Category Archives: D&D Adventures

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Adventures in 5th Edition: Coping With a New Arrival

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Adventures in 5th Edition: Coping With a New Arrival

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ is a relatively new hobby for my friends and me, and we plan to keep playing. However, in the time since my group completed Wizards of the Coast’s ‘Princes of the Apocalypse’ and laid what remained of their level 10 adventuring party to rest, my wife and I had a baby. Of course, this is a good thing. Read More

‘Dungeons & Dragons’: Adventures in 5th Edition

‘Dungeons & Dragons’: Adventures in 5th Edition

A few years ago, after discovering the joys of ‘Acquisitions Incorporated,’ I got really excited about playing ‘Dungeons & Dragons.’ So I did what any sane, married 30-year-old would do, and without even waiting to find a group to play, I bought the ‘D&D’ 5th edition Starter Set, ‘Player’s Handbook,’ and ‘Monster Manual,’ and planned my first game. Read More

The Judges Guild Deluxe Collector’s Edition Kickstarter

The Judges Guild Deluxe Collector’s Edition Kickstarter

My memory is a bit fuzzy when it comes to ‘D&D’ adventures I played at a young age, but I’m 90% certain that one of the adventures I played came from a company called Judges Guild. It was famous for being the first to create adventure “modules” that were basically pre-generated adventures for the DM to run, providing maps, visual aids, and, of course, traps, loot, and new monsters. It would be a while before TSR (owner of ‘D&D’) would release its own modules, starting with the pastel cover versions, so Judges Guild gets the full credit for developing the idea of pre-packaged adventures. Read More

Custom Dungeon Master Screen – Plus 5-in-1 Leather AD&D Tome

Custom Dungeon Master Screen – Plus 5-in-1 Leather AD&D Tome

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about 2D terrain products, both old and new. During some of my research, I found some interesting photos of a large DM screen made by OldSchoolDM. I reached out to its maker, and that in turn opened up another discovery — a leather-bound tome containing five Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1e) books. Read More

Adventuring With My Kids, ‘Adventure Maximus’-Style

Adventuring With My Kids, ‘Adventure Maximus’-Style

For quite a few weeks now, I’ve been enjoying spinning some fun tales and leading my boys through some fun adventures with the ‘Adventure Maximus’ RPG. As kids will do, they constantly surprise me with their creativity for dealing with obstacles. (Rather than fight a dragon hiding in The Dump, they sweet-talked him into joining their group because they are always looking for treasure like dragons and figured he’d rather be looking for treasure than fighting.) But yesterday, my youngest son asked me something that made my heart swell… he said, “I want to be Maximus Master.” Read More

Fantasy RPG 2D Terrain Products – Past & Present

Fantasy RPG 2D Terrain Products – Past & Present

If you’re into Dungeons & Dragons and enjoy using miniatures, you might be interested in the history of 2D terrain products, both old and new. For over 40 years, players have enjoyed the extra bit of realism that miniature dioramas and terrain have brought to the game, so here are some examples of what has been used in the past and what is available today. Read More

Before ‘D&D,’ There Was ‘Chainmail.’ But Before ‘Chainmail’…

Before ‘D&D,’ There Was ‘Chainmail.’ But Before ‘Chainmail’…

It’s widely known that ‘Dungeons & Dragons,’ created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, was the successor of Gygax and Jeff Perren’s earlier work titled ‘Chainmail.’ But this week an interesting find was shared by wargame historian Jon Peterson over on his blog, ‘Playing at the World,’ and it’s definitely a bit of disruptive news… Read More

Ready-Made ‘D&D’ 5e Adventures for DMs Do Exist!

Ready-Made ‘D&D’ 5e Adventures for DMs Do Exist!

I was recently chatting with a fellow ‘D&D’ 5e player (Hey, Tyler!), and he was asking me all sorts of questions about DMing–time demands (in terms of preparation), the need to improvise, coming up with new material, etc. He wants to be a DM, but he was understandably hesitant to jump in. I told him that he could always go with the pre-generated content books that have been released for 5e–‘Hoard of the Dragon Queen,’ ‘Elemental Evil,’ and the most recent book, ‘Out of the Abyss.’ He told me he was looking for shorter adventures similar to the old ‘D&D’/’AD&D’ modules that were so popular in the ’80s and ’90s but they seemed to be in short supply. WHAT?! Short supply? Not true! Read More

‘Empire of Imagination’ – The Gary Gygax Biography

‘Empire of Imagination’ – The Gary Gygax Biography

Books such as Jon Peterson’s ‘Playing at the World’ and the recent four-part book series ‘Dungeons & Designers’ by Shannon Appelcline fill in a lot of the details about Gary Gygax and how he, along with Dave Arneson, helped develop the ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ game that so many of us enjoy today. There’s so much information out there on the history of D&D and how it came to be… but up to now there really hasn’t been much in the way of a biography of Gary Gygax. And author Michael Witwer is trying to change that. Read More

Tales of 2D and 3D ‘D&D’ Adventuring

Tales of 2D and 3D ‘D&D’ Adventuring

I love being a DM. It scratches a creative itch for me. Creating an adventure, running it, improvising when necessary to counter whatever craziness the players throw my way–these are all aspects of the job that I absolutely enjoy. Toss in the smiles and laughs of my players at the end of a session as they recall one or two significant events from the night, and there are moments when I could be convinced to actually pay to sit in that chair. Read More

‘D&D’ Players Beware — A New Dragon Has Been Spotted…

‘D&D’ Players Beware — A New Dragon Has Been Spotted…

‘Dragon+’ is a free ‘D&D’ resource that is available for iOS and Android devices (best viewed on a tablet, and my screenshots are from iPad–not sure if features and functions are identical with Android tablets). It contains articles and interviews with a mix of individuals and companies that are providing content and services to ‘D&D’ fans, along with videos, hyperlinks to external content, and plenty of eye candy. Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 7

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 7

Over the last week (since the party returned from defeating the evil necromancer), small tremors have been felt — driving animals crazy (“barking horses”) and causing all sorts of unrest in the town. Just as the party was starting to get restless and considering moving on, a large sinkhole opened up in the center of town — four young children dropped down into the opening. The adventurers wasted no time in mounting a rescue — Goliath Tom lowered down Gnome Krieger with a rope, and they group proceeded to bring the children up, two at a time. As the rescue was going on, Krieger took a moment to examine his surroundings… a natural cave with two exits… one to the north and one to the east. The one to the north was a natural fissure, but the east passageway was obviously (to a Deep Gnome) carved/chiseled into a hallway. Read More

Hey DMs! Two MORE New 5th Edition Adventures!

Hey DMs! Two MORE New 5th Edition Adventures!

If you missed David Ewalt’s interview with Nathan Stewart, Wizards of the Coast’s brand director for ‘Dungeons & Dragons,’ one of the big takeaways from that article was that ‘D&D’ 5e is very much alive… and doing quite well. Steward shared that ‘D&D’ 5e was “the best launch we’ve ever had” and stated that “everything exceeded our forecast,” two statements that are sure to bring smiles to ‘D&D’ fans everywhere.

Here’s something else that will bring a smile to D&D fans (especially DMs) — Goodman Games has a new Kickstarter to raise funds to get two more Fifth Edition Fantasy adventures published and added to the two current adventures, FEF #1 Glitterdoom and FEF #2 The Fey Sisters’ Fate. Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 6

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 6

Tonight’s Encounters session wrapped up a three-part storyline called “The Necromancer’s Cave.” Because this adventure was spread over three weeks, the players were not given a long rest… meaning that spell casters were all out of spell slots and those players who had not yet died and burned up their hit dice during a few short rests were most likely very low on HP. This was a slog, pure and simple… and the players were definitely on their guard tonight (sort of). Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 5

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 5

Things are getting a bit crazy on the outskirts of Red Larch–who could have guessed this small town would have so many unusual activities and dangerous locales within walking distance? This week, Session 5 picked up where Session 4 ended… the players had begun exploring a cave where a few of the town constable’s deputies went looking for trouble… and found it. Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 3

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 3

Session 3 — The Haunted Tomb. With a title like that, I had to come up with something a little more involved than what was provided in the DM handout. The basic adventure provided to DMs allowed for a two-room tomb and a couple of encounters, but I wanted to give my players something special — they’re rooting around in an unknown tomb, the final resting place of someone who’d never done them a disservice, so come on… don’t they deserve any harsh punishments that come their way? Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 2

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report: Elemental Evil Session 2

Things are rolling again with the Adventurers League–the new season has started with the Elemental Evil theme, and I’m back in the weekly DM chair for at least another four to five months. Before I get started, I can already hear a bunch of you asking “where’s the DM report for Session 1?” I’ll give a little summary shortly of what happened last week, but the truth of the matter is I had just returned from spring break with my family and was completely swamped with work when I returned. But not this week… NOPE! I had a chance to sit down and do some prep work for what I hope my players really enjoyed. Read More

Original ‘D&D’ and 5th Edition, Some Side-by-Side Comparisons Part II

Original ‘D&D’ and 5th Edition, Some Side-by-Side Comparisons Part II

In the previous post in this series, I began a comparison of elements from the Original Dungeons & Dragons (OD&D, 1974) boxed set to today’s 5th edition D&D (2014). For Part I, I selected elements for comparison from the 35-page Volume 1: Men & Magic relating to character classes, races, experience and spells. Let’s now jump to the challenges and rewards that those early OD&D players faced. For this, an examination of the OD&D monsters and magical items is needed, and that information was found in Volume 2: Monsters & Treasure. Let’s take a look at this 40-page booklet and see how it compares to today’s 352-page 5th edition Monster Manual. Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report — “A Bright Light,” Part II

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report — “A Bright Light,” Part II

Last night, my six players wrapped up the second-half of my latest mini-adventure titled “A Bright Light.” Now that it’s over, I can share many more details than I was able to share last week. Please keep in mind that if you’re a player looking for something different, you might want to ask your DM to read this post (and Part I) and see if he or she is willing to run it. Reading any further will spoil some of the surprises, so consider yourself warned. Read More

Original ‘D&D’ and 5th Edition, Some Side-by-Side Comparisons Part I

Original ‘D&D’ and 5th Edition, Some Side-by-Side Comparisons Part I

For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing some investigations into “classic” Dungeons & Dragons for an upcoming Adventurers League three-week (six hours) session. Way before Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and even before the Basic Set (1977) that was my starting point with the game. I’m talking about what many folks refers to as Original D&D or OD&D. Read More

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report — “A Bright Light,” Part I

‘D&D’ Encounters DM Report — “A Bright Light,” Part I

Spoiler alert: If you are a regular player and have a DM, you might ask your DM to read this post FIRST and decide whether they’re interested in running it. I tell you this only because if you continue to read, you’ll be exposed to some major giveaways for this week’s two-part adventure I’ve titled “A Bright Light.” Read More

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

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

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. Read More