Category Archives: Short Rest

m

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… But I do think it’s worth talking about party balance!     Conventional wisdom says that the most effective parties have the holy trinity: damage dealer (frequently called the DPS by video-game aficionados), Tank, and Healer/support. The fourth person is ideally a character who can soak up some damage while dealing a modest amount themselves, usually called the Off-tank. If you’ve got 5 people, that fifth person should be acting as some sort of controller to either buff their allies, apply penalties to the enemies, or both. It’s only when you acquire a sixth party member that the purists are comfortable saying there are no restrictions or requirements on what…

Read more

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… I’m just stuck for ideas. Ostron: Well, you should just do what any good adventurer does — look for an item to give a bonus to your Persuasion skill check! Ryu: Yeah, take it from me: chocolate. Oooh! I have a plan! We can get the finest stuff right at the source. Can you take us to Ixalan? Ostron: Ixalan? Uh, sure, but first, it might be worth going over what we can expect. So, I happen…

Read more

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 history of these peoples hasn’t changed very much from their first appearance in D&D, although some details are downplayed in more recent editions. Back before most non-immortal races in D&D, the Illithids or mindflayers had an empire spanning multiple…

Read more

m

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… So continuing on, you’ve caused a party wipe with a gentle summer shower, you’ve got your players looking for deeper meanings in every change of wind direction, surely this is all the weather you need in a D&D game, right?   As you…

Read more

m

This article was first broadcast in Episode Eight on 17th January 2018. Ryu: Ok, I’ve fixed the spell, try the lights again Lennon: *click* Ahh, that’s bett–gah! *a crack of thunder, the sound of rain* Ostron: Hmm. That’s… ominous… although now I can barely see the script Ryu: Let me just cast the Light spell… Ostron: Much better! Last time, we discussed using weather as an encounter.  While this is one way to incorporate weather into a campaign, if your party members are all equipped with slickers +2 vs hailstones, forcewall umbrellas, and galoshes of dry socks, you might have overused the tactic just a smidge.  On the other hand, now that your players are paying attention to it, you can begin to expand the role that weather plays in your adventures beyond just weather encounters.  Since D&D is a storytelling game, it’s appropriate to look at how weather is…

Read more

m

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…unless they’re the DM, in which case they can make it rain frogs for weeks because someone wanted frog’s legs for dinner. But aside from petty revenge and/or cheap laughs, it’s hard to know when or why to include weather in the game. In modern times, it’s largely demoted to be the bane of the commuter, but in earlier eras the prosperity of sailors, merchants, farmers, soldiers, and more depended heavily on the weather being cooperative. Since travel above-ground leaves the party…

Read more

m

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 note sheet, here’s your note sheet…now, everyone follow along. We’ll have your Kings and Princes sorted out in no time.   What’s in a Name? When adding nobility and royal titles to D&D, the most common pattern is to have nobility named based on the…

Read more

h

This article was first broadcast in Episode Five on 27th December, 2017. Ostron: Yeah, somebody’s been stealing lunches, so she’s taken to keeping it the vault. Lennon: …the vault?  Killer DM: Yes, you know, down the hall to the left, through the trap-filled corridor, over the pits filled with rabid vorpal weasels, in the mimic-filled chamber. Where you left your belovéd Killer DM hat, for “safe keeping”. So, continuing from last week, we’ll be looking at six more bonuses you can consider giving to your players… or applying to your own dice. We’ll look at the bonus, where it’s used, and look at the benefits and disadvantages of each one. So, without further ado… The 7th bonus is “Maximize”. Simply put, take whatever the maximum number your dice could potentially roll and that’s your result. In 5th edition, it’s used to determine starting hit points. Another place it’s used is…

Read more

h

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 a constitution saving throw… a 3. Really? Killer DM: Mwuahhahahaaa! Where is Ostron? He is late.   For our first bonus, we’ll look at one of the most common, the flat bonus: simply take your roll, and add a number to it, such as 1d8+2.…

Read more

This article was first broadcast in Episode Three on 15th December, 2017. Lennon: Just to check, Ostron, you mean “Dying Characters”, right? Ostron: … suuuuuuuuuure. Most DMs know that only 10% of the reason you have a screen is to hide the notes of your nefarious plans from prying eyes of the players. Most of the time the screen allows you to avoid having a roadside bandit that wasn’t even supposed to make it to melee completely mutilate the level 1 bard because you rolled a critical hit followed by maximum damage. There are very different attitudes among groups and individual players about dying. There are also differences in opinion among Dungeon Master’s in how to respond. We’re going to quickly cover three general player attitudes toward character death, and three Dungeon Master approaches to killing playe–er, characters. Knights, Big Damn Heroes, and Roguelikes We’re going to group player’s attitudes…

Read more

210/212