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.

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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.”

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Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manuals from second to fifth edition.

Easy Dungeon Master Preparation

When I started my latest ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ campaign back at the beginning of the year, my goal was to reduce the amount of time I spent preparing for each session. I’d burned out on building crazy complex combat encounters and over-plotting with hundreds of wiki articles linked together like some nutcase’s string-smothered pegboard.

I needed simplification, so I made a vow to keep it to 30 minutes of prep for every weekly session.

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5e Collection

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!

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Calendar 2016

A Geek Dad’s Year-End, Get-It-Done Self Review for 2015

It’s that time again… the end of the year where I give a look back at my geek-related work and home life and try to grade myself (always on a curve and with extra credit tossed in before averaging) on my various endeavors. 2015 was a great year for me for many reasons–there were the inevitable potholes and detours and complete traffic shutdowns, but, all-in-all, I have to say it was a pretty straight road for me personally and professionally.

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Custom sarcophagus

Dungeon Casting Part 2: Creating Custom Molds

In my prior post, Dungeon Casting Part 1: Creating Dungeons With Hirst Arts Molds, I showed you how to create the crypt from ‘Pathfinder’s Crypt of the Everflame’ game module. The key feature of the crypt is Kessen’s sarcophagus. This sarcophagus lid is cast from a custom mold that was surprisingly simple to create. In this post, I will show you how to create your own molds that can be used to cast your own pieces similar, or identical, to Hirst Arts stones. One reason you may want to do this is to create a custom piece otherwise not available, such as this sarcophagus lid.

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A whole lot of d6

The Dice Section #29: Let Me Tell You About My ‘Shadowrun’ Character

In this episode, our first after a long summer vacation, we discuss those moments in role-playing games—video and tabletop—that made us stop and think. As young players, the idea of character dilemmas and a satisfying story were the stuff of gaming legend. Now that we’re all growed up, we realize that it can happen, but it takes a special group and a GM willing to let go of a little control.

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‘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.

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Lava Flow

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.

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