Category Archives: Archives of Candlekeep

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Twelfth on 25th 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. Recent revelations about Spelljammer have said that the phlogiston is no more. Where the highly volatile mystery substance used to fill the space between local star systems, apparently that void is now going to be filled by the Astral Sea, or at least something called the Astral Sea. A lot of Planescape fans probably raised their eyebrows and worried a bit when they heard that. Because until we get some more details, it’s possible the 5th edition Astral Sea is going to be very different from before. Like most things about the D&D cosmology, the astral sea was something that sort of “appeared” over time. Several resources and…

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This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Eleven on 18th 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. Like flumphs, dragonborn, and a completely useless system for ranking monsters, tieflings are another thing that’s only become a staple of D&D in recent incarnations, despite being present in D&D as a whole for a long time prior. The tieflings ironically got their name and their start because of the fallout over the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s. For those who aren’t aware or need a refresher, there were several incidents, most notably the suicide of an adolescent, that had negatively linked Dungeons and Dragons first edition with satanism and demon or devil worship in the United States during the 1980s. As a result, when TSR began…

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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 have actually been around since 1st edition. They didn’t make it into the mainstream, early publications, but then TSR put out the “Fiend Folio” in 1980. The Folio was famous for having some more esoteric creatures in it where most other references had stuck to more stereotypical…

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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 they should be named the “godparents” of D&D, because while Gygax and his buddies did most of the work of creation and working out the mechanics, the Hickmans gave it that extra push that really got it to take off. By 1982 Tracy Hickman and his wife…

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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 material plane. Or they were locations where the souls of mortals went when they died. By the time 2nd edition rolled around, people were clamoring for more information about the planes and wanted to actually adventure in them. TSR tasked David “Zeb” Cook with developing the setting, and…

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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 probably the most common reason for them being left aside, but we’ll dive into that more in a minute. The Aboleth species owes its origins to the classic adventure Dwellers of the Forbidden City, put out by TSR in 1980. That adventure was a landmark one because it…

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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…somebody? Somebodies? Ostron: Slaad. Plural is slaadi. Lennon: And all of it is “no thank you.” Ostron, feel free to take this one. Ostron: Ugh, there isn’t a Slaad infestation in the guild house! I’m just trying to be prepared. Lennon: You’re expecting an infestation in the guild house? Ostron: Well you can’t really tell with them; that’s kind of…

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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…Libby? Ryu: This isn’t what it looks like. Ostron: It looks like you have Libby helping you with surgery. Lennon: Hey did you find that map of-…okay, you do know we don’t pay Gath just to hang around and look pretty right? Ryu: I just…was hoping to avoid this conversation. Ostron: So you decided having Libby give you medical assistance was your best option? Libby (indignantly): Book! Lennon: Look, no offense mate, but it’s not exactly…

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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 can practice aiming at small moving targets and hire myself out as an exterminator to make back all the money I’m using for target practice. Ostron: …What? Don’t look at me, you asked. Ryu: So he just saw the bit about the critters and…

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This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Ninety on 24th November 2021. Ryu (nervously): So…Lennon? Lennon: Yes? Ryu: You’ve done some traveling, right? Lennon: Oh don’t remind me. It’s basically a piece of living geography, how do you lose track of a hill!? Ryu: What? Lennon: Sorry, fey patron issues. Right, traveling, you need some help packing? I recommend a towel. Possibly four. Ryu (nervously): No…um…I was wondering if…you’d been to the Underdark? Lennon: Um, not recently; my patron doesn’t have much business there, for obvious reasons. Why, you hoping I ran into someone you know? Ryu: Well…not exactly… Lennon: I don’t…oh hey, Ostron! Ryu: No no! It’s noth- Lennon: You been to the Underdark recently? Ostron: Yes and no. Lennon: Can you ever just give me a straight answer to a question? Ostron: I give you straight answers all the time. Lennon: Yes, fine, I’ll rephrase; can you give me a straight answer that is still an answer I expect to be possible when I…

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