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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, ninety-ninth entry: That’s not a kinfe…

Welcome, brave adventurers ... to the ninety-ninth entry into our chronicle, recorded on

December 4, 2019

Our latest article...

Unearthed Mundana: I Can’t Believe it’s not Thieves’ Cant

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Nine on 4th December 2019. Ostron: H

December 4, 2019
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Previous episodes and content...

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...

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Archives of Candlekeep: 3rd Edition: The Friendly, Embarrassing Child

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Nine on 14th 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. When D&D came under the control of Wizards of the Coast,...

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A Short Rest: Archives of Candlekeep: 2nd Edition; the temperate, responsible

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Eight on 7th 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 honour 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. By the late 1980s, D&D had become even larger but...

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Wisdom of the Masters: Population: Evil

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Seven on 31st October 2018. Killer DM: Ahh good, that was an annoying long wait. Ostron: Have to wait a while for Ryu to fail her saves? Killer DM: And there I was thinking you didn’t have a sense of humor… Oh, you’re serious? You think she still tries to make the saves? You dear thing. Lennon: Um...

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Wisdom of the Masters: Campaigning for Evil

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Six on 24th October 2018. Lennon: Really? Again? Ostron: We're talking about running evil campaigns, who's at the top of *YOUR* subject matter expert list for that? Lennon: Whatever, they're your kidneys Killer DM: It's so nice that you all invite me around for the holidays. It almost makes me forget that you didn't do that last Halloween. Lennon: In our defense, we hadn't actually started broadcasting yet. Killer DM: I just hear excuses but I suppose I might let it pass if we're talking about something fun. Ostron: Running an evil campaign Killer DM: Oh Ostron! I knew there was hope for you. Now, let's talk about unfair encounters...

Archives of Candlekeep: The Fraternal Twins: AD&D and the Basic Set…

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Five on 13th October 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 the upcoming Art and Arcana book, releasing 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. By 1977, four years after the original release of D&D,...

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Archives of Candlekeep: In The Beginning…

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Four on 10th October 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 the upcoming Art and Arcana book, releasing 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. Late in the year 1970, Gary Gygax and Jeff Perran...

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Unearthed Mundana: Exotic Royalty

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-Two on 26th September 2018. Ryu: I'm so sick of kings and queens Lennon: No European vacation for you then? Ryu: No, I mean, I don't mind them as people but every campaign you run into the land is ruled over by "king" this or "queen" that. Even when we were running through this jungle of sentient monkey-lizards they ended up being led by "Duke Longtail." It was kind of disappointing. Ostron: Oh, well, a little bit of linguistic modification is in order then. Along with scenery and inhabitants, names have a huge impact on immersion and characters' sense of displacement. Characters are...

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Adventurer’s Journal: Nobody Likes Warlocks

This article was first broadcast in Episode Thirty-Nine on 5th September 2018. Ryu: Look, we need to deal with this Lennon: No we don't, because there's no problem Ostron: Okay, you keep saying that nobody likes warlocks but it's honestly just you. Lennon: Ryu is on my side! Ryu: The Killer DM is more on your side than I am and really she hates everyone so that's not a good basis. Ostron: Do you even have any legitimate complaints? Lennon: Do I need them? Ostron: … Yes. Lennon: Alright. You might want to take a seat though, we’ll be here a while. Warlock is one of those classes that make people nervous. If the Monk is a confusing and...

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Archives of Candlekeep: Odd Dragon Out

This article was first broadcast in Episode Thirty-Five on 8th August 2018. Ryu: Now? Now? Can we do it now? Lennon: Yes, fine, go ahead Ryu: Yaaaay! THUNK Ostron: What is that? Ryu: That's my notes on all the other dragons Lennon: *sigh* okay, we can cover SOME of them. Pick the ones most people will recognize, at least. Ryu: Fine...

Archives of Candlekeep: Behold the Beholders

This article was first broadcast in Episode Thirty-Three on 25th July 2018. Mikey: So this is backstage, huh? Ryu: You’ve never been here before? Mikey: They don’t let me leave the cave that often… thumbing through papers What’s this? Lennon: Those are some notes that Ostron was having difficulty compiling. Mikey: What happened to the research beholders? Ryu: Well, this is ON beholders, specifically their history, so when he tried to get their help they all just passed in their own life stories and said that's all he needed to know. Mikey: Ah, yeah...

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Adventurer’s Journal: Elemental Wizards

This article was first broadcast in Episode Thirty-One on 11th July 2018. Ostron: Lennon? Did you take my dictionary out of the gnomish workshop? Lennon: I did, and then the research beholders took it. Ryu: Weren't you working on elemental wizards? Ohhh you meant to grab a spellbook and ended up with the dictionary instead didn't you? Lennon: No!...

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Adventurer’s Journal: Efficient Use of Infernal Influence

This article was first broadcast in Episode Thirty on 27th June 2018. Killer DM: Is it “die” when there’s more than one? Or is it “dice”? One die, two dice? I always forget. Anyway, 15 people are dead. Lennon: I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but tell me why did Ryu decide to put the Killer DM hat on? Killer DM: Well, Ryu knew you were talking about Devils and I've always done some of my best work with them, so I...

Archives of Candlekeep: Never Enough, the Story of the Hit Point

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Nine on 20th June 2018. Lennon: Holy mother of Avandra, that stings… Are you nearly done Ostron: Oh will you quit whining?! And hold still otherwise I can’t stitch it properly Lennon: I nearly lost an arm to that allegedly juvenile dragon Ryu: It was so pretty though. The way its scales glistened in the moonlight...

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Unearthed Mundana: Truly Exotic Weapons

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Eight on 13th June 2018. Lennon: Hey guys, can you help me out with something?  I’ve been trying to make some locations in my game a little more exotic, and it got me thinking. I can flavor the buildings, sights, sounds and smells, even the names and local customs, but everyone still has shortswords, longbows and all those mundane types of weaponry. It reminded me of when we went to Ixalan. Ryu: Because your party’s wizard almost got them all killed? Ostron: Okay look- Lennon: Hey, hey, we’re talking about my problem here. Remember those blades the merfolk carried? They looked...

Archives of Candlekeep: Dragons

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Seven on 6th June 2018. Lennon: Ryu… are you ok? Ryu: *disappointed* Yeah, it’s fine… just… why’d they put “Dragon Heist” in the title if it’s nothing to do with dragons? Lennon: Yeah, I’m sorry, though Dungeon of the Mad Mage might have them… Ostron: Ok guys, I’ve finished my article on Comparative analysis of Ranged vs Melee Damage per Class and-- Ryu, are you alright? Ryu: Yeah, it’s fine… Lennon: You know… I don’t really know much about the history of dragons Ostron: Yeah you do, you’re the one who told me about-- why are you looking at me like tha--- oooh! Yeah, he knows nothing. Lennon: Right,...

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Massive Battles

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Six on 30th May 2018. Lennon: Ok, so two plus two is four, minus one that’s three Ryu: What on earth are you doing? Other than quick maths? Lennon: I’m doing a dry run of a thing for a game. See, I may have painted myself into a corner a bit… or rather into a wide open-field that’s about to be filled with 25,000 creatures on 3 sides, each vying for control of the county RaeRae: And, let me guess, you’re trying to figure out the damage received during a single round of combat? Lennon: Combat? I’ve not even gotten as far as...

Getting Defensive: Armor Class

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Five on 23rd May 2018. Lennon: Ahh, there you are! What’re you doing down here in the basement? Ryu:  Well, I’ve been flicking through Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and I’ve gotta be honest I’m not sure I fancy our chances going up against those… things! Demons and devils, demogorgons and drow, it’s all gotten a little more dangerous. Lennon: So you’re hiding down here with a blanket? Ryu: What? NO! I just-- Ostron: Ryu?! Ryu?! Lennon: I found her, she’s down here Ostron: Ahh, there you are! What’re you doing down here in the basement? Ryu:  As I was just about to say to Lennon, I was just going through...

Bounded Accuracy

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Four on 16th May 2018. Ryu: Lennon? Why did we just get a delivery of 500 yards of parachute cord? Lennon: Oh did that show up? Great! Yeah it’s a research project I’m doing about bounded accuracy. Ryu: Okay...

Listen, Good People

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Three on 9th May 2018. Ryu: Okay, no more weddings. Lennon: I didn't realize you were ordained. Ryu: No, I mean I added an arranged marriage plot to my campaign and my characters started fighting about how the "good" aligned characters would react. Ostron: That can get tricky. Ryu: I didn't even know how to rule it myself. I just play my characters, I usually don't think too much about alignment. Well, unless I'm wearing the hat… Lennon: No Hat! Ostron: It's okay, don't need the hat. I've got a quick primer on being good here. Depending on the crowd of players at the table, the announcement that...

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You Are What You Eat (or Drink)

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Two on 2nd May 2018. Boldan the Dragonslayer strode into the tavern; known throughout the land for his many heroic deeds, he had no shortage of tables offered to him.  The tavern owner hurried over and asked, “Good master, whatever we can offer is yours! What would wish to dine on tonight?” Graciously nodding to his host, he replied, “Uh, I don’t know.  Food, I guess? I should probably drink something too…” D&D is a game about heroes, villains, adventure, monsters, and magic.  There can be so much epicness happening in a game it’s easy to...

Probability

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-One on 25th April 2018. Ryu: Are you sure about this? Lennon: I think we have to Ryu: I'm getting the hat Lennon: No, no… Let’s just let him have this one. Ryu: You're REALLY sure? I mean, last time some people didn't wake up for days. Lennon: Well, we can dress it up as a public service. Insomnia is a real issue for a lot of people. Now, breathe in… and out… ok, go get em! Ryu: Okay… Hey Ostron? What'cha been working on in the Gnomish Workshop?     With all of this talk of Mordenkainen’s Mayhem, and the Mike Mearls...

Alternate Rewards

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty on 18th April 2018. Ryu: So yeah, that last time the Killer DM killed Ostron pretty much wiped us out. The Cleric upped his rates Lennon: I told Ostron we’d have some gold for him because of the whole kidney thing Ryu: Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.       Not all characters are played in the same way. That’s sort of a given unless the same person is controlling all of them, but we’re mostly talking about how characters deal with their bank accounts. While some characters will be able to stockpile money, looking for the chance...

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Custom Creature Creation

Greetings, brave adventurers! You've stumbled upon one of our guest blogs! If you've been burning to put quill to parchment over an idea, be sure to send it in to us, sendingstone@heroesrisepodcast.com and your ideas could be featured here! "Hah, it's just a kobold!" Halvor laughed, "And to think we were worried!" "As well you should be," noted the kobold before incinerating him with a fiery exhalation. One of the core aspects of D&D is monsters.  From goblins to orcs, undead to celestials, and wild beasts to dinosaurs, D&D has a long history of wonderful and fantastic creatures for players to encounter, fight,...

Five Room Dungeon Design

This article was first broadcast in Episode Nineteen on 11th April 2018. Ryu: Hey Ostron! Good to see you back in one piece! Whatchya doing there? Ostron: Oh, trying to come up with something for my next session. I know the players are likely to make it to a dungeon, but I have no inspiration for layout, monsters, or even what's lighting the walls. Ryu: Well, you could always use the Five Room Dungeon technique Ostron: Isn’t five rooms a little restrictive? Lennon: Not if you do it right.     See, whilst you may look at modules, even the shorter ones like those presented in Tales from...

Heroes Rise, seventeenth entry: Podcast of Dave

Welcome, brave adventurers to the seventeenth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 24th March 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 28th March 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

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Switching Characters

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventeen on 28th March 2018. Ostron: One of my players used the sending stone, they want to change characters AGAIN. It's something like the fourth time and I have no idea what to do here. Lennon: What are they now? Ostron: Gnome Cleric Lennon: And they're switching to… Ostron: Goliath Barbarian Ryu: That's...

GaryCon 2018 Report

Greetings, brave adventurers! You've stumbled upon one of our guest blogs! If you've been burning to put quill to parchment over an idea, be sure to send it in to us, sendingstone@heroesrisepodcast.com and your ideas could be featured here!   Hello, this is Head Scribe Baxter, possibly better known as the “who” in “who the hell wrote this crap?!” for around half of the Short Rest segments.  Last week, Len asked me to cover Gary-Con, a convention in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, celebrating the life of Gary Gygax and his role in creating D&D, not to mention the influence he’s had on the...

To Add A Dragon

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixteen on 21st March 2018. Raerae: So were you guys debating dragons this week? Ryu: No Raerae: Why not? Ryu: Because there isn't a debate. Ostron: No, the point is that we're asking if you should add dragons to a campaign or not. Ryu: I don't understand the question. Ostron: I'm not sure how to rewrite that Ryu: Look, here, guys, why don't we just read over this paper I wrote up on dragons instead, huh? Dragons are probably the most iconic creatures in the entire D&D mythos. I mean, they're the second "D" in the name; it's hard to argue they...

Heroes Rise, sixteenth entry: Dragon In A Guest

Welcome, brave adventurers to the sixteenth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 17th March 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 21st March 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

Heroes Rise, fifteenth entry: 2e or not 2e

Welcome, brave adventurers to the fifteenth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 10th March 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 14th March 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

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Are You Evil?

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fifteen on 14th March 2018. Lennon: Really? You just GAVE her the hat? Ostron: Look, it's not like The Killer DM causes chaos or anything. She's Lawful Evil, that's manageable. Killer DM: Do I hear the sounds of overconfidence? Lennon: Not from me Ostron: We were just saying you're a good source of information for players that want to play evil characters Killer DM: Oh my goodness yes. There are soooo many posers out there that think they're SO evil and still go to puddles when there are a bunch of kittens around. Pull up a chair, people.       At some...

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Healing Without Healing

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fourteen on 7th March 2018. Lennon: Ok, so I’ve been thinking about our Ixalan adventure… well, mis-adventure… and I think I’ve gotten to the bottom of it. We need a cleric. Ryu: No we don’t Ostron: Right -- a paladin would probably be better. They can absorb more damage. Ryu: Wrong again Lennon: Ok, well what do you suggest? Ryu:  Well, I find that depends on how you look at it.   The easiest way to guarantee blind panic in most players is to drain the group’s healer of spell slots or hit points. Some players refuse to engage in a...

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Skill Ineptitude: It’s Good to Be Bad (At Something)

This article was first broadcast in Episode Thirteen on 28th February 2018. “The battle had been hard-fought, but the necromancer’s tower now lay in ruins.  On the morrow they would return to the queen to inform her the threat to her nation was ended, but tonight, they rested.  Brother Elmont knew his companions had fared worse than he, and prepared their simple evening meal without being asked.  It had taken the party twelve hours to win through and cast down the necromancer. ...

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Party Composition

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twelve on 21st February 2018. Lennon: That was close! Ryu: Next time we go to Ixalan, we should probably balance our party better. Ostron: Now we're safe backstage, let’s take a Short Rest...

Heroes Rise, twelfth entry: Wild Parties

Welcome, brave adventurers to the twelfth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 17th February 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 21st February 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

Plane Shift: Ixalan

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eleven on 14th February 2018. Ryu: Hey Len, everything alright? Lennon: Ehhhh, kinda. It’s Valentine’s day and I’ve still not managed to find anything for my wife. Even with my ukulele my Performance check would be a critical failure what with still recovering from the Ryuflu, and just in case the Ryuflu turns out to be lycanthropy, moonlit walks on the beach are probably best avoided...

Heroes Rise, tenth entry: Mordy’s Foam of Toes

Welcome, brave adventurers to the eighth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 11th January 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 17th January 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

The Gith

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ten on 7th February 2018. Lennon: Are you crazy!? Ostron: Will you calm down and listen! Ryu: Why is everyone yelling in here!? Lennon: He has a silver sword Ostron: It's a sword that LOOKS silver, it's not one of THOSE silver swords. Do I look like an idiot? Lennon: Well you work on this show, don’t you? Ryu: What am I missing here? Ostron: I'm guessing a lot of history about the Githyanki     Whenever psionics comes up in D&D, three races are always brought up with it: the Mindflayers, Githyanki, and Githzerai. We're going to discuss the latter two. Fortunately the...

Heroes Rise, ninth-and-a-half entry: Party Wipe

Welcome, brave adventurers to the ninth-and-a-half entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded at various points in 2017 & 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 31st January 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

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Weather in D&D Part 3: Advanced Weather

This article was first broadcast in Episode Nine on 20th January 2018. Raerae: Huh, so this is what it looks like back here Lennon: You mean you’ve never been backstage? Raerae: Well I’m not usually on stage to go behind it Ostron: Good point Raerae: Oooh, is this where Ryu keeps that hat? Ostron: Well, not quite, this is where we always go after the news for a Short Rest Raerae: Gotchya. So, what do you do when you take a Short Rest? Lennon: Oh, mainly we try and keep Ryu out of the Gnomish Workshop. Although the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about the weather...

Heroes Rise, eighth entry: Recorded in 1d6 takes

Welcome, brave adventurers to the eighth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 11th January 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 17th January 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

Heroes Rise, seventh entry: Palatable Kender

Welcome, brave adventurers to the seventh entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 6th January 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

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Weather in D&D Part 1: Weather as an Encounter

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seven on 10th January 2018. Ostron: It’s raining bears and frogs out there Lennon: Okay, the expression is cats and dogs and plate armor isn’t good in rain- Ostron: I’m going to stop you right there - look out the window. Weather: everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. To be fair, most people can’t do anything about it...

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Royal Titles

This article was first broadcast in Episode Six on 3rd January 2018. Lennon: Why does the break room wall have dry erase lines everywhere with some pictures of Duke Ellington, Elvis, and Christopher Lee from Star Wars? Ostron: Oh, yeah, we wanted to add some stuff to our campaigns and have it be authentic. Royalty! Kings, Princes, Dukes. I mean an evil baron- Ryu: Or Baroness! Ostron: -right trying to take over the kingdom is classic! But we wanted it to be authentic and we’re not used to the whole royalty, lines of succession thing. Lennon: Ryu, Ostron, I’m British. We’ve got this. Here’s your...

Heroes Rise, fifth entry: A Deck of Merry Things

Welcome, brave adventurers to the fifth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 23rd December 2017, and made available for download on Wednesday, 27th December 2017 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

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The Twelve Days of Bonuses, Part 1

This article was first broadcast in Episode Four on 20th December, 2017. Lennon: Hey Ryu, what’ve you got there? Ryu: Oh this? It’s just a magic item I found in the Gnomish Workshop Lennon: Looks like a santa hat. Hmm, let’s see the item card: Hat of the Killer DM. When equipping this hat, make a constitution saving throw (DC15). On a failed save, the wearer becomes the Killer DM for the remainder of the segment. You may repeat the saving throw once per round. This sounds cursed. Ryu: I’m gonna put it on Lennon: That doesn’t seem wise---ok, you did it anyway. Ok, make...

Heroes Rise, second entry: D&D Next

Welcome, brave adventurers, to the second entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 2nd December 2017, and made available for download on Wednesday, 5th December 2017 at heroesrisepodcast.com...

Getting familiar with Familiars

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two on 6th December, 2017. “You did well in your scouting, Sir Fluffykins, though I could have used less detail about that mouse’s nest you found,” Aristobulus grinned at his familiar. “Meow,” replied Sir Fluffykins wittily, because he was a cat and only had 3 intelligence. 5e’s Find Familiar is a useful spell, allowing a spellcaster to summon a magical animal companion to assist them in their adventuring, as well as letting the character partake in a fine storytelling and magical tradition going back millennia.  However, while many literary familiars are intelligent and capable of speech,...

Aarakocran Druids

This article was first broadcast in Episode One on November 29th, 2017. Lennon: So, you’ll have to forgive me. As a Brit, we don’t have “Thanksgiving” over here, so I’m not really familiar with it. When “Thanksgiving” comes up, what do you think of? Ryu: Druids! Ostron: Aarakocra! Lennon: I’ve got to be honest, that doesn’t seem quite right, but who am I to argue? I guess we’ll talk about Aarakocran Druids then...