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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in dungeonmasters' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, May 24th, 2015
11:42 am
Cookie monsters
Though not a dungeon master issue directly, it is nice to get themed snacks like beholder and owlbear cookies. (also: Treant cookies look a lot like christmas trees)

Friday, April 29th, 2011
4:20 pm
Mt. Variety
Note to self:

Diversity of soda options is a good thing. And when putting out a request for all your gamer geek friends to bring soda, you will discover that, by yourself, you cannot provide the same diversity of Mountain Dew products that they can.


Current Mood: frustrated
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
5:55 pm
An Ode to the Tavern
The tavern has long been a staple of fantasy literature and role playing games. It's the hub of many an adventure and I figured it needed a ukulele song. (Note: I'm not a professional musician. I hope this doesn't curdle the milk at your house when you listen to it.)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
12:41 pm
With the advent of 4E, I'm looking at finding a way to differentiate figures on the board; there will be far more bad-guy-bodies than ever before. Rather than a player saying, "I attack the orc. Yes, that... no, that one there, the one on the left, and around the corner," I'd like something quicker and less aggravating for everyone involved.

Ideas so far include:

Chosing a direction (the table edge facing the kitchen) and labeling squares around some central point as nos. 1-8, much like you roll a d8 to determine which direction something falls on a square battle-mat. This would require having a central point, whether it be a PC-fig or a drawn object on the board.

Labeling the grid A B C D etc. along the top, and 1 2 3 4 etc. along the side, so that someone can say: "Orc at C3". The problem with this is that our board is made up of tac-tiles, which are modular puzzle pieces - the edges aren't all straight and the tiles are often shuffled around as the combat moves.

Do either of these ideas have pros/cons that you can see? Do you have any other suggestions we can consider?


Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
2:40 pm
I attack the darkness!
The website I work for just released this subtitler game, so I thought I'd share my geekness with the world. This is only one of the ones I've made... this thing is like crack.


X-posted to hell and back.
Sunday, May 18th, 2008
9:25 pm
Necromancer and Druid Spells
For the last 6-7 years I have played Dungeons and Dragons with my cousins. The cool part about the system is we basically have a lot more freedom to play your character and we use a percentile rolling system. We do not go by the usual rules of the current D&D system. Well we never really played a lot of magic users over the time we have been playing. So recently me and a friend who plays with us decided to start revamping the magic system. So we started with Wizards. We've completed them and it turned around really well. We never really had a healer class because our DM didn't think it be necessary for some reason. After 4 years of begging she finally decided to give it a shot. We gave her an outline of the character and how it would be played and its almost flawless. We ran into a problem...we have no spells. So what I would like is for people to give me a few ideas. I am looking for mostly Druid spells but if anyone has a good original Necro spells that would be super.

So heres how we need it. We go to level 20 with our character. I am gonna want 5 spells for each level. Thats about it. And if possible think about how powerful the spells would be at each level. You know like...minor heal would be at level 1 or something.

I am looking forward to your replies. Thanks

Current Mood: creative
5:14 pm
Tuesday, March 4th, 2008
2:10 pm
Gary Gygax R.I.P.
Title says it all, for those who hadn't heard yet. :(

Article from Wired

Wotc Recognition

Current Mood: sad
Friday, February 29th, 2008
5:17 pm
Rules for Manacles
Hi Guys,

After 15+ years of gaming, someone finally bought a set of Dimensional Shackles. After looking in the PHB, and at the item description I could find nothing as to what adverse effects manacles actually had on someone (aside from these particular ones barring extradimensional travel).
So, I'm asking if anyone knows any specifics as to what disadvantages you have when you're shackled with manacles. I've speculated with the DM for this particular campaign, but he won't lend me anything beyond speculation. I checked with wizards in an email, and they basically sent back a wordy "We're not sure; we've never had the issue before."

I spent some time in email tag with the other gamers in my crew to figure out what we want from manacles, and what doesn't need to be there.

My latest catch-all idea is to emulate what rifts did with a particular set of manacles. They created a special type of armor for spellcasters, that would purposefully inhibit their ability to cast spells... welded joints, concrete mittens, and a mouthbar. I'm notgetting into all that, but it brought up a good point. Why don't we just consider manacles to be a special type of armor?
It would have a max Dex which limits reflex saves, spell failure percentage, and armor check penalties. Of course the amount of penalties would change based on how severe the manacles are: like handcuff manacles (wrist to wrist) are much more severe in penalties than wrist to chain to wrist. And similarly with leg irons as part of the 'armor' would make the penalties more severe.

Any help fleshing out an answer would really help me out.

Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, January 7th, 2008
8:12 am
How adventures begin
I know, this isn't a cartoon group, but it seems so apropos that I had to post. How many campaigns begin this way?
as requested, cartoon behind the cutCollapse )
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
10:38 am
Ruling on a class feature.
Quick question... probably doesn't need to be posted here, but what the heck. 

A player will begin playing a swashbuckler on a campaign soon, and the player will use a shiruken as his ranged weapon. One class feature, "Insightful Strike" allows the swashbuckler to add his/her INT bonus to damage rolls "with any light weapon, as well as any other weapon that can be used with weapon finesse such as a rapier, whip, or spiked chain."
A question that was brought up was whether or not Insightful Strike would apply to the shirukens. I think it's a valid question, and the class ability really doesn't mention its application to ranged weapons. Considering the shirukens are light, one would think they apply... but I wanted to hear everyone else's thoughts.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007
12:48 pm
10' step
There is an item in the Arms and Equipment guide called the Training Dummy of the Master. Using it, a monk can increase his standard 5' step to 10'. Evidently, any character able to roll a successful Use Magic Device can activate this item and achieve the same result.

What are your thoughts about this? Would it bother you? It bothers me. I am tempted to veto it's use (it is from 3.0 and we play 3.5, but I usually allow 3.0 info), as what happens if the party gets their hands on it? I do not have this book, but the implications of an entire party being able to make a "10' step" before making a full attack, for instance, without provoking an AoO or anything make me uncomfortable. If it does bother you, how would you keep it from getting out of control? Personally, I prefer not to drop a "DM Edict" on things like this, but instead make them harder to achieve. Or even nearly impossible and thus not worth the cost.
Thursday, November 8th, 2007
6:42 pm
d20 D&D 3.5 Adventure Design Contest
Our first contest for D&D Adventures comes during the celebration of our game settings 25th anniversary. The theme of this contest is "Beginning the Journey".
All submissions should be written for beginning level characters.Deadline for Submissions: April 1, 2008

Visit IcePack Games and the RPG Dungeon for more info.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
12:19 pm
Out of Character Distractions
This is kinda spammy, thus a cut.
Read more...Collapse )
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
9:11 pm
Questions to fellow DM's
When would you cancel a play date. I have a group of 8, when should I cancel. When 2 or more can't make it? Help a brother out.

Darth Phoenix
Friday, June 22nd, 2007
7:41 pm
Poll on non-mainstream hobbies
For my journalism class, I'm conducting a small survey on non-mainstream hobbies with two friends of mine. We're targeting D&D gamers amongst other hobby groups.

If you have some time, it'd be great if you could fill out the survey. It consists of 17 questions and can be found here.

I hope this post is not off-topic; if it is, feel free to delete, of course.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007
6:53 am
'Allo 'allo.

My group of 5 8th-9th level PCs is planning on infiltrating/investigating an opposing-military's fortification. If they're smart (not always the case) the group will have the opportunity to study things like troop patrol times and strengths, etc.etc. They aren't in an immediate rush, though they know they don't have days to spend willy-nilly either.

What's general opinion on abandoning event-based CR-specific encounters and instead just knowing what the base is like, its schedules and occupants, and letting the group run into them as the circumstances permit? I'd like them to have a decent to middlin' chance of getting captured if they're spectacularly dumb this time around. But I'm worried they'll cake-walk through the place. Is it okay to have those CR-specific encounters set aside just in case?

- ES
Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
5:58 pm
Needing Help
I am looking for a good/free map maker. Or the old 2nd edition pc/map maker. I cannot remember the name of it. Thanks for all your help.

Darth Phoenix

**What I am looking for is the Core Rules 2.0 or 2.5 that i can download**
3:35 pm
Sea Battles
In the time-honored tradition of derailing GM preparations, my group has decided to pursue neither of the land-based courses presented to them and instead opted to hire a sailing vessel to cut several days from their trip.

Any advice on running sea battles?

specifics hereCollapse )

Any advice on overall game mastering strategies for arbiting such would be appreciated.
Monday, May 21st, 2007
9:10 am
Okay, so I am running a mystery campaign. The problem is that I have trouble really coming up with mysteries - namely that the devil is in the details and I for some reason am just hitting a brick wall in a lot of cases.

One of the usual stripes of a mystery story is The Locked Room; the body turns up in a room that's sealed in some fashion. I would like to do this, so here's the setup:

A vault in a bank has not been opened in a Very Long Time. There's an anti-magic field on the vault to prevent magical-based thefts. When it was last closed, there was no body in it, but when it was opened again, there's a corpse in there.

The question is, how did it go down?

As a side note, anyone have any general mystery suggestions/plots they've done?
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