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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, forty-first entry: Dragonmark Z

Welcome, brave adventurers... to the forty-first entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. Thi

September 19, 2018

Our latest article...

Adventurer’s Journal: Merely Casting Rains

This article was first broadcast in Episode Forty-One on 19th September 2018. Ryu: Oh no

September 19, 2018
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Previous episodes and content...

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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...