Category Archives: Short Rest

This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Twenty on 3rd August 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. A much as people whine about psionics or think that 4th edition was a tragic error on many levels, one of the largest impacts on D&D’s publication and future actually had very little to do with the mechanics of the game. Most people who either grew up in the 80s, played D&D, or watched some of the various media that touched on it, such as Season 4 of Stranger Things, are aware of a general event called the Satanic Panic. It was a moral movement and media phenomenon spanning the 80s and it had an irrevocable effect on the game and people’s perceptions of it. However if…

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This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Nineteen on 27th July 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. Where the Nine Hells have the archdukes of The Hells, if you sail down the River Styx you’ll find a similar but different situation at the other end. That’s assuming you make it, of course; the River Styx is terrible and there are murderous demons on every side and sometimes floating by on other boats. Have we mentioned going to the underworld is a bad idea? Anyway, when you get to the Abyss you will find a much looser hierarchy, but there are several beings that fill much the same role as the archdukes. Those are the demon lords. Now practically speaking there is no demon lord…

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This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Seventeen on 13th July 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. At face value, an attack in D&D would seem to be very simple; there is a creature and another creature they either don’t get along with or would very much like to eat. Sometimes it’s both, like with gnolls.   Fortunately, and somewhat unusually, the rules for D&D 5e are also fairly simple, at least to start. When describing combat in the Player’s Handbook, it states: ” if you’re making an attack roll, you’re making an attack.”   That means that any spell requiring a roll to hit, rather than the target making a save, counts as an attack.   Well things get messy pretty quickly.  …

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This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Sixteen on 29th June 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. As we’ve mentioned before, giants have been around in D&D since the very beginning. The original premise of D&D was to do tabletop wargaming but add basic fantasy elements. Since no one was coming up with beholders and mindflayers yet, Gary Gygax and others had to work with what was available in mainstream myth and fantasy. Anyone alive at the time or who’s looked into the publications of the sixties and seventies can tell you that fantasy had a few basic things without fail. On one side you had wizards, guys with swords, and very, *very* problematically depicted women. On the other side you had dragons, small…

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This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred and Fourteen on 15th June 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. Vecna is one of the big names in D&D, along with Mordenkainen, Ellminster, and Strahd von Zarovich. However, the actual history of the legend is not what most people would think if they only have a passing knowledge of D&D. How long Vecna has been part of D&D lore is a matter of perspective. The history and definition of Vecna as an individual was actually very sparse until 2nd edition. That said, the very prominent Hand and Eye of Vecna artifacts have been present since original D&D. The artifacts first appeared in the third supplement for original D&D, entitled “Eldritch Wizardry”. However, the only lore around them…

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This article was first broadcast in Episode Two Hundred Thirteen on 8th June 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.     Giants have been around in D&D since the very beginning. A major reason for that has to do with the origins of the game. It’s oversimplifying a bit, but Gary Gygax’s original intent wasn’t to create a whole new system with sweeping lore and intricate settings; he just wanted to be able to have his tabletop armies fight Orcs and trolls instead of just other human armies, and he didn’t want to wait five years for Warhammer to come out.  Starting with that premise, Gygax didn’t start inventing a whole bunch of unique fantasy creatures to throw up against his and his friend’s armies. They just took the…

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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 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 favorites to make a return. And while every other past edition had seen at least one release with a new class or classes in it within a year or two of the initial offering, 5th Edition fans had to wait 5 years before the Artificer made its official…

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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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