Malgor The Devourer. Dungeons & Dragons #4E Game

Here is what took place in the Dark Worlds of my Dungeons & Dragons game this February in Nottingham, at the 3rd #UKT3 D&D Tweetup. I Wanted there to be Role Play, roll play. Great friends fighting Foes with Blood and Glory. Here is their story.

The Heroes are ready for whatever life will throw at them. Continue reading

A Dragon-Born Every Minute

When a Paladin fails to follow his Gods rule then his power is taken from him. In Dungeons & Dragons this can manifest In so many ways. Here is just one of them.

The Energy of any God Is given but can so easily be taken away. In your next  Dungeons and Dragons or any RPG for that matter,  make it more dramatic. Describe the moment . Make the player feel what his PC feels. Ok, Do not hit He/She with a bat that’s not what I meant and you know it.

This is one of my best drawings to date. what do you say ?

Damage is equal. Guest post by @GMCarlplus5

Here are the ideas of my brother concerning Role playing rules and especially mixing up and making full use of all editions of Dungeons & Dragons.

Again I’ve been thinking about remit for Dungeons & Dragons  #5e.        You need a combat mechanic that lets you use previous versions with little modifications and is quick and easy. I am throwing this in for comment:

Art By @symatt

Roll the attack against AC, touch or a fixed save like ref, fort or will+10. Damage is equal to the points you score over the target UP to the maximum of your weapon plus Strength bonus plus item bonuses. If an ally boosts your chance to hit, you chance for getting higher damage is automatically raised but still not above your maximum so no power creep. Every game since D&D 2nd Edition has had attack listed as ‘claw +3, 1D8+5’ so that is the monsters skill; +3 vs AC with a max damage of 13. GM’s can do that conversion in their head. No equipment needs changing (and can still be listed as dice so that the 5e books be used by people running 3e or 4e games).

Spells roll to hit against their normal save plus 10 and maximum damage is whatever maximum the spell could score, so a fireball from a low level mage would likely do less damage than one from a high level mage because the master mage is going to score higher on average.        Auto hit spells like magic missile are still rolled on the usual damage dice (d4s).        Sneak attack damage is the same; damage scored with your weapon plus a random d6 or two.

If you roll a natural twenty, damage is till calculated as normal but attacker gets to roll on a critical table. Crit tables are a different topic but I would have a table where you roll a d20 plus your level and item bonus of sword, wand or whatever. Certain magic items can give you the ability to reduce crits scored against you so that players have some defense against crippling crits but few monsters would except the BBGs.

I would make the attack skills similar to the current classifications, based on players buying feats, not skill points. Warrior feat makes weapon skills available to be used untrained but no bonuses. Mage feat makes spell skills available, Cleric feat makes divine skills available, Rogue, etc, etc. Trained feat gives you a plus to weapons or spells of that group (melee, simple ranged, healing domain, necromancy etc) of, say, +5. Focused gives you bonus to weapon or spell types (swords, spells with fire descriptor, etc) of perhaps +3. Specialised gives you a bonus to a particular weapon (short swords, fireballs). This feat tree makes it possible for one player to have skills in all groups but he is not going to be as good as a character who specializes in one or two areas.

The feat trees can be attached to classes if you still want classes or you can have a class-less game and players just buy into the feat trees that they want. I’d still keep leveling though, otherwise it isn’t going to feel like D&D but more like one of the ‘other’ games out there! Lol.

Of course wizards can’t buy skills in spells above their level yet so no first level casters casting fireballs, etc.

Starting characters CAN use weapons that they aren’t trained in but untrained penalty (-4?) will discourage that. A first level fighter COULD have an exotic weapon (say a repeating cross-bow) but he would need Warrior feat and Trained exotic (repeating crossbow) before his skill is any better than -4. He could take a regular crossbow and his Warrior feat would put him at +0, taking Trained simple ranged, would then put him at +5.

Art by @symatt

Wizards can cast any spells that they like and know but I would probable use either a spell point or a Vancian systems to prevent the wizard just plastering an area with fireballs until he is the only uncharred corpse on the battlefield. I quite like spell points (characters get points equal to the total levels of spells that they can cast per day) but from personal GMing experience I have known that to be abused. I allowed the wizard to regain 1 level per hour of activity so that the party didn’t have to keep stopping to let the wizard rest, with all levels being regained after 4 hours of meditation or 8 hours of sleep. Clerics, of course, have their god gift them with knowledge of all the suitable spells of their level so everything works as in previous editions too

Books. I’e got Issues

Person reading a pile of books

When one is never enough.

Once again I was looking, lovingly, over my collection of roleplaying books. As I went through them, I discovered that there was a book I hadn’t bought yet from the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition set. I immediately became anxious that my collection wasn’t complete. It had become important that I had a set, a complete set and I had found that it was less than it should be.

But hang on a second… What am I thinking? I don’t need or use nearly any of these books, including Call of Cthulhu, 7th Sea, Star Wars and many, many more.
Continue reading

Banquets & Battles

medieval banquet


An Army marches on its stomach , so the saying goes, but what goes into those stomachs. I’ve been looking into a medieval diet if that’s what you could call it. Continue reading

Wheeled Wagons of Wonder

Camped for the night
In our gaming life as our Characters be it in D&D or any RPG we use Caravans, those collected means of safe transport from one major city to the next stopping off at small towns along the way to trade, drop off and pickup passengers. Whether you Are a passenger or a paid employee of the caravan owner.

We love these wheeled wagons of wonder. What goes on with these traders and their travels when we aren’t looking. Here I,ll try and show you.
People of importance and note aboard the Caravan.

The Master.
He/She could be the owner but never assume this. They also could just be hired to do a job but remember they get well paid for a job completed. Although if a caravan is lost they will not fear their bosses wrath to much. If they are the owner then they will possibly fight to save it by their hired guards side. Trade Guilds own many caravans and make it difficult for any independent trader. Most of the time its undercutting prices but they charge for the extras like food. So if you are new to this form of travel, seek out the small companies.

The Cook.
You may think this person should be a long way down the list but fear the hungry man for without a cook to keep the employees happy then it will soon loose staff to the better fed trade companies. Its the cooks job to calculate the provisions needed for the trek to the next supplies. They always welcome extra food caught by passengers.

The Wrangler
This person is in charge of the well being of the animals that haul the loads and Caravans. Be they cattle, horses or tamed beast. They will make sure there is enough feed and water for the journey. Also watching there general health as a sick animal is unless to any road train. Also having some skills as a smithy for shoeing but also for general caravan repair.

The Scout/Tracker.
Not all Caravans have a Scout. As most employers see them as an over spend. But those that do use them find them beneficial. They will find safe routes avoiding danger and difficult trails that may be blocked from weather, landslides and beast movement like Orcs on the march. They carry a horn with them at all time for signalling danger. They will scout ahead each day before sunrise.

The Entertainer.
These colourful people usually travel with Caravans for their own benefit. As this is the easiest and safest way to travel. Occasionally a caravan owner will hire an entertainer for his own benefit and piece of mind, that a calm crew is a happy crew.

The Followers.
These come along for the comfort of the men folk and to sell their wears as they go. The Owner tries to stop these women coming but in the end they serve a need. Its also good for moral. They help around the camp. Willing to cook and clean for a price if that’s what you are after. A little touch of home.

The Priest.
Priests or Acolytes travel for free. As they are a good source of well being and calm among the travellers. Most have skills in healing and with a donation to their church will be willing to help.

The Guard.
Most Caravans will have and keep regular Guards. These are possibly the highest paid of the Caravan crew next to the cook. These will put their lives on the line for the safety of the Caravan its stock and its passengers. One Guard in particular will be designated  Captain and may get a gold more than the others. He will organise and lead the guard but also it his job to physically protect the Master.

The wise one.
Also know by other names most notable is Witch. Not many caravans have a witch. But when they do they have all kinds of knowledge to pass on be it about the local areas Forna  and Flora. To herbs and poisons. They also may have knowledge of magic. If a caravan owner chooses to have a wise one along they can be expensive. So if one chooses to come along they are not charged. But they do seem to travel at the back beyond the guards and alone.

Now comes the paying passengers and the trade goods. Also some crews will bring their families with them attaching their own caravan to the line up.

Time to look at the Caravan its self.

caravan in detail
Most are constructed from wood and metal and drawn by animal. With a sturdy wooden roof be it flat or arched. Some are barrel-shaped with a smooth curve from one side to the next.
Painted in vibrant colours, all kinds of decoration from flowers to epic battle scenes of some hero passed. Horns hang from a peg on the side of every caravan for use in signalling danger.  Steps lead down from the rear door and Lanterns hang from the roof. Lit at night to keep in view and count at a distance.

The lead Caravan has a high driving seat to allow a good view of the road ahead and immediate surroundings. Its living space is the best kept and luxurious, with cushions and carpets throughout.

Then next is usually the coach that carries the stock and trade goods.
This one is more secure. With no windows and a heavy lock upon the rear door. Metal plates can also be found nailed to the sides and the underside. Shields hang along the sides and can be retrieved and used when needed.  The wheels are protected by used shields.

Any number of Caravans can now make up the most of the road train. If they are owned by the trader then the caravan has a uniform look be it the colour of the paint work or a uniform for the crew. A lite loaded Caravan is used for paying passengers but most will travel happily with one or more of the crews families.

Placed somewhere in the midst is the food and water caravan. This will carry living food like chickens and small pigs also a goat for its milk. Dry goods and vegetables are stored in sakes and crates. Water is contained in Barrels attached to the outside of the caravan for easy access and refill. The amount of food stock carried depends on the journey time to the next town or trade post.
The final Caravan is used for the Guards that are hired for the caravan protection. Not the best kept but then the guards get the best pay.

Dogs also accompany a caravan for protection and for their heightened sense of danger. Large but untrained is the cheaper option. Two to four is usual.

A typical day with a Caravan road train.
Typically a Caravan will not depart before sunrise. So during winter months it makes for shorter travelling days. They will move at a steady pace as not to exhaust or hurt the animals. They will generally stop once at around noon then make camp just before Sunset. It would have to be an extra ordinary reason to travel at night. Food comes within the price of your passage. So no extra provisions are needed.
Hot meals are served at noon and supper camp with a hearty breakfast in the mornings.

A large pit is dug when the caravan first stops in the evening, between 1 and 2 feet deep with a circle of stones around the edge and a campfire is lite within. This keeps it as hidden as possible from a distance. Food Is cooked above, hanging pots from a chain and hook upon a metal tripod. The hot stones are also used to warm the caravans on chilly nights.
The hole is then filled in in the morning before departure.

There is an obvious hierarchy within the caravaners and their teams. If you join with your own caravan you join at the end of the line just in front of the guards coach. Last in usually means last served. Don’t feel put out or insulted by this its just the way they are.

It is seen that if you have any fighting skills and the Caravan is in danger it is your duty to help protect the Caravan and its occupants. Most towns and villages will look coldly upon any who think this is not the case. Getting work in any towns from then on may become difficult.