D&D Adventurers League: Session 18 Report and Player Wrap-Up

Adventurers League

Last night’s session was a little bittersweet for me, I must admit. For the last eighteen weeks, I’ve sat side-by-side with a number of new friends as we took on the evil cultists in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure. I’ll go in to a bit more detail about this shortly, but as I begin preparing for my role as DM (starting on Jan 7, 2015), I have to bid farewell to Niloshis, my (now) level 4 sorcerer. Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Session 17 Report

Adventurers League

Tonight’s gathering of players included our long lost Rolan D’Crits, wood elf ranger. In addition to Rolan, returning players included:

Essie – Human Fighter
Borax – Dwarf Cleric
Edna – Gnome Bard
Anton – Human Rogue
Umbra – Drow Ranger
Niloshis – Half-Elf Sorcerer

Yep… seven players. Missing was Chi, Human Fighter (and his human player). When we left Session 16, the party had destroyed two dragon eggs (one black, one green) and our sneaky Drow ranger was trying to sneak a second black dragon egg by the group. Wasn’t happening, and when the party left the large cavern and returned to the altar room, the question was whether we would try to take a short rest or flee the cave. And so, Session 17 started with all but Rolan in the altar room. Continue reading

Roll an Adventure Using the 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide — Part I

Rollin'

Earlier this week, I wrote about the newly released 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide and how much I had enjoyed reading through it and uncovering some great tools for creating custom campaigns and adventures.

Well… it’s time to put the book to the test. And have some fun, obviously.

After finishing up with the 5e DMG, I thought it might be fun to try and create a mini-adventure using the new book’s content. Any experienced DM will tell you, however, that a good adventure will often require some (or a LOT of) tinkering once you’ve created the skeleton framework. My goal here is to create that framework and try to avoid going too deep into the nitty-gritty details that can either be made on-the-fly during gameplay or after the framework has “stewed” a little in my head. Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Session 11-15 Report Summary

Adventurers League

My original plan had been to summarize my first 10 sessions of the Adventurers League Encounters event for GeekDad.com and share with readers my thoughts and experiences as I returned to the most important game of my youth. I planned on continuing to play each Wednesday night at Titan Games & Comics in Atlanta, GA but would discontinue my session reports. Apparently that was a mistake. For the past few weeks, I’ve continued to receive email requests to “keep going.” Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Session 10 Report

Adventurers League

This week, I was fortunate to be sitting at a table when a brand new player, Ryan, walked in. He’d never played D&D before, and only understood basic concepts of levels and XP from the video games he’d played. It’s important to remember that the Encounters events are designed for new players; although almost everyone at my event has past experience with D&D, it’s still nice to see how a novice is welcomed and made to feel at home. We got him up to speed on the rules, provided him with a pre-generated character (a level 1 Halfing Rogue) and we had a good mix of combat and role-playing provided by DM Martin. When the night’s game was over, Ryan told us he’ll see us next week… a good sign that he enjoyed the night’s adventure. He tells us he’s going to create a custom character, too… can’t wait to see what he comes up with. Continue reading

13 Tabletop Games for Halloween

KingOfTokyoHalloween

Halloween approaches, and what better way to celebrate than by breaking out a few spooky board games? Last year we shared a list of 13 games for Halloween, and this year we’ve got 13 more. Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Sessions 8 & 9 Report

Adventurers League

My apologies to those of you following along with my session reports for the D&D Encounters event. Last week got a bit crazy with some work-related items and I was unable to get the Session 8 report submitted. So… this week I’ll be catching you up on the events for Sessions 8 and 9 — these two gaming nights added to Session 7 make up Chapter 2 of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Session 7 Report (Bonus: New DM Interview!)

Adventurers League

I’m still smiling over the adventure my group shared with Session 7 on Wednesday night. It was an amazing amount of fun that I’ll discuss shortly. This week’s gathering of players at Titan Games & Comics looked to about 26 players and four DMs — based on the noise coming from other tables, I’m guessing the other players felt the same way about this week’s adventure. Continue reading

Updating my 5th Edition D&D Adventurers League Character

Adventurers League

Back in August, I had a fun time sitting down and going through the new 5th edition D&D Player’s Handbook and creating a new character for the Encounters hosted events that happen every Wednesday evening. Unlike the AD&D rules that I was most familiar with, my return to D&D came with some nice changes regarding leveling and Ability Score bonuses and more. With AD&D, every class had its own Experience Point chart — leveling for a fighter required less XP than leveling for a magic-user, for example. The new 5e Player’s Handbook not only strips out the complexities (instead offering a single XP chart for leaving of all classes, for example) that I recall with AD&D, but adds a lot of new (to me) interesting twists such as Feats and class-specific choices that offer even more customization and fun ways to play a character. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Monster Manuals — 1977 AD&D and 2014 5e D&D

Side by Side

I enjoyed being a DM for my friends, and I’m looking forward to taking the reins again. The original AD&D Monster Manual was a great source of inspiration for many adventures — I’d pick the right Big Bad, create a dungeon or castle or other location, and then scatter lesser creatures around as needed. When I reached for the MM, my players knew something was coming… or around the corner… or hidden just beneath the water’s surface. The DMG and MM were all I needed (plus a few hours or more of prep time) to give my players a good adventure, and now it’s looking like I’m going to once again have a chance to create new adventures as the 5th edition books are two-thirds released. My original AD&D Monster Manual has sat proudly on my shelf, and now it has a neighbor… the new 5th edition D&D Monster Manual. Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Session 5 Report (PLUS: Bonus DM Report!)

Adventurers League

For Session 5, our regular DM (Martin) was out, and in stepped Chris. I’d had Chris as a DM a few weekend back at Expeditions where he ran four of us through one of the five hour-long mini-adventures in the Defiance in Phlan story. Chris probably remembered my character as the sorcerer who decided to grab a handful of gold at a very poorly chosen opportunity, triggering a trap and causing some tense moments with my fellow party members. Won’t do that again. Lesson learned. Well, Chris stepped in for Martin and was forced to create a custom mini-quest on the spot. And he nailed it. Continue reading

D&D Adventurers League: Session 4 Report

Adventurers League

I learned an interesting bit of news about the Encounters adventure I’m currently participating in with a bunch of fellow players — until this “episode” is completed (Another six weeks!) it will be very difficult to take a Long Rest. For those of you familiar with the new 5e rules, a Long Rest is needed to restore Hit Dice (used to heal up during a Short Rest) but more importantly… our party needs one to restore spells! Spellcasters only have a fixed number of spell slots they can use, and these slots aren’t restored without a Long Rest. This doesn’t affect cantrips, so it’s not like my Sorcerer is completely powerless, but it made a few of my fellow players and I squirm last night when we realized how many more sessions we have ahead of us before we can have our spells restored. Continue reading