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Tag: Dungeons & Dragons

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The Master of Disaster: Wanderlust – 21

I’ve often heard from other creative-minded folks that one of their biggest problems is actually following through on an idea or a concept. I know I’ve encountered that a whole lot on this very website what with all the “grand plans” that never come to fruition, but instead of examining every aspect of my life that’s been a letdown, I want to look at this problem through the lens of running campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons. I’m always thinking of the next grand adventure I can take my players on even if it’s at the expense of what we’re actively doing, and that’s not great…

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Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance isn’t a very good video game. Some might even go as far as to say that it’s a bad video game, a take that I don’t know that I fully disagree with if we’re being honest, but it does paint the game in an absolute and irredeemable light, which I don’t believe is the case here. Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is a rough, buggy, clunky game that should have been better, but it misses the mark in so many ways, ranging from combat to its core structure that it will surely require some hefty patches to get it to a recommendable state.,,

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The Master of Disaster: Tone – 20

When I first started running games my gut instinct was to try and make my sessions all be well rounded, providing drama, comedy, excitement and so on and so forth, all at once. The idea was that one person would have a funny quest for players while another would have a more dour objective for them. That’s how it kind of works in video games, so why wouldn’t it work here? Well it wasn’t that it couldn’t work here, it was more that it sometimes led to a sense of emotional whiplash. The party would go from joking with a bartender while breaking the fourth wall, to talking to a grieving widow who is desperate to uncover the culprit for her partner’s murder. It was tonally inconsistent in a way that was very noticeable. More to the point, it made keeping my players engaged and role-playing, incredibly difficult…

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Blog: TaleSpire’d – 04/21/21

After a few years of getting increasingly obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons along with the entire concept of TTRPGs in general, one thing I’ve always wanted was a comprehensive tool or piece of software that could house my campaign in its entirety. Ideally I wanted a video game styled, easy to use virtual tabletop that could do everything from making maps to just playing a session within it. Most of these programs manage to excel at one thing while fumbling other elements of playing a TTRPG, but that won’t deter me from checking out a new one when it comes along. Enter TaleSpire…

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Blog: St. Drizzt’s Day – 03/17/21

Well it’s Saint Patrick’s Day already, which means it’s time to go out to the pub with the lads and knock back a couple of brews and eat your body weight in bar nachos. Oh wait, it’s a pandemic still, don’t do that. I can’t say I’ve ever really celebrated St. Patrick’s day in any real capacity at any point in my life, and this year doesn’t seem like the best time to start. So instead I’ll just sit here and talk about an upcoming game that has nothing to do with Ireland or even the color green at all. We’re talking about the upcoming cooperative action game, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance…

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The Master of Disaster: Alternative Thinking – 19

One of the best things about tabletop role-playing games is just how much versatility a player has in any given situation. Any good GM should be able to accommodate any reasonable request from their players, but the real fun come in when a player completely sideswipes you with some genuine shenanigans. Having to adjust and improvise on-the-fly is an absolute thrill that really tests my abilities to honor the request of the player while adhering to the rules and story. It’s a tough thing to develop, but it’s a necessary skill to have when running a game…

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Blog: Please Make This – 03/03/21

They say there’s a product for everything, right? If that’s the case, then where the hell is the asynchronous Dungeons & Dragons game that I’ve been imagining in my head for the past few years? Surely I can’t be expected to go out and develop a video game on my own, so I’ll do the only thing I know how to do decently and write an article complaining about it. So let’s talk about the D&D game that should exist by now, but miraculously doesn’t…

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Blog: A Little Joy – 01/20/21

Everything is so chaotic right now and it’s insanely difficult to focus on anything outside of the ever growing train wreck that is American politics. Even now as I write this, I fear that by the time this article goes live some horrible bullshit will have happened. I pray that everything goes smoothly and America doesn’t collapse in under its own weight, but literally anything is possible these days. But at some point I can’t keep staring at the wreckage and need to focus on things that make me happy. So here are some of the distractions I engaged in last week that brought me joy…

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Blog: Exhausted – 01/13/21

I don’t know that I necessarily have the words to properly describe my feelings about the events of last week, nor do I know that I want to go into too much detail about it. In short, it’s been extremely difficult to watch my country rip itself apart at the behest of a sore loser who refuses to believe that more people told him to go fuck himself than those who begged for him to stay. Things are bad right now, and with the ongoing threats of violence all around the country planned for the next few days I think we’re all kind of just hanging in a limbo and waiting for whatever is coming to finally arrive. It’s times like these that I’d normally try and turn to my hobbies to distract myself from the hourly misery that’s been foisted upon us, but there hasn’t been a video game that’s done that for me in the past few months…

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The Master of Disaster: Holiday Havoc – 18

I currently play in two Dungeons & Dragons groups, one of which I run and the other I just play in. For my group, we’d been running the newly released Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, while my other was neck-deep in a Dragonlance campaign. However, as we crept closer towards the end of 2020, we found ourselves in the middle of one of the weirdest holiday seasons of all time. So with a lot of people unable to see family and get particularly festive this year, I wanted to do something special for them the only way I knew how to: A holiday themed one-shot. It was also an opportunity for me to move away from the lackluster module of Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, but that’s a story for another time. Instead, I’d like to tell you the story of Holiday Havoc: The Clausening, the holiday one-shot I ran for both of my D&D groups…

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The Master of Disaster: God – 17

It’s been a bit since I’ve actually told a story from my D&D games, hasn’t it? Lately I’ve been prattling on about my ethos and how I prep for games, but sometimes all you need is a good story about players being overly confident. So buckle in everyone, cause this one is short but oh so sweet…

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Blog: Recap – 10/14/20

This week has and continues to be surprisingly busy for me, which hasn’t left me a ton of time to play the games I’ve wanted to. Alongside that, I’ve been neck deep in preparing and running my D&D campaign, which requires an alarming amount of time and dedication. I genuinely don’t know how people could balance that workload along with leading a normal, pre-pandemic life. But anyway, let’s recap the week…

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Some Notes About Baldur’s Gate III

Before I dive into the bulk of this article, it should be mentioned that no video game could ever truly capture the Dungeons & Dragons experience solely because there are static limitations to any video game. You can account for a lot of things as a game designer and try to cater to dozens of styles of play, but no game could adapt to the wild and imaginative things that players regularly ask of their DM’s quite like a living, breathing person present. Yet in spite of all of that Baldur’s Gate III already shows incredible promise when it comes to representing D&D and is a game I’m genuinely enjoying…

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Blog: More Than Games – 09/23/20

Welcome to another fantastic edition of this blog where I sometimes talk about video games. Boy howdy are there a ton of video games I want to talk about this week, I’m basically swimming in rewarding gameplay experiences that I’m eager to discuss. It’s hard to convey sarcasm through a written piece, but that was all a big fib. I did a lie. No, this week has mostly been about me reading a book, hearing about how people are enjoying games I know aren’t for me, and watching the slow and steady erosion of our democracy continue unabated. So hell yeah, video game blog time!

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The Master of Disaster: Prepping – 16

One of the most interesting, fun and tedious parts about being a Dungeon Master is preparing from session to session, but even more of a challenge is preparing a new campaign entirely. My group and I are currently wrapping up our “one-shot” of The Sunless Citadel, a pretty decent Dungeons & Dragons adventure, and are gearing up for our next big campaign. As luck would have it, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden released just as we were finishing up, so we decided that it would be our next adventure. Being that this is my first time prepping a full campaign, I figured I do it as meticulously as possible. Here’s what’s happened…

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The Master of Disaster: Combat Encounters – 15

People often talk about the three pillars of Dungeons & Dragons and how crucial they are when making a well rounded campaign. Of the three pillars, exploration, role-playing and combat, I usually tend to focus on the role-playing pillar the most while paying less attention to the others. I’ve always felt that exploration was the toughest one for me, but as I run more Dungeons & Dragons games with different groups, I find that combat ends up feeling the weakest and least interesting…