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
To start us off this week, Lennon digs in to his Adventurer’s Pack and shows us a website that’s the Swiss Army Knife of generators… in fact, it could probably generate the entire Swiss Army! Then we take a look at some D&D News as we cover:
- The newest videos from D&D Beyond
- Lots of patches for the Beamdog D&D computer games
- Kobold Press’ Creature Codex
- And a couple of other random bits that the copywriter couldn’t be bothered to write bullet points for
After that we take a Short Rest and hear some Wisdom from the Masters on using Weather in your games; before finishing off the show by looking into the Scrying Pool to see what you have to say.
- Donjon Generators
- Neverwinter voted “Best Free to Play MMO 2017”
- D&D Beyond: Death and Resurrection
- D&D Beyond: The Origin of Elves
- Kobold Press: Creature Codex
- Infinity Engine 2.5 Updates
- Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Headstart Patchnotes
- PAX South
A Short Rest: Wisdom from the Masters — Weather as an Encounter
This Week’s Community Questions
What are your thoughts on 3rd party source-books? Do you use them in your own games, and if so do you have any recommendations?
Have you found anything not hideously broken on D&D Wiki?
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Yes! Donjon! Such a great site. My go-to for name generation is still fantasynamegenerators.com, but donjon’s the way to go for everything else. I use it more for inspiration than direct application, but often times that’s all I need.
Building from that, I’d say that I view most things as inspiration and make little tweaks to every document that influences my game, whether that’s the PHB or a third-party resource. Obviously, something from D&D Wiki will need a shorter leash than something from Kobold Press or Green Ronin, but I try to keep an open mind. Speaking of Green Ronin, I’m a fan of their publication: The Book of the Righteous. It’s a great, comprehensive work that’s great for fleshing out religion, separate from traditional D&D pantheons.
A lot of my favourite third-party resources are technically “cousins” of 5E. I love digging into books written for Pathfinder and older versions of D&D for ideas. There are decades of both things that worked and things that didn’t, but a little creative tinkering and reskinning can inject a lot of new content that already has the right tone and the same DNA.
Why wait for official 5E Kender when you can homebrew them now, right Lennon?
*Marty ducks, fully expecting something to be lobbed at his head*
Although I don’t use much in the way of third-party source materials, both my players and I will look back at old spells and abilities in previous editions. For example, Horrid Wilting wasn’t a 5E spell until Elemental Evil was released; and Bombardment, one of the best Druid spells in 3rd edition, isn’t available at all. Instead, thanks to 5E’s extremely easy spell creation rules, we’ll port those old spells into 5e to add a bit of flavor to our games.
Although we tend to run published adventures, adding some minor homebrew elements really enhances the experience, or helps cover areas where the core game is lacking. For example, in our Strahd campaign, our DM decided to borrow some ideas from 4E and focus more on controlling the party by literally throwing us around, rather than doing absurd damage. This created some very challenging and difficult combat encounters that enhanced the mystery surrounding Strahd.
Final note: I’m curious how most people do dungeon crawls. This is an experience core to DnD, but I see a lot of discussion about playing them, but very little discussions on how to actually run a dungeon crawl and it not get boring.
Re: the Origin of Elves. Having read the Silmarillion and been enchanted by Tolkien’s cosmology and origins of both elves and men, hearing Wizards of the Coast’s version seems such an after thought that I doubt that I will use it. Did I hear you correctly when you suggested that they’d added the origin of orcs before elves? Really WotC?
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