manes are good for little more than cannon fodder, but they are numerous!

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

DMG Release Date

Wizards of the Coast D&D - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:20
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike MearlsSubtitle: Legends & LoreBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 



Back when we first started the process of creating fifth edition, we made it clear that we're committed to taking the time to get things right. Even when we announced our release dates, we knew that there could be risks we would face to hit the deadlines we had established.

One of the nice things about releasing the core rulebooks over the course of a few months is that we've had the opportunity to use the feedback from one book to help shape the later ones. We've been very happy with the overwhelming response to the Player's Handbook and the excitement we've seen among people who have gotten early access to the Monster Manual. The extra time we put into those books is clear when you notice the polish on both the text and the layout.

The text of both books received a level of review and oversight that sets a new standard for D&D. We added an entire additional cycle of design and editing to ensure that the books were as close to perfect as humanly possible. The layout and visual design was the result of hours spent carefully handcrafting the books. That extra time proved to be a huge boon, as the designers had the chance to go through each book page by page to make sure everything fit perfectly.

Unfortunately, that additional effort came at the expense of the development schedule for the Dungeon Master's Guide.

We know that people are eager to get their hands on all three core rulebooks, but we cannot compromise our commitment to excellence at this time. We examined a number of possibilities, but none gave us the additional time we needed to put into the DMG without sacrificing content or quality. Therefore, the only choice we had is to push back the release date by three weeks.

The new release date for the Dungeon Master's Guide is December 9th. For those stores that take part in our early release program, the book goes on sale November 28th.

Believe me, we did not make this decision lightly. However, we believe that accepting a few additional weeks of work on our end, and waiting on yours, is worth the years of enjoyment provided by a rock solid Dungeon Master's Guide that has followed in the footsteps of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual.

Thank you for your patience. We truly believe that once you have the DMG in your hands, it will be worth it. (And as a final note, we offer the following preview art from the DMG: The Great Modron March by Justin Gerard.)



Publication date: 09/15/2014Introduction: Mike talks about the Dungeon Master's Guide in this week's Legends & Lore.Tags: Legends & Loreexternal_urls: Texture banner: Show

Gold Dragon Takes Flight

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:05

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Gold Dragon Takes Flight

Let evil beware!

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Gold Dragon

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:05

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Gold Dragon

Noble, wise, and beautiful, gold dragons are the most majestic of their kind.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Great Hurricane

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:05

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Great Hurricane

This just may be the weirdest wrestler ever.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Holstein Minotaur

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:05

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Holstein Minotaur

Why don't we see more of these?

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Magestone Draconum

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 01:05

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Magestone Draconum

That's actually a gun he's holding.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Ogre Mage

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 03:23

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Ogre Mage

As of the new 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, an Ogre Mage is literally an Ogre with magic powers! He is... bigger than he looks.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Oni Mage

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 03:23

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Oni Mage

In former D&D editions, Ogre Magi were clearly Oni. More recently, they have made a better distinction.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

DragonCon 2014

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 15:08

wiredforlego has added a photo to the pool:

DragonCon 2014

The Dungeon Master

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Terra clips Museum.

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:54

mephiston_l has added a photo to the pool:

Terra clips Museum.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Campaign building with the Monster Manual

Newbie DM - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 08:46

“This bestiary is for storytellers and world-builders.” – Monster Manual introduction

excerpts_mm

The D&D 5th Ed. Monster Manual releases on September 19th for those stores that take part in the WOTC WPN program, and on September 30th for everyone else. A few Monster Manuals saw the light of day at Gencon, and we’ve seen some bits of it come out here or there. For example, there was @geekylindsay‘s excellent article on worldbuilding using the MM (btw this article will have some overlap with hers), while Jerry from Dread Gazebo showed off a bit of what the book will offer.

I’ll have a full review of the book later, but I wanted to write a bit on one of my favorite parts of the Monster Manual, and something I think I’ll be using plenty of for the next few years, the Legendary Creatures and their regional effects.  Legendary Creatures are those special solo monsters that make up epic encounters, like the dragons, beholders, vampires, and so on. They are special, have slightly different combat rules, and affect both their immediate environment (Lair Actions) but also the world around them (Regional Effects), and that’s the part that caught my eye.

You see, I’ve always had trouble coming up with big fantasy plot ideas. Sure, raiding an orc camp or dungeon crawling a crypt is easy enough to come up with, but the big over-arching plots are a challenge for me to imagine. So as soon as I read these regional effects entries in the book, it’s like a light bulb went off in my head. These effects right there are prime material for campaign ideas. Why? Because they are big deals that mean something to the world, and only the heroic PCs can fix them. And that right there is what adventures are made out of. So let’s look at an example from the book, the Red Dragon.

The region where a red dragon makes its lair is warped by the dragon’s magic, affecting the land around it in several ways. For example:

  • Small earthquakes are  felt as far as 6 miles from the lair
  • Water sources 1 mile of the lair are tainted by sulfur and are supernaturally warm
  • Portals to the elemental plane of fire open near the lair, allowing elemental creatures to come into the world

So as DM’s, what can we do with that information? Well, you can certainly create adventures and scenarios that don’t directly deal with the problem of the dragon itself (because likely 1st level PCs wouldn’t have a clue it involves a dragon anyway), but deal with the complications brought on by these effects.

So, earthquakes. What can happen? Towns in the area may see some destruction, which may lead to looting from bandits, or bands of humanoids looking to cause trouble. The earthquakes may be large enough to cause openings in the ground leading to the Underdark, where things may crawl out to the surface from. Bands of slaver drows? How about a wizard’s tower collapses and she may need adventurers to help her find x or y thing that she lost in the earthquake.

Water sources tainted by sulfur? Water is a precious commodity, and if people’s water supplies are affected, you can bet that trouble will ensue. Generally sulfur in the water isn’t unhealthy, but if people and animals are getting diarreah, and the water stinks, well, that’s an issue. Plus. Who says that the dragon’s presence isn’t causing hte sulfur levels to rise so much that it is in fact unhealthy? Also, water scarcity affects the environment, which can lead to side adventures for the PCs to tackle. Warm waters? All the fish are dying in the normally cold lake. These things are important. 

And portals to the elemental planes of fire? Well, that’s self explanatory. That should tip off the players that something larger is afoot.

Perhaps there’s enough with these hooks to take you on a 1-20 campaign, or perhaps not, maybe shorter episodic mini-campaigns would work better. The point is that looking for high concept ideas is probably easier than you think, and wracking your brain is unnecessary.

This all may seem like old news for old timers in the DMing business, but for newbies jumping behind the screen for the first time, my advice is to start small, and work your way out. Want to end your big campaign with the PCs fighting an epic red dragon? That’s great. Make sure they deal with the bandits taking advantage of the earthquakes in the area first.

I’ll have more of the Monster Manual next week.

 

If you would like to support NewbieDM.com, perhaps you’d consider visiting Amazon.com for your next rpg related purchase. Check out the following products:

World of Greyhawk AD&D Boxed Set

Menzoberranzan AD&D Boxed Set

Conquest of Nerath: A D&D Boardgame

Legend of Drizzt: A D&D Boardgame


Siri - All the Enchantment of the Great Mother Goddess - Di Undici Foglie © Dino Olivieri (low res)

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 09:55

! / dino olivieri / www.onyrix.com has added a photo to the pool:

Siri - All the Enchantment of the Great Mother Goddess - Di Undici Foglie © Dino Olivieri (low res)

Sketch from ebook "Di Undici Foglie" by Dino Olivieri
Siri (after death) - Di Undici Foglie © Dino Olivieri (low res)
all rights reserved.
More amazing stories on www.onyrix.com

there's also a Deep House SONG (free to download) with this image as cover:
soundcloud.com/onyrix/beautiful-love-dino-olivieri-demo-tape

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Bringing back the NewbieDM.com Minicast for 5e

Newbie DM - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 09:37

So 5th Ed. launched and it’s a thing, and I want to get back to doing what I like with D&D, which is talking with and helping DMs with their games. So I’m bringing back my old (and ENnie nominated) NewbieDM Minicast. It’s been far too long. 

If you’ve never heard of the minicast, it was a 5-6 minute long podcast where a DM from the #dnd community and I would answer a listener’s voicemail with a question about his game. It was fun to do, and it was well received. 

I can’t do it without community involvement though, so here’s the number to call in: 305-349-3026

Help me get the minicast back online. Feel free to repost, share and let others know! Thanks. 

newbiedmpodcast


Blue Dragon

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 01:15

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Blue Dragon

These massive desert dwellers breathe lightning that can turn sand to glass.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Silver Dragon

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 01:15

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Silver Dragon

Noble, kindly, and good-hearted, Silver Dragons still breathe an icy breath that will chill you to the bone.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Solonavi Tormentor

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 01:15

ridureyu1 has added a photo to the pool:

Solonavi Tormentor

As one of the enforcers of her kind, the Solonavi Tormentor is passionless, yet cruel.

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons

Ainur - Lay of Leithian - CD Cover © by Dino Olivieri

Flickr Dungeons and Dragons Tag Feed - Sat, 09/06/2014 - 04:08

! / dino olivieri / www.onyrix.com has added a photo to the pool:

Ainur - Lay of Leithian - CD Cover © by Dino Olivieri

i've realized this cover for the amazing Ainur's album "Lay of Leithian".
Lay of Leithian collects Rock Progressive + Symphonic Ensembles with music and lyrics inspired to J.R.R.Tolkien's "The Silmarillion".
If you want to go and explore more directly ARDA and Middle Earth, this is the right soundtrack to do it..

You can buy "Lay of Leithian" here: www.amazon.com/Lay-Leithian-Ainur/dp/B0030KSXQ0/ref=sr_1_...

If you want to know about their works and concerts, the Ainur official web site is here:
www.ainur.it

© by Dino Olivieri - www.onyrix.com

Categories: Dungeons and Dragons
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