‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report — ‘Sholla’s Dream’ Part II

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I continue to enjoy my return to the DM’s chair, and I hope my players are enjoying the custom adventures I’ve been developing to hold them over until the new campaign starts up in a few more months. Last week, my six players found themselves on the water. They are on a mission to intercept a caravan of cultists that will be arriving in Baldur’s Gate a few days after they are scheduled to arrive via the River Chiontharr that runs between Elturel and Baldur’s Gate. First, a small abandoned raft (with cargo still in place) was investigated — the party was attacked by a single ghoul and two zombies. The mystery starts. The next evening, the sloop almost collided with a large cargo ship anchored in the middle of the river. An investigation of the cargo ship provided some clues to a larger mystery yet to reveal itself. We wrapped up last Wednesday night’s event with the players fighting a wave of ghasts and ghouls on the top deck. While victorious, a few of the players were injured… and there were still two lower decks to investigate. Continue reading

D&D Encounters DM Report — Sholla’s Dream Part I

Adventurers League

Wednesday nights are D&D Encounters sessions (for novice and veteran players) at Titan Games & Comics in Atlanta, GA (and at other locations around the globe), and for the last few weeks I’ve enjoyed my return to the role of Dungeon Master. Last week concluded a two-part adventure that had the players encountering a group of cultists hiding out in a cavern beneath a crypt where they were performing a dark ritual to strengthen a young black dragon. The players were successful in defeating the dragon and collapsing the only escape from the cavern after narrowly escaping a chase around a circular four-level ramp that led to the bottom of said cavern. RIP cultists.

This week, the players found themselves in the city of Elturel, hunting down Leosin, a monk who had given them an earlier mission to try and discover information on this new dragon cult. The players made their way into the city where they would need to find Leosin as well as the Order of the Gauntlet to receive the reward that was promised them when they defeated the black dragon and cultists. Continue reading

Prepping for D&D With Obsidian Portal Campaign Wiki

Obsidian Portal campaign wiki

Prepping for a roleplaying game doesn’t have to take hours. With the help of Obsidian Portal, I only spend about half an hour a week on mine. Here’s how to use campaign wikis to up your Dungeon Mastering game. Continue reading

D&D Encounters DM Report — Running a Chase & The Road to Elturel Part II (Conclusion)

Adventurers League

Last night as I was setting up my table for the night’s game, I began to receive some fun and interesting comments about my 3D creation for running the second-half of my mini-adventure, The Road to Elturel. Our game night coordinator, Topher, continues to call me an over-achiever. I can live with that. I’ve always tried to push myself to give my players a memorable game; when I was younger, I would create props and sketches to hand out at different points in a game. Now that I’m a bit older and wiser (and have a debit card), I’m finding I have even more fun and interesting ideas to toss at my players… such as the situation where my players found themselves tonight. Continue reading

D&D Encounters Report — Digital DMing and The Road to Elturel Part I

Adventurers League

For this week’s game, I chose to create a two-part mini-adventure that takes place on the road halfway between Greenest and Elturel. Given the cultists and a few other bad guys/creatures encountered in earlier sessions, I decided to try and create an adventure that would be loosely linked to the goings-on along the Sword Coast. Joining my table for the night were the following adventurers:

Essie – Human Fighter
Chi Tan – Human Fighter
Oenn – Dwarf Cleric
Rolann – Elf Ranger
Edaliu – Gnome Bard
Borax – Dwarf Cleric Continue reading

Roll an Adventure Using the 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide — Part IV (Conclusion)


I remember many years ago being asked whether I preferred to DM or to play. Even though when I first started playing D&D (well, AD&D to be more specific) I had to take on the DM duties mainly because no one else had the DM Guide or the interest, the real secret was that I did enjoy the role. Being a DM scratched a creative itch that has never gone away. Even now, with the three new 5th edition D&D rulebooks out… I still reach out for the Dungeon Master’s Guide over all others. That’s the role I prefer. And the DMG is the book for me. Continue reading

Traveling the Planes of Dungeons & Dragons

A collection of Dungeons & Dragons books.

When I was a kid, I drooled over the inside covers of Dungeons & Dragons books, marvelling at all the different campaign settings and splatbooks. Out of everything, the Planescape setting was the most fascinating. Continue reading

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


Over the last few weeks I’ve had a chance to sit down with the new 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), the latest book release for the new 5e Dungeons & Dragons and, in my opinion, a grand-slam for Wizards of the Coast. Along with the 5e Player’s Handbook (PH) and the 5e Monster Manual (MM), players (that includes Dungeon Masters, or DMs) now have access to everything they need to host and play some legendary adventures of their own. Continue reading

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


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


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