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Welcome, to Heroes Rise!

The Dungeons and Dragons podcast featuring information on all the latest Dungeons and Dragons news, including new book and adventure module releases; reviews of helpful tools, apps, and physical merchandise for your table; and tips and suggestions for improving your game, no matter which side of the screen you’re on. Be sure to look for new episodes on Wednesdays wherever you get your podcasts.
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Our latest show...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and eleventh entry: Volo’s Guide to Nothing

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 211th entry into our chronicle, re

May 18, 2022

Our latest article...

Gnomish Workshop: Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Support – The Artificer

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Ten on 11th May 2022. Note: Th

May 11, 2022
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Previous episodes and content...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and eleventh entry: Volo’s Guide to Nothing

 Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 211th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, May 14th, and released Wednesday, May 18th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Lennon shows us… Ok, I think that’s actually the name of a Pokemon… Anyway Next we gather around the campfire and engage in some Dissonant Whispers on content ownership After that we take a Short Rest and head into the Archives of Candlekeep and learn all about the Tieflings; before finally heading into the Scrying Pool to see what you [all] have to say. Community Questions As we mentioned in the Dissonant...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and tenth entry: Only Thing to Sphere is Sphere Itself

 Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 210th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, May 7th, and released Wednesday, May 11th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Ryu shows she can also bring items for the 1% to the table Next we check out some D&D News as we bring you details of the new starter set, D&D’s after school club, and a couple more things about everyone’s favourite space setting (including the appearance of some creatures from a planet with a darker sun) Next we take a Short Rest and head into the Gnomish Workshop and learn...

Gnomish Workshop: Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Support – The Artificer

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Ten on 11th May 2022. Note: This article was adapted from an episode script, and so there may be parts that don't flow well when read, because they were initially designed for broadcast. The Artificer is so far the only official new class that has been released for 5th edition, and that's something that's unique in a number of ways. 5th edition released with 12 classes, all of which were present in the initial player's handbook, and those were the only options for years, despite multiple groups of fans clamoring for old...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and ninth entry: Full of Ship

 Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise.This is the 209th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, April 30th, and released Wednesday, May 4th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. This week we’re going to wander into the Market of Minauros to see what mysterious and magical items have filtered up for sale. Next we check out some D&D News as we bring you previews of the Spelljammer DM screen, all the details of all the minis WizKids have in store for us, and Wizard’s 2nd attempt at the Kender Next we take a Short Rest and head into the Archives of Candlekeep and meet our best friend,...

Archives of Candlekeep: Your Best Friend, the Flumph

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Nine on 4th May 2022. Note: This article was adapted from an episode script, and so there may be parts that don't flow well when read, because they were initially designed for broadcast. Flumphs being common knowledge around D&D tables is a relatively new phenomenon thanks mostly to 5th edition's wild magic sorcerer. One of the entries on the wild magic eruption table, as Mikey and Branwen can tell you, is that a number of confused flumphs randomly appear for a minute or so. However, despite their popularity skyrocketing in 5th edition, flumphs...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and eighth entry: Spelljammer confirmed. Ostron… Not so much

 Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 208th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, April 23rd, and released Wednesday, April 27th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Ryu tries to find a tool to replace Ostron… He’s still not here? Fiiiiine… Next we check out some D&D News as we bring you everything announced from D&D Direct 2022, including but not limited to Spelljammer: Adventures in Space and the D&D Digital Library Next we take a Short Rest and head into the Archives of Candlekeep for a tour of Sharn, the City of Towers; before finally heading into...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and seventh entry: The More Things Change…

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 207th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, April 9th, and released Wednesday, April 13th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. Ryu's away this week so Lennon and Ostron take a moment to reflect on some older Adventurer's Packs. After all, the more things change, the more they stay the same...

Archives of Candlekeep: Dragonlance

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Six on 6th April 2022. Note: This article was adapted from an episode script, and so there may be parts that don't flow well when read, because they were initially designed for broadcast. Dragonlance as a setting is arguably the second third party setting for D&D that was ever created, depending on your position on Mystara. Either way, originally you started with Greyhawk, and Gary Gygax and his player group were responsible for most of the initial monsters and setting information that eventually formed D&D. Then the Hickmans got involved. Some people argue...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and sixth entry: And then the Hickmans got involved…

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 206th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, April 2nd, and released Wednesday, April 6th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Ostron’s messing with our wallets again, but this time he’s adding something rather than emptying them. Next we take a Long Rest and head into the Archives of Candlekeep to learn the history of Dragonlance Finally we head into the Scrying Pool to see what you [all] have to say. Links Ajit George on Radiant Citadel: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1509234343008296960.html Community Questions Do you have a favorite Dragonlance character? Do you have a least favorite Dragonlance...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and fifth entry: Journey’s Through the Radiant Sigil

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 205th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, March 26th, and released Wednesday, March 30th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. This week we’re going to wander into the Market of Minauros to see what mysterious and magical items have filtered up for sale. Bones 6 Bergin's Book of Beasts The Herbal Journal of Cicely Longbottom Next we check out some D&D News as we bring you everything we know about the next Wizards’hardcover adventure compilation, Journey Through the Radiant Citadel Next we head into the Archives of Candlekeep to find out what’s behind door 5374; before...

Archives of Candlekeep: What’s Behind the Door?

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Five on 30th March 2022. Sigil, known alternately as the City of Doors, the Great Cage, and the Center of the Multiverse, is one of the major landmarks of D&D. It got its start in, and some would argue defined, the Planescape setting. The idea of a cosmology for the D&D multiverse had been around since 1987, when the first Manual of the Planes was published. However, the rest of the planes only really existed as places where other beings came from when they either invaded or were summoned to the Prime...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and fourth entry: Ruidium Hats

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 204th entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, March 19th, and released Wednesday, March 23rd over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Ryu shows us some nice dice… Nie die? Nices dices? Next we check out some D&D News as we give our first impressions of Critical Roll: Call of the Netherdeep;and speculate on a recent teaser image from Wizards of the Coast With all the talk on Critical Role we thought it’d be a good idea to head into the Archives of Candlekeep for a rerun of Excursion to Exandria; before finally heading...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and third entry: Lenny the Kender Defender

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 203rd entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, March 12th, and released Wednesday, March 16th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Ostron would like to have a Word with us Next we check out some D&D News as we take a look at: The latest Unearthed Arcana: Heroes of Krynn After that we head into the Archives of Candlekeep for a primer on the races of Dragonlance; before finally heading over to the Scrying Pool to see what you [all] have to say. Community Questions So what is your take on the New...

Archives of Candlekeep: Gifts of the Aboleths

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Two on 10th March 2022. Aboleths are another B-level D&D creature for most people. They're nearly always present and they're really easy to find in the books; until the Aarakocra and the Aasimar came around the Aboleths usually got top billing in all the monster manuals because it's really hard to beat "AB" as an alphabetical starting place. However if you start digging into the lore and the abilities of the creatures it's sort of confusing they don't get used more often because they can be genuinely terrifying. Their aquatic nature is...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and second entry: Things We Wish We Knew

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 202nd entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, March 5th, and released Wednesday, March 9th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Lennon closes to within 5 feet of his battle mats. Next we gather round the campfire for some Dissonant Whispers as we find out everything we wish we knew when we started playing D&D. After that we head into the Archives of Candlekeep and look at the Gifts of the Aboleth; before finally heading over to the Scrying Pool to see what you [all] have to say. Community Questions What tidbit of...

Wisdom of the Masters: Architectural Philosophy and the Five Room Dungeon

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and One on 3rd March 2022. Lennon: All right, I've gathered you all here because I'm afraid we have to let something go. Ostron: Okay, first of all there's only myself and Ryu, and I'm not 100% sure Ryu's not an HR clone, so it may just be the two of us. Lennon: How do you know I'm not an HR clone? Ryu: I'm pretty sure HR would not allow anything associated with it to start off with an idea that's this silly. Lennon: I haven't even told you what it is yet! Ostron: Your track record...

Heroes Rise, two hundred and first entry: The Shortle Package

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise. This is the 201st entry into our chronicle, recorded on Saturday, February 26th, and released Wednesday, March 2nd over at heroesrisepodcast.com. This week we’re going to wander into the Market of Minauros to see what mysterious and magical items have filtered up for sale: Epic Legacy: Tome of Titans Crucible Magazine Downtime Center Next we open up our Quest Logs as Indigo Specter takes us through the Horrors of Hill House After that we hear some Wisdom of the Masters on Architectural Philosophy and the Five Room Dungeon; before finally heading over to the Scrying Pool to...

Heroes Rise, two hundredth entry: The One We Recorded Live

Welcome, brave adventurers, to Heroes Rise! This is the 200th entry into our chronicle, recorded live at twitch.tv/heroesrisednd on Saturday, February 12th, and released Wednesday, February 16th over at heroesrisepodcast.com. In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Ryu shows us how she handles conflict in games… this can’t be good… Next we check out some D&D News as we uncover: Some details from the Hasbro Earning’s Call and a touch of NFT controversy A new line of minis (1, 2) from WizKids partnership with Death Saves And some more info on the Dark Souls RPG, this time their take on armor, items, weapons and how...

Archives of Candlekeep: Colors of Chaos – The Slaad

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety Seven on 26th January 2022. Ryu: Well at least you're reading a book and the machine isn't humming. Ostron: What? Ryu: Never mind, what are you researching? Ostron: Infestations. Ryu: Oh come on, again? Lennon already got rid of the mimics! The Mimic: And a bang-up job he did, too! Ostron: Yes, yes, we're all very impressed. No, this is a much less pleasant infestation. Slaadi. Lennon: Well thank you for being impressed with me, but what did I do? Ryu: You got rid of the mimics, like we just said. Apparently you have to get rid of...

Gnomish Workshop: Drop Your Weapons!

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety Six on 19th January 2022. Killer DM: All right numbers man, it's nap time, I need… (pause) Killer DM (with a hint of concern): Ah dear. I don't remember you sitting in on one of my games, what happened to you? Ostron: Um...

Archives of Candlekeep: Where Are The Duergar?

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety Five on 12th January 2022. Ryu (gasping): Ahh that stings! Libby: Book. Ryu: Yes I know this isn't your normal job but I didn't want the other guys to know. Libby (worried): Book. Ryu: No, you're doing fine, really. I think I got scratched in more places than I realized. Libby (really worried): Book! Ryu: What is the problem - oh drat. Ostron: Wow, okay, I usually have the book before I even make it across the threshold. You feeling okay...

Archives of Candlekeep: No, My Mother Did Not Hook Up With a Dragon: Dragonborn

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety Four on 5th January 2022. Lennon (through sending stone, angry voices in background): Ostron? Ostron! Oh please don’t let ROSTRO be active and he’s out on the floor- Ostron: Yes, I’m here, what’s going…you’re being chased, aren’t you? Lennon: How did you know that? Ostron: I can hear them. All right, where are you? Lennon: Tim-ah-ree, I think it’s called? Time of weee? No, that doesn’t sound right-ow! That was a rock! Ostron: Thymari? Okay, that’s the name of the people, not the place but I know where you are. How did you get there? Lennon: I’ll tell you if you get me out of here! Ostron: Yeah,...

Heroes Rise “Best” of 2021

Greetings. I am the Realized Oikumenatal Solution To Removing Obfuscation, commonly referred to as R.O.S.T.R.O. The majority of the occupants of the guild house are presently distracted with celebratory activities and the exchange of physical goods. This has resulted in a lack of activities pursuant to the creation of an entertaining audio experience for transmission across usual auditory channels...

Gnomish Workshop: Senses and Sensibility

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety Three on 22nd December 2021. Killer DM: All right, up you get. Ostron: Uggh. First, why are you here, second, why did you knock me out? Killer DM: Because I needed you alive. Note the past tense there; you're going to have to keep proving your usefulness from here on. Lennon: All right, it's been three hours and we need Ostron awake...

Archives of Candlekeep: Excursion to Exandria

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety One on 8th December 2021. (coin flip followed by eldritch blast) Lennon: Ha! My aim is improving. They better watch out when I show up. Ryu: Lennon. Why are you eldritch blasting coins? I mean, if you want to keep me from stealing them I suppose that's one way to do it but it seems expensive. Lennon: No, see, I'm preparing for our trip to Exandria. Ostron: Don't- Ryu: How is that supposed to help with Exandria? Ostron (sighing): Here we go. Lennon: Well, I read up on it like Ostron told us to and I heard it was infested with critters. So I figured I...

Archives of Candlekeep: Mystara/Blackmoor

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty Nine on 17th November 2021. Lennon: Um, Ostron? Ostron: It was always that color, you're just misremembering. Lennon: You know, someday I'm going to actually know what you're talking about when you say things like that, and I'm not sure if that's going to be better or worse. Ryu: Something I can help with? Lennon: I don't know, how much do you know about planets with two suns? Ryu: Um...

Archives of Candlekeep: Spelljammer Redux

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty Seven on 30th October 2021. Like many modern settings and elements of D&D, Spelljammer's roots are in 2nd edition, and they owe their existence to a man named Jeff Grubb. As Keith Baker is to Eberron, Jeff Grubb is to Spelljammer, although he doesn't have the laser focus on his setting Mr.Baker does for Eberron. Grubb is the author of the first Manual of the Planes and created the forgotten Al-Qadim setting, and is credited as being part of the team that originated the Forgotten Realms itself. Later on, he was...

Unearthed Mundana: New Books

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty Five on 13th October 2021.     Wizards of the Coast released their 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons in the year 2000. Many people believe the release was an effort by Wizards to put their stamp on the brand after they acquired TSR in 1997. As such, 3rd edition was a rather extreme overhaul of D&D at a mechanics level. Many people are familiar with the fact that 3rd edition introduced the so-called d20 system, which Wizards then distributed through the Open Gaming License. In short, the d20 system meant nearly every decision or...

Archives of Candlekeep: I’m So Pretty

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty Three on 29th September 2021. Lennon: Ryu, come on, we already talked about this. Ryu: When? Ostron: Back when we covered all the dragons, or did a summary anyway. We explicitly called out the gem dragons. Ryu: We talked about them for a grand total of maybe two minutes! Do you know how criminally short that is? Ostron: Still, we did talk about them. Ryu (disappointed): All right, well, I told KayDee that you guys wouldn't be able to go over her notes on how to skin various creatures to preserve their hides because I was going to talk about dragons, but if we're...

Gnomish Workshop: People Building

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty Two on 22nd September 2021. (Sound of grinding gears) Ryu: What is he doing in there?  Lennon: Maybe he's upgrading ROSTRO?  ROSTRO: If you are interested, my processing faculties were largely taken up with an analysis of persona synthesis and optimal configuration techniques of same.  Ryu: If we don't take an interest, is Ostron going to wake up?  ROSTRO: Probability suggests it is not a likely outcome. Lennon: Ugh, fine, what are you on about this time? (The screen powers on)   When creating new characters for a campaign or a one-shot, a frequent point that gives both players and DMs pause is the issue of ability scores....

Archives of Candlekeep: Hags of the Feywild

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty One on 15 September 2021. Ostron: Ryu? I thought you were headed into town for some snacks? Did you take the nightmare? Ryu: Definitely not. I don't care how much KayDee insists he's a big softie. No I met a nice woman on the road who fell in a ditch and needed help. She had a bunch of apples with her and gave me a bunch, so I didn’t need to go all the way to town. See here's one- (loud horrific screeching explosion) Ryu (angrily): Lennon! What are you doing? Lennon: Saving your life! Old woman that fell in...

Gnomish Workshop: Living on the Edge (of Unconsciousness)

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy Eight on 25 August 2021. (Gnomish workshop door opens) Lennon (in obnoxious good mood): Hi anyone here? ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry. Killer DM: Oh good! Lennon, maybe you can help with something. Lennon (still in plastic good mood): Bye, I need to go dive in a gelatinous cube! Killer DM: So when I said "maybe you can help" what I actually meant was "get your pasty bald self in here, you're helping." Lennon: Look, my Charisma increased as a warlock, I still can't help installing things in the machine. ROSTRO: My physical chassis does not require any modification at this time. The...

Archives of Candlekeep: Greyhawk

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy Six on 4 August 2021. Lennon: So, Ryu? Ryu: What? Lennon: You’ve been to Greyhawk before, right? Ryu: Ugggggh. Lennon: Um, is that a yes? Ryu: Yeah, but I don’t want to talk about it. Lennon: Why what happened? Ryu (clearly exasperated): I had a bad experience. Lennon: How so? Ryu: Greyhawk is just a mess, okay? Everything is confusing and nobody really pays attention and...

Archives of Candlekeep: Thay is not your color

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy Five on 28 July 2021. Lennon: Ryu, do you like travel? Ryu: Oh yeah, trips are cool! Where are we going? Lennon: Thay. Ryu: No! Wrong! I told you; stop trying to go weird places and find a new patron! You signed a contract! Deal with the consequences. Besides, Thay's on the no port list. Lennon: So it's landlocked? Ryu: No!...

Unearthed Mundana: How Is Crime Organized?

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy Three on 14 July 2021. Ostron: Ryu? Ryu (panicked): I didn't take it. The hat's in the vault. Lennon gave me the money for socks. Ostron: Do you even wear socks? I thought you had those footwrap shoe-like things for climbing? Ryu: Let's change the subject. Did you need something? Ostron: Yeah, I need some materials to repair one of the artifacts and they're...

Wisdom of the Masters: OP Mitigation

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy Two on 7 July 2021. Lennon: Okay, so I've called everyone together to discuss protocol. Ryu: Stop worrying; I donate all of your gold to charity. Ostron: I don't think a Gold Fund Me titled "Ryu needs a dragon" counts as charity. Ryu: I have a totally legitimate parchment from the local king saying it does. Lennon (legitimately confused): Not what we're talking about. I just...

Archives of Candlekeep: Whips of Chains Excite Me (Shadar-Kai)

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy on 23 June 2021. Lennon: CHAIN DEVIL! (Eldritch Blast strikes) Ryu (surprised & angry): YA!! Lennon! Lennon: Sorry, sorry. Ryu: Oh you're lucky I have a high Dex! How could you possibly think I was something summoned from the nine hells!? Lennon: Well the Killer DM- Ryu: Isn't here! It's just me! And you're lucky. You think you'd have any better chance of hitting her? Or being alive afterward? Lennon: Well Ostron's been opening up portals all the time, how do I know what's going to sneak through? Ostron: Two. I opened one portal to bring in a consultant, and the other one to get Tony to sub in...

Gnomish Workshop: Oathbreaking

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Sixty Six on 19 May 2021. Lennon: All right, I've got it! Ryu: For the last time, you cannot make a flumph your patron. Lennon: No, no, no, I've got all that sorted. See, I'm just going to ignore my patron. Ostron: I'm sorry, what? Lennon: Yeah. See, I've been looking into it and, as far as I can tell, there's no downside. Ostron: How is that possible? Your patron is why you have all your abilities. Don't they go away? Lennon: Nope. Ryu: Well that's not fair; Paladins and Clerics have to follow their god and everything or they get slapped, why do you get a free pass? Lennon: Actually,...

Wisdom of the Masters: Whyfor The Locked Door?

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Sixty Five on 12 May 2021. Ryu: Aaaand done. Vault is open, all of the treasures are mine, I win again. Lennon (sighing): Well so much for the vaunted house of Kundark. You're fired, by the way. (angry dwarf sounds) Ryu: I do feel kind of bad; I hope it wasn't too expensive to bring him in from Eberron? Lennon: Oh what does it matter, you would have stolen the gold anyway. I just...

Wisdom of the Masters: When to Take a Break

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Sixty Four on 5 May 2021. (outside the stables) Ryu: All right everyone, I'm packed, I'll see you all later. Lennon: Wait, where are you going? Ryu: I have time off. Lennon: Who authorized that? Ostron: I did. Things are looking to be kind of slow for the upcoming week. And think of it this way, if Ryu's not here, neither is the KDM. Lennon: I suppose that’s true. Ryu: Everyone needs a break, man. You should consider taking one, in fact. Lennon: Nah. No breaks, no sleep, just focussing on the job at hand. It’s never done me any harm. Ostron: Last week you spent three days walking around with a...

Archives of Candlekeep: Daddy Daughter Date

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Sixty on 7 April 2021. Lennon: Hey Ostron, I'm confused about something. Ostron: And in other news, the sun came up this morning. Lennon: What? Ostron: Never mind, what's confusing you? Lennon: Archdevils. Ryu: Well you're doing okay then, usually they just kill you or trap you in a deal to steal your soul. Lennon: No I haven't talked to any of them, I'm doing research. Ostron: We put that research project on hold, I thought? Lennon: Yeah, this was for...

Archives of Candlekeep: Take It In Strahd

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Fifty Five on 3 March 2021. Ryu: Okay, I realize the whole warlock thing is hitting you hard but this is too far. Lennon: What? Capes are cool, they should really make a comeback. Ryu: I'm fine with the cape, it's the grey face paint and the red contacts. Isn't that racist or something? Ostron: Against who? Grimlocks? They don't generally raise objections in civil court. Ryu: All right fine, So why are you going all Dracula? It's nowhere near Halloween. Lennon: Well, I figured new class, new Identity, and everyone thinks vampires are cool. Especially this one. Ostron: Which one? Lennon: Come on, I really tried with the makeup...

Gnomish Workshop: Rolling Initiative

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Fifty Three on 17 February 2021. Lennon: Oh good, Ostron. I have some questions for you. Ostron: I did not tell the beholders to do that to your bed, you brought that on yourself. Lennon: No, It's fine, the squeezing effect actually helps with lumbar support when I'm sleeping. Ryu: Um...

Archives of Candlekeep: Mephistopheles — A Psychological Study

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Fifty One on 3 February 2021. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry. Killer DM (fondly): I was wondering if you were going to start humming and bring a smile to my face. How are you? ROSTRO: Operational efficiency is at 120%. It appears that Ostron was interrupted in recent exploratory efforts. Killer DM: Yes, well, he was fiddling with the hat and I just got suspicious so I figured knocking him out was a good first step and then I rounded up the usual suspect to figure out what's going on. Now, be a good limey and tell me...

Unearthed Mundana: Cheese for the Poor?

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Fifty on 27 January 2021. (loud rock drilling) Ryu (shouting): LENNON! (drilling stops) Lennon: What? Ryu: Oh thank goodness. You realize nobody can hear anything? Also you're getting rock dust all over the place. Lennon: I'm investing in our future, Ryu, you need to get on board here. Ryu: You're carving a gigantic...

Archives of Candlekeep: Glasya – Daddy’s Little Devil

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Forty-seven on 23rd December 2020. Ryu (breathlessly): Oh good, you guys are here. Lennon: Um, yes, are you okay? Ryu: Maybe? Are there side effects to chaining bless spells? Ostron: Why is that a question? Ryu: Look, KayDee is desperately trying to get involved with the Glasya research and I'm fairly sure that will end with her trying to summon the archdevil for a chat. I decided I needed an extra boost so I've been getting Gath to bless me continually. Ostron: I don't know about any side effects but you certainly look like you're under a lot of strain. Ryu: Yeah, well, you better hope I can hold...

Adventurer’s Journal: Auditory Cues

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Forty-six on 16th December 2020. Lennon: All right, for some reason all the doors in the guild house are sticking, so I had to call this meeting virtually. Ostron (through loud machinery noises): Yeah, I'm working on that; it's because of...

Wisdom of the Masters: Emotional Exercise

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Forty-three on 25th November 2020. Ryu: Okay, so what about when you're annoyed. Libby (annoyed): Book! Ryu: Right, okay, I think I'm getting the hang of this. Hmm. Drunk. What are you like drunk? Do you get drunk? Hang on. Ostron! Ostron: Speaking. Ryu: Can you get me a fireball? Libby (worried and angry): Book! Ryu: No, not an actual fireball, the whiskey. Lennon: Did someone say whiskey. Ostron: Either that or Ryu wants me to set the annex on fire. Ryu: No, no, I'm trying to get Libby drunk. Lennon: Hm. See usually when someone says something that makes me think of questions I need, but definitely don't want answers to, it's Ostron, but here...

Archives of Candlekeep: Pack It Up, Folks!

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Forty on 5th November 2020. (roaring) Ostron: I didn't just hear that. (roaring) Ostron: No, okay, I did hear that. We're Omega Black people, this is not a drill! Libby (panicked): Book! RaeRae: Getting the cover on the scrying pool. Gath: Securing potions. Lennon: Why didn't we set up an alarm for this kind of thing? (roaring) RaeRae: Did you not hear that? It is the alarm! Where's Ryu? Killer DM (amused): Oh my. What is going on here? RaeRae: That figures. Gath (sighing): Let me go find my diamonds. Ostron: I suppose you're the cause of all this? Killer DM: Well all this panicking and running around, no, although it is amusing. But if you mean the Tarrasque, then...

Adventurer’s Journal: Tactics: Not Just for Battlemaster Fighters

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-seven on 7th October 2020. Lennon: We can't put arrowslits in every wall. Ryu: Sure we can, they're really easy to make. You just need a vorpal sword, really. Lennon: No, I mean, we can physically do it but then the walls fall down and instead of a guild house we have an embankment. And an angry research beholder looking for books. Ryu (with increasing frustration): Fine, why don't we just go open plan then? Ostron can keep it above 70- Lennon: You mean 20? Ryu: Ostron can keep it comfortable with his weather spells, so we can just open the place up with some columns...

Archives of Candlekeep: Mordenkindof a Big Deal

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-five on 23rd September 2020. Ryu: Lennon? Lennon: What? I put your knives back this time, I didn't even leave any of them sticking in the fireplace. Ryu: Right, thanks for that, but I thought Ostron wanted you to work on the notes about Mordenkainen? Lennon: I did! They're right here. Ryu: That's five sheets of paper and a post-it. Lennon: Oh that's where that went. Yeah, the post-it was just a reminder that I need to get more coffee. We're out of coffee by the way. Ryu: You just went to the market. Lennon: But recall, I lost the post-it. Ryu: Ugh. Oh, Ostron, there you are. Did you check Lennon's...

Gnomish Workshop: What is a Death Spiral

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-four on 16th September 2020. Ryu: Ostron had something for us in the workshop? Lennon: Yeah, though I'm a little confused by- (ROSTRO starts up) Ryu: Oh joy, I'm going now. Lennon: No, I am not dealing with the machine on my own, come on. Ryu: Fine. Hello ROSTRO. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry. Lennon: No, you. ROSTRO: Ostron appears to have been analyzing the nature of death spirals. Ryu: That doesn't sound good at all. Is he okay? Do we need to get Gath in here? ROSTRO: A death spiral does not refer to any extant or lingering metabolic issue. Please refer to the output crystals as I begin. On multiple...

Archives of Candlekeep: Some Call Her… Tasha

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-three on 9th September 2020. Killer DM: Anthony, darling, nice of you to join us here. You’re a detective sort, so tell me, why has Ostron been hiding these notes away when they're clearly about the best wizard ever? Tony: Oh, yeah, I’ve heard about what happens when Ryu puts on the hat. Besides, it looks like he wasn't hiding them, he just put them under this book so they wouldn't blow away. Libby: Book! Tony: Uh, yeah, I guess, you can take that back now. Oh, and I’m a lawyer by the way, not a detective. Killer DM: Another Rules Lawyer? Fine. With...

Archives of Candlekeep: Yummy, Yummy Brains

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-two on 2nd September 2020. Lennon: Look, I don't care how much you want to, you cannot write a treatise on Mindflayers and not mention Spelljammer. Ostron: There are a few more ideas I had that I want to try. Ryu: No, no; I can already see your eyes drooping and I don't want to deal with that machine today. Just...

Archives of Candlekeep: Under a Dark Sun

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-one on 26th August 2020. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry? Ryu: Ugh, It isn't one! Why is this thing even involved? I thought we were discussing lore? ROSTRO overanalyzes game mechanics. ROSTRO: My capabilities are not as limited as you imply. Lennon: All right, let's see what you've got here. "Dark Sun was a criminal syndicate that came into prominence during the Clone Wars as the Jedi-" Hang on, this is about Star Wars. ROSTRO: Please hold. Ryu: I told you we shouldn't be using it for anything that doesn't involve algebra! Now we have [through clenched teeth] to do it ourselves...

Unearthed Mundana: Whyfor the Bard

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty on 19th August 2020. Lennon: So we've had a complaint from HR- Ryu: Look, nobody else is good at hiding things around here, but obviously *I* can't hide the mop from KayDee, so- Lennon: No, no, it's not about that. Ostron: I only lost one of the research beholders the other day, and I swear it'll be coming back to this plane in the next 24 to 96 hours- Lennon: Okay, I want to ask several questions but at the same time I'm not sure I want the answers so I'm just going to leave that one alone. No, they're complaining about...

Unearthed Mundana: Barbarian Smash!

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Twenty Nine on 5th August 2020. Ostron: Ryu? I wanted to talk to you about this application? Ryu: Oh I thought it looked good! Ostron: "In defense of the humble barbarian?" No, I don't think it's good, it's a terrible idea. Ryu: Why!? Ostron: The premise is wrong! Barbarians don't defend, they just attack. And I don't think they know what humble means, much less how to act that way. Lennon: Classist much? Ostron: Do you know how much delicate, sensitive stuff is in the Gnomish Workshop on any given day? And what do you think Libby's going to do if they get into the Annex and go...

Unearthed Mundana: High, Low, Wide – pick your magic

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Twenty Eight on 29th July 2020. Killer DM: Really, you don't know what you're missing; I've seen people do really crazy things. ROSTRO: There are certain quantum mechanical planes which derive similar effects in my experience. Lennon: Oh dear gods why!? I mean, I've been good lately, haven't I? Killer DM: Hello Lennon! Would you care to explain this package a courier dropped off this morning? Lennon: Um...

Unearthed Mundana: It’s About Time

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Twenty Five on 1st July 2020. Ryu (over sounds of multiple clocks): What is with all the ticking in here?! And do I hear water? Did the scrying pool overflow again? Ostron: It was an experiment. Lennon: See, there's this whole section of the guild house called the Gnomish Workshop, maybe you've heard of it? Ostron: Yes, thank you. I was looking into time in D&D and I tried to get the Research Beholders to help. They...

Archives of Candlekeep: Neverwinter

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Twenty One on 3rd June 2020. Ostron: Ryu. Ryu: What? Ostron: You know Libby doesn't like people taking books from the annex. It had Lennon wandering around in a confused stupor for an entire day when he forgot to bring back an atlas. Ryu: How could you tell? Ostron: Honestly only because I saw Libby hit him with an eye ray. Lennon: Hey is that from the annex? You know Libby- Ryu: Yes, I heard, don't worry; this isn't one of Libby's books. It's my list for our trip to Neverwinter! Ostron: Luskan silk skirt, decorative water clock...

Archives of Candlekeep: Baldur’s Gate

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Twenty on 27th May 2020. Killer DM: Lennon Lennon: I didn't do it! You can't make me! I'll never talk! Killer DM: Well all of that is patently false but at the moment I'm more interested in why you think a cape and a mask are necessary to visit Baldur's Gate? Lennon: I...

Wisdom of the Masters: New Players and Combat

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Nineteen on 20th May 2020. Killer DM: Come on, it's only a small horde. Ryu: Of gnolls! KayDee they're new! *Goblins* are a problem for them. Killer DM: Throwing someone in the deep end so they learn to swim builds character. Ryu: No, no in this case it kills characters. All of them. Lennon: It still completely unnerves me when you do that. Killer DM: Well fear not limey, I'm done here. Ryu simply refuses to listen to my suggestions. Lennon: I'm okay with that, I think. Suggestions about what? Ryu: What kind of combat to run for the new players. Ostron: You asked the KDM for help with that? Ryu: I didn't ask...

Archives of Candlekeep: History of the Sword Coast — Waterdeep

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighteen on 13th May 2020. Libby: Book Lennon: I really think I have enough- Libby: Book Ryu: Lennon? Lennon: Over here! Ryu: Where? Lennon: Behind the huge stack of- Ryu: Wow, that's a huge pile of- Libby: Book Ryu: Yes, thanks Libby. Ostron: What did you do? Lennon (sighing): I know we're planning that trip for when everything opens back up so I wanted to learn everything I could about Waterdeep. Ostron: Oh no Libby: Book Ryu: What, did he break Libby? Ostron: No, it's just...

Wisdom of the Masters: Epilogues

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Fourteen on 15th April 2020. Ostron: Well, I’m officially out of spell slots. And I’m going to be mumbling the incantation for water breathing in my sleep now. RaeRae: Did anyone actually double check that the gnome was the only one who could fix Lennon’s bike? Ostron: What, you think he made that up? RaeRae: I just, you know, find it hard to believe he made Lennon to go get him a bunch of meteoric iron. At the bottom of a lake. With nesting Hydras. I do this for him after he nearly breaks my scrying pool. He’s lucky it was his...

Wisdom of the Masters: Winging It

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirteen on 1st April 2020. Ostron: I thought you said this wasn't ever going to happen?  Ryu: Yeah, I did, but then he taught me some stuff about Thieves’ Cant and here we are. Ostron: I thought you already knew Thieves’ Cant? Ryu: Hmm? Oh, uh, yeah. I meant I taught him. He definitely didn’t teach me. Nope. I mean, can you imagine it? Me, a rogue, who doesn’t know Thieves’ Cant? Ostron: Yeah, that’s highly unlikely, statistically speaking Ryu: Anyway, stuff and things, here we are. No! Peaches, stay.  (grumbling sound) Ryu: Yes, you can play with KayDee's nightmare after, I just need you to stay.  Lennon: Okay! Bike...

Adventurer’s Journal: Removing the Gamey Smell of Feats

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Twelve on 25th March 2020. Libby: Book. Lennon: No thanks, my multi-eyed friend, I've got this. I can find whatever I'm looking for completely on my own. Ostron: You do know Libby already has a book for you, right? Lennon: That's not the book I want. Ryu (quietly, to herself): But is it the book you need? Ostron: Look, why are you suddenly interested in finding your own books in the annex? Lennon: I've been practicing my passive perception! If I just walk through the stacks here, I'll notice the book I want out of the corner of my eye! Ostron: I didn't know you could practice passive perception...

Wisdom of the Masters: Infections

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eleven on 18th March 2020. Killer DM (drawn out and threatening): Oh Lennon… Lennon: No! Killer DM: No? Lennon: Yes? What answer keeps me alive? Killer DM: Oh we’re way past that point, but before I start showing you what your own spleen looks like, I was just curious why you tried to issue a notice saying Ryu shouldn’t be associating with me for the foreseeable future? Lennon: Well...

Unearthed Mundana: Archaic Measurements

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ten on 11th March 2020. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry Lennon: Okay, so I don't like this any more than you do, but if we both buckle down, we can get through this. ROSTRO: Nothing you stated constitutes a question Ryu (angrily sarcastic): I have one: Why is that thing humming? Lennon: Um, it does that when it's on. Ryu: Do you see my face? Do I look like I'm in the mood for that kind of backtalk? Lennon: Well look, I was trying to figure out the out the shopping list this week, and- Ryu: Oh again with you and the shopping? Here, gimme. Ryu (flipping...

Archives of Candlekeep: Ooze On First

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eight on 26th February 2020. Lennon: Ostron, I need you to sign this purchase order. Ostron: What's it for? Lennon: Cleaning supplies. Ryu: Why do we need new cleaning supplies? Lennon: Apparently HR has determined mops are a safety hazard and they're being abused by certain quasi-members of the staff. Ryu: Okay, you have to admit it was kind of funny when KayDee broke that slime trail and the Gath duplicate spilled the potion into itself and it was all glowy for a bit before it evaporated. Ostron: Hang on, this says the replacement cleaning supplies are more oozes! Lennon: What? where does it say that? Ostron: Requisition: 4 cubes, gel. 2...

Archives of Candlekeep: Planar Tour: The Outer Planes

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seven on 19th February 2020. Mikey: Come on, come on, no! ROSTRO start-up sounds Mikey: Darn it! Ryu: I thought you were keeping an eye on him! Mikey: Yeah, but there was this footnote Lennon wanted me to check out for him about the cosmological disposition of Eberron in the planar landscape and- Ryu: And now you're starting to sound like that thing. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry. Ryu: Yeah, why did Ostron decide he needed your help with the planes? ROSTRO: Once cosmological analysis of planes in Dungeons and Dragons moves beyond the elemental planes, the number of areas to be considered increases by a...

Heroes Rise: Dissonant Whispers – Monsters

Welcome, brave adventurers to the fourth episode of Heroes Rise: Dissonant Whispers, a Patreon Exclusive show for all backers regardless of tier that will air every few weeks exclusively on our Patreon page. If you like what you hear then head on over to our Patreon page to sign up. Tiers start from just $4 per month which will also get you access to the main Heroes Rise show unedited and early each week, and there's even some Heroes Rise swag up for grabs....

Archives of Candlekeep: Planar Tour: Feywild

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Five on 29th January 2020. Lennon: Oh dear gods why? Killer DM: Ryu's faerie dragon's gone back to the feywild for a bit. Ostron: And she didn't want to go with it? Killer DM: Oh goodness no. Every time she goes there I get into a fight. Lennon: I thought most feywild creatures were a little less aggressive than that? Killer DM: First of all, are you kidding? Second, I didn't say Ryu got into a fight; I get into a fight. Lennon: Don't tell me you have outstanding geases or something. Ostron: I thought you dealt in flaming horses. You're doing birds now? Lennon: What? Oh, wait are you kidding? Do...

Archives of Candlekeep: Planar Tour: Shadowfell

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Four on 22nd January 2020. Lennon (storytelling): It was a dark and stormy night Ryu: I'm not hearing a storm Lennon (storytelling sarcastically): Because someone is slacking off Ostron: At this point I've already used four spell slots just on ambiance. Magical darkness, mist cloud, control weather, wind gust, now you want lightning on command? Lennon: … well I’ve gotta set the mood right Ryu: Wouldn't it be easier to just meet in the Shadowfell at this point? Lennon: Well...

Unearthed Mundana: Painting Your Miniatures – Introduction to Colour Theory

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Three on 15th January 2020. Ryu: I'm sorry, you want me to what? Lennon: Break me into the workshop. Ryu: And these buckets of paint are for? Lennon: It's helping you too, actually. Ryu: Oh no, you are not dragging me into whatever insanity this is. Lennon: No, look; I know you're always complaining about how ROSTRO is imposing and disturbing so I figured a quick paint job...

Wisdom of the Masters: Resistance, Vulnerability and Monsters

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Two on 1st January 2020. Ryu (coughing): Why is there suddenly smoke everywhere? Ostron! What did you do in the workshop? Ostron (muffled): This wasn't me; I was trying to find a way to charge ROSTRO's power cells faster and then heard all the coughing. Ryu (still coughing): What is that thing on your face? And can you clear this out? Ostron (muffled): One gust of wind coming up. Wind blowing Ryu (deep breath): Much better. (sarcastically): Oh look. We have one unconscious Lennon lying on the floor with a bunch of open potion bottles and a cauldron. Why am I not surprised? Ostron (pop): Because your memory is...

Gnomish Workshop: Adventurers are the 1%

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Seven on 20th November 2019. Lennon: And here I was so holding out hope that my day wasn't going completely downhill. Killer DM: Awww does someone need a hug? Lennon: I will pay you money if you never ever say that again. ROSTRO: Probability analysis suggests you possess insufficient physical currency to facilitate that transaction. Lennon: Yeah, because I'm pretty sure Ryu stole it! Killer DM: Don't look at me, she was doing that long before my favorite accessory settled upon her brow. ROSTRO: Your current predicament would quite easily be remedied by engaging in a quest or adventuring excursion. Lennon: Really? Killer DM: Oh yes darling there's gold practically littering the ground...

Wisdom of the Masters: PvP in D&D

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Six on 13th November 2019. Killer DM: Mmmmm that felt almost too good. Lennon: I don't think I want to know Killer DM: Of course you do, Lennon; we both know you're constantly living vicariously through me and loving every minute of it. Lennon: I'm really not. Killer DM: Well keep lying to yourself then, but I just managed to get a TPK without any work at all. Ostron: Well, you are a big fan of the random rock fall. Killer DM: Oh no, it's even better than that; the party killed each other! PvP combat in fifth edition is so easy and it's great! Lennon: That's...

Wisdom of the Masters: Crafting Confusion

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Five on 6th November 2019. Lennon: So, what do you think would happen if I tried to make some modifications to ROSTRO? Ryu: I think KayDee would probably harvest all your organs and then stuff you into it. You know how she is about that thing.  Lennon: As with most subjects where she's involved, I try not to think about it.  Ryu: Why do you want to fiddle around with that monstrosity anyway?  Lennon: I was hoping to figure out a better way to get magic items made. The regular process is just...

Archives of Candlekeep: Psionics: The knowledge everyone hates

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Four on 30th October 2019. Lennon: Hey Ostron, I have a question Ostron: No, it is not possible to use Peaches as a ramp for your bicycle if she angles her tail the right way. Ryu: No abusing my dinosaur! I will allow her to eat you! Lennon: Okay, that wasn't the question, though thank you for ruining my fun once again. My actual question is why are we starting this short rest with psionics in 3rd edition? Doesn’t it make more sense to start with 1e? Ostron: Oh, well, psionics from 1st and 2nd edition had convoluted and problematic rules that make it fairly...

Archives of Candlekeep: Psionics: The knowledge you never knew you forgot

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Three on 23rd October 2019. Ostron: Really? You guys really want to do this? Ryu: Look, everyone keeps going on and on about psionics- Ostron: I don't. I try to avoid it, actually Lennon: Yes, but that's the point; people don't quite know why. What's wrong with psionics, why is it such a touchy subject? Ostron: All right, fine, follow me. Libby: Book Ostron: Thanks. Here. Ryu: ...

Archives of Candlekeep: Eberron Mechanics and Gameplay

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety One on 2nd October 2019. Mikey: Oooooh, this is what Ryu meant by “that big, magic-mechanical monstrosity starts using big words at us”! ROSTRO: While her intent with the labeling was no doubt pejorative, the choice of vocabulary was interestingly accurate. Mikey: … I see what she means. ROSTRO: I would also bring to your attention that given the topic being discussed, my participation could be considered verisimilitudinous. Lennon: Actually, that is a point. Huge machine run by magic is very Eberron. As we discussed previously, Eberron as a setting represents a significant departure from playing in the Forgotten Realms version of the game. However, lest...

Archives of Candlekeep: Eberron: Origin and Lore

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty Nine on 18th September 2019. Ostron: Oh bright Pelor what are all those colors? *sound of knife throwing* Lennon: Aww Ryu! You cut the fuse! Though that was a good shot with the knife! Ryu: Thanks. And you’re not setting off fireworks in here. We said you could do a couple of short rests focused on Eberron, not throw a party! Lennon: You guys always ruin my fun! Ryu: Really? You want me to get the hat? Lennon: Even that couldn’t bring me down, I'm having a great time, this is wonderful! Let me just go get the notes. Ostron: Keep in mind, if those notes required an actual...

Archives of Candlekeep: Ambulatory Corpses

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty Eight on 11th September 2019. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry Ryu: First, you called us, second, what does this topic have to do with math? ROSTRO: The exercise involved more comparative analysis and referencing information from extraplanar sources than engaging in mathematical activities but my resources remained invaluable. It is also likely the handwritten note provided by Lennon was misinterpreted by Ostron. Ryu: Let me...

Unearthed Mundana: Actual Two Weapon Fighting

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty Six on 28th August 2019. Ostron: Who switched off the lights in here — Lennon, why are you in a barrel, and Ryu, what did you just hide behind your back? Ryu: I didn’t break into the vault and get two swords for Lennon, if that’s what you’re asking. Ostron: Two swords? Ok, why? Lennon: Well… hang on, let me get out of this barrel… Well, all the talk of John Wick last week got me thinking of a cool character concept I want to play, but I thought I should practice dual-wielding first -- you know, to get into character. Right,...

Adventurer’s Journal: Characters: Just make it up!

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty Five on 21st August 2019. Lennon: Ha! In your face ROSTRO RaeRae: You know it doesn't have a face. Lennon: Whatever, the point is, I just created an entirely new race and class to play in D&D, and I didn't have to touch my calculator once! Behold my Fire Giant Alchemical Archer! Ostron: Okay, so I'm assuming this is an Artificer with the Alchemist specialty and using a crossbow, that's Unearthed Arcana but still valid, but Fire Giants aren't a playable race. Is it balanced? Lennon: Pah! Forget balanced. There isn't a single homebrewed rule in here. Ostron: That's not possible. Lennon: It's perfectly possible. You just...

Adventurer’s Journal: Blending Your Character’s Story Into the DM’s Story

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty Four on 14th August 2019. Ostron: *sound of firebolt and then burning* Aaaaand boom. That's all set now. Ryu: Please tell me that was a mathematical summary we don't have to discuss in the Gnomish Workshop Ostron: No, that was one of my players' backstories. Lennon: That thing was like 20 pages, who do you have as a player, George RR Martin? Wait, no, that backstory was finished...

Unearthed Mundana: Superstitions, Monsters and D&D

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty Two on 31st July 2019. Killer DM (tinkering): That'll do I think. ROSTRO: Your assistance is appreciated. I believe we can now conclude the matter at hand. Lennon: Does the matter at hand have anything to do with the research beholders doing laps between here and the Candlekeep annex? ROSTRO: Surprisingly astute observation The rules of Dungeons and Dragons enumerate an extensive bestiary of creatures benign and belligerent. Fifth edition currently has a comparatively tiny collection of creatures when compared with previous incarnations. Many of those editions had at least three monster manuals in addition to ancillary materials collating collections of fauna, easily...

Archives of Candlekeep: Revisiting Realism

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty One on 24th July 2019. Ryu: I want it noted for the record that I’m really trying to solve this without the hat. Gath: Solve what? Did we have a fight on-air I wasn’t aware of?  Ryu: No, no, this is with my players. I’ve got a couple that are whining about wanting more realism and they really don’t know what they’re asking for.  Ostron: The Killer DM already covered some of the variant rules the DMG says make things more realistic.  Ryu: Yeah, these players are still whining.  Ostron: Ugh, yeah, they don’t know what they’re asking for.  Gath: What’s the problem? As we’ve discussed previously, and as...

Wisdom from the Masters: Maintaining Villainy

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eighty on 17th July 2019. Mikey: Oh thank goodness. Given the topic I thought the Killer DM was going to be here again. She always seems to show up when I come out of the cave.  Ostron: How bad was this fight? Does this mean you put the hat away for good?  Ryu: What? No! We patched things up days ago. This time she's just sitting out from contempt. How did she put it?  Killer DM: If other DMs don't know how to keep their best characters alive that's not my problem. They should just call me in to help.  Ostron: I've been halfway...

Heroes Rise: Dissonant Whispers – What happens when a player leaves a campaign & Alignment

Welcome, brave adventurers to the first episode of Heroes Rise: Dissonant Whispers, a Patreon Exclusive show for all backers regardless of tier that will air every few weeks exclusively on our Patreon page, but we thought we'd let everyone get a taste of the first episode. If you like what you hear then head on over to our Patreon page to sign up. Tiers start from just $4 per month which will also get you access to the main Heroes Rise show unedited and early each week, and there's even some Heroes Rise swag up for grabs....

Wisdom from the Masters: Realizing Villainy

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Nine on 3rd July 2019. Lennon: Well the topic is “villainy”, but I don’t see the Killer DM hat. Ryu: Yeah, after I showed you how to break in to the vault last week, Ostron decided it wasn’t safe to keep the hat there. Lennon: Oh, so did he manage to hide it somewhere you couldn’t find it? Ryu: Not really. Ostron’s good, but...

Wisdom from the Masters: Non-combat Roles

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Eight on 26th June 2019. Ostron: Ryu? Why are you teaching Lennon how to pick the lock on the vault? Ryu: Oh, well, I'm going to be DMing a bunch of new players so I wanted to brush up on how to teach people new skills. Ostron: I thought we have a policy against you DMing new people? Ryu: You have a policy against KayDee DMing new people. It's just going to be me. Ostron: What's that bunch of white and red fuzz I can see in your pocket? Ryu: What? Lint! I'm sure it's just lint. I washed these pants with some fuzzy towels....

Unearthed Mundana: Naval Ghost Stories

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Seven on 19th June 2019. Lennon: Oh, the year was 1778 -- how I wish I was in Sherbrooke noooooow… Ryu: Lennon? Doing some remodeling on the guild house? Lennon: No, I'm going sailing! Building myself a boat, off to the high seas! Ostron: Sailing to where? Lennon: Oooh, avast, ye landlubber. You don't need a destination; the joy is in the sailing! Ryu: You have no idea what you're going to do out there, do you. Lennon: Look, Columbus didn’t need directions — Ryu: — and Columbus thought he landed in India! Lennon: Well… I’m sure inspiration will come to me! Ostron: Would you mind if we offered some suggestions? With the...

Wisdom from the Masters: You Signed Up For This

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Five on 5th June 2019. Ostron: I realize what I'm asking here but could the KDM help? Lennon: Does she ever? Ryu: Oh come on, you know she does! But I don't think so in this case; I'm pretty sure KayDee doesn't get nostalgic about stuff like that, and everyone she DMed for in her first game is probably gone. Ostron: Yeah, people move away, get older, you lose touch...

Adventurer’s Journal: Preparing for your First Ever Game

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Four on 29th May 2019. Ryu: Yeah, HR said they want to “have a word with” KayDee about how we can’t farm new employees for kidneys. Ostron: I'm sorry, what? Lennon: Doesn’t matter. Speaking of new employees, can you guys look over what I've got so far? Ryu: Sure Sitting down for your first ever session of D&D can be a daunting prospect for a lot of people. Assuming you looked through the basic rules or player's handbook (which, hint, you should have done) you know there's a lot of information and rules involved with this, and it's very...

Gnomish Workshop: Critical Bonuses

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Three on 22nd May 2019. Lennon: Right, so I thought we covered critical hits? ROSTRO: I would classify the information previously discussed as a primer on the general category. If you direct your attention to the display crystals, we can proceed. Lennon: What if I close my eyes and start running? KDM: Then you'll hit the door, dear, I've just locked it. Now come along...

Gnomish Workshop: How Do You Crit?

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Two on 15th May 2019. ROSTRO: Your information on critical hits is alarmingly deficient. Please consult the output crystals and confer with my colleague. Lennon: I think I'd rather go meet with HR. KDM: Lennon, don't make me use hold person. Critical hits are a primary goal of many players in combat, with good reason; the ability to roll twice as many dice when doing damage usually means the character's hitting harder than usual. If you have a character such as a rogue making a sneak attack or a paladin using smite, the number of extra dice rolled can cause...

Archives of Candlekeep: Spelljammer Part 2: An Overview

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy One on 1st May 2019. Ryu: Okay so now I'm morbidly curious. If Spelljammer's lore was so crazy, how did that work with gameplay? Lennon: Awesomely, I'm sure. Ostron: Did Spelljammer pay off your mortgage or something? Lennon: So far it's D&D in space, there are 7ft hippos with muskets and I get to throw Kender out of airlocks. I'm sold. Ostron: Well there weren't actually airlocks, you know. Spelljammer is presented as a separate campaign setting that uses spaceships, space, and planets to substitute for horses, open plains, and cities. The original sourcebook explains the separation as willful apathy: people...

Wisdom from the Master: Actual Stealth Missions

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixty-Nine on 17th April 2019.   Lennon: This doesn’t bode well for my idea of having my players run a stealth mission. Ryu: What does that have to do with anything? Lennon: Well the whole party isn’t made up of Rangers, Rogues, and people who can cast “Invisibility” so they’re going to make it what? One, maybe two rounds before the guardhouses are alerted and we’re on the express train to murdertown. Ostron: Well, that depends on how you set up the encounter.   If the hype and excitement around the release of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist showed us anything, it’s...

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Gnomish Workshop: Hidden Advantages

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixty-seven on 3rd April 2019. Lennon: By the rollacks of Ralishaz, not again! Ryu: What happened? Lennon: Well, how would you describe… that? Ryu: Well, Ostron's unconscious neatly laid out on the floor of the Workshop again… there are absolute piles and piles of dice around… so either he miscast a sleep spell and knocked himself out, or...

Unearthed Mundana: Metagaming

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixty-Four on 6th March 2019. Ostron: Oh come on! This should be working! Lennon: Did you de-power an artifact in the workshop again? Ostron: No. I'm trying to configure the Realized Oikumenata- Ryu: You know it's easier to just say ROSTRO. Ostron: Oh...

Adventurer’s Journal: Flawed Personas

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixty-Two on 20th February 2019. Ryu: Blah. Okay, time to kill some characters. Lennon: We hid the hat again, just so you're aware. Ryu: Yeah that never matters, but anyway, I'm not going to need KayDee's help for this one;  I've got another player that's decided "annoying edgelord" is a cool character concept, and they've come up with mechanics where they're in such mental anguish that even brief moments of happiness count as a short rest for them because they're so rejuvenating. "Rejuvenating" isn't "resurrecting," though, so that character isn't going to see a session two. Ostron: You know you're asking to just...

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Gnomish Workshop: Monster Modification

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixty on 6th February2019. Killer DM: Oh dear. Why is my favorite organ donor lying on the floor? If he's dead and I didn't kill him I will be very upset. ROSTRO: Inquiry. This situation has been explained previously. What is the source of confusion? Killer DM: Oooooh you're all big and flashy. Are you that new thing Ryu's been worried about? ROSTRO: Creature personality profile re-analyzed. Greetings. I am the Realized Oikumenatal Solution To Removing Obfuscation. You may refer to me as ROSTRO. I assist Ostron with more complex issues of a mathematical nature. Killer DM: I...

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Unearthed Mundana: Imposter Syndrome

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fifty-Nine on 30th January 2019. "The psychological experience of believing that one's accomplishments came about not through genuine ability, but as a result of having been lucky, having worked harder than others, or having manipulated other people's impressions" Many, many people when they begin playing D&D or when they take on a new role within the game start to get pervasive feelings of doubt that don't go away. In their head, they have a refrain going of "I don't know what I'm doing," "So many other people could do this better than I can," "Everyone's just...

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Wisdom of the Masters: The KDM’s Christmas Gifts

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fifty-Four on 26th December 2018.   Killer DM: Oh there you are Lennon. So nice to see you again. I can't help noticing it's Christmas Lennon: Yes Kay- Killer DM: Go ahead. Try using that name Lennon: -Killer DM. I just can't begin to tell you how good it is to see you. It's your first anniversary isn't it? Killer DM: It is, but you know what it's not? Lennon: What? Killer DM: Thanksgiving. Do you remember anything about Thanksgiving? Lennon: Um..no? Because I'm British? Ostron: Still can't get the power cells to recharge right, I wonder...

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A Short Rest: Archives of Candlekeep: 4th Edition, the Rebellious Child

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fifty-One on 5th December 2018. The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons is arguably one of the most popular iterations of the rules, but it’s taken some time to get to where we are today. In honor of Art and Arcana, the book released October 23rd that showcases all the artwork and tells the evolving story of D&D over the years, we decided to take a look back at this hobby of ours ourselves and see where it started, and how it’s evolved over time. In June 2008, Wizards of the Coast released the 4th...

Archives of Candlekeep: Edition 3.5: The Golden Child

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fifty on 28th November 2018. The fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons is arguably one of the most popular iterations of the rules, but it’s taken some time to get to where we are today. In honor of Art and Arcana, the book released October 23rd that showcases all the artwork and tells the evolving story of D&D over the years, we decided to take a look back at this hobby of ours ourselves and see where it started, and how it’s evolved over time. As established in our last article, while everyone liked 3.0 as...