Brandes Stoddard


The Demonscarred Barbarian, Revised 2

One of the players in my Aurikesh campaign has been playing the Demon-Scarred barbarian path that I released… uh, wow, two and a half years ago, and he’s offered some great feedback on its issues. Our conversations on some of these points have significantly informed my own design tastes, and […]


Photo Friday – The Trevi Fountain

Sure, my last post was about my anniversary… and now it has been five years since our honeymoon. We went to Venice and Rome, we had the time of our lives, and our room at the Hotel Fontana in the Eternal City had the most mind-bogglingly good view: the Trevi […]


Actual Plays, Reality Shows, and What’s Next

I’ve been immersed in three different shows over the past several weeks: Critical Role, Skin Wars, and The Magicians. Sure, I know I am literally years behind many of you in seeing these, but it helps a lot to experience them all together, because I think the synthesis of these […]


Photo Friday – Venetian Carnevale

One of the happiest times in my life was my honeymoon with Kainenchen in Venice, the week before Carnevale. The mascherari stores were open everywhere, selling stunning masks, and people were starting to go around in full Carnevale costumes, but the crowds weren’t yet overwhelming. Sure, we were both miserably sick […]


D&D 5e: Loyalty Track 4

I’m always interested in new condition tracks, and in this post I’m proposing a Loyalty track. This modular rule is for two kinds of campaigns. The first is the deep old school, where a small number of PCs lead one or more NPCs each for dungeon delves (and the NPCs […]


Villain Design: The Rise of Tiamat 1

In this post I’m returning to my series on villain design and implementation, this time to talk about The Rise of Tiamat. It is, of course, the follow-up to Hoard of the Dragon Queen, but it’s also quite sensibly presented in its own book, because the two arcs are entirely dissimilar in […]


D&D 5e: Necromancer Rework 4

In the Reborn campaign, I have played a cleric from 1st level to 12th, and because of how clerics work in that campaign, I also got the full boat of features from the Necromancer wizard tradition. What I discovered is that the Necromancer tradition almost never did anything useful for me. […]