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Mastering Dungeons: Adventure Pacing

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So far in this series of blog posts on pacing, I have been looking at pacing at the table, from keeping players and DMs on their toes to managing initiative. Now I’d like to look at a different kind of pacing: adventure pacing. When designing an adventure, whether for a home group or for publication, whether for a one-shot event or as part of a long-running campaign, adventures must deal with pacing and encounter flow. Just...

The Darkness and The Light

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I want to take today’s lecture to discuss two unconnected events which happened during the Fall of the Empire and the Rise of the Demon King. Where our past lectures have been in chronological order, today’s stories fit into the timeline we have established thus far. Today we are going to talk about how the lands of Arelean became known as the Demon Lands, and the fate of Ceradome. The Darkness Let us start with the land...

NttG#4 – Creating a Lifestyle

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Creating things is fun. Designing mechanics, writing stories, crafting visual art, any of those makes me feel amazing. When I don’t get to do those things I get cranky. This means I needed to create a lifestyle that would accommodate me and what I want. I wasn't always good at this, to be honest I'm still not great at it, but I'm getting better. It's thanks to Phil and his life hacking philosophies and project management...

Mastering Dungeons: A Team Effort

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When you design an adventure for publication, whether it be for D&D or any other RPG system, it is no different than performing any other creative task. You may start with certain design goals, or the traits of the end product may take form through the design process. Either way, the form of the end product is informed by the goals and the process – and if the designer has done her job, that product...

The Massacre at Nendar Moor

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After the fall of Arelean and the rise of a Demon Kingdom, the Four Kingdoms had declared war on the Demon King to liberate Arelean and restore the Empire. War in that time, much like this time, was something which required preparation. In order for the Four Kingdoms to launch an attack into Arelean it would require coordination, and grounds to stage the troops before the attack. That place was Nendar Moor. Nendar Moor Nendar Moor is...

NttG#3 – Fear

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Hi folks. Today I want to talk a bit about Fear. When I make something, it’s mine. I created it, crafted it, and now it exists in the world by my own hands, and hell yeah, I’m afraid to show it off. Heck, sometimes I have the thing in my head and I’m afraid to let it out because I’m afraid it’ll suck. You know what the truth is. It doesn’t matter. It can suck. I’ve...

Mastering Dungeons: Back to Pacing

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This week we are back to looking at pacing at the table in D&D games. Just as a reminder, this pacing discussion is most relevant to games being run when time is an important factor, such as during conventions or at game stores when the game has to end at a certain time. This advice, however, even applies to home games when certain parts of the game—especially combat—are dragging on too long or not going...

Mastering Dungeons: When Races Attack

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I am delaying my planned post on pacing a game to talk about an issue that popped up recently with the release of the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion PDF for 5e D&D. This document, offered by Wizards of the Coast as a free download, supplies some new options for players about to take part in the Elemental Evil storyline, driven by the hardcover adventure Princes of the Apocalypse and the steady stream of D&D Adventurers...

Why Any Of This Works

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Normally on a Wednesday morning, Professor Tyriv would be lecturing on some part of Elhal’s history. But I did not get that post written this week, because my wife was out of town. Sounds like a terrible excuse, but give me a few minutes… Not to lament or ring my own bell, but my life is pretty complicated. I am a husband, father of two special needs children, an IT Project Manager, and a Game Master....

NttG#2 – The People

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Hey Folks. Back again with my second installment of New to the Game. Before I talked about getting involved and some of the ways you can do that. Now I want to talk a little about how I've leveraged getting involved into getting some work. Podcasting did a few things for me: First I met Phil, Shawn, and Bob and discovered the mantra "Never Design Alone." No matter what idea or design I come up with, someone...