D&D 5e: Defender Traits for NPCs

When I first saw monster stat blocks in the D&D Next playtest, and again upon the release of the Monster Manual, I was surprised at how much of a return to 2e-and-earlier form they resembled. They have some of the formal action presentation of 4e’s creature blocks, but they’re much […]


How Do We Teach Game-Running?

A friend’s Facebook thread got me thinking about how the sweet science of game-running is taught and refined. Now, as you likely know, I’ve been writing for Tribality for more than two years, and helping GMs hone their craft is a central element of the Tribality mission statement. But I […]


D&D 5e: Sorcery-Themed Magic Items

Okay, fine, I post the Tidal sorcerer, WotC comes back with the Sea sorcerer. Other than the holy avenger, though, we still haven’t seen many magic items designed to fit closely with the major character themes that show up in one or more classes. In this post, I’m offering four […]


tides, water, sea, Moana

D&D 5e: The Tidal Sorcery Origin

Since I anticipate a new UA article with sorcerous origins as soon as next Monday, now might be a great time for one that I’ve been pondering. Like a whole lot of people in America and abroad, I recently watched Moana, and I loved it. When it became clear that […]


D&D 5e: The Veytikka Personality

For the most part, my series on personality features for each race has stuck to official D&D races, with the exception of homunculi. Today, though, I’m tackling one of the races of my own creation: the veytikka. I’ve talked about them a good bit in the past, and I’ll repost […]


alchemist, alchemy

D&D 5e: Alchemical Experimentation

The new Unearthed Arcana article yesterday offered a 20-level artificer class, and I wrote a detailed breakdown over in Tribality. (If you’re not also reading my Tribality material, I’ve taken to doing all of my Unearthed Arcana commentary over there.) I mentioned my dissatisfaction with the absence of any active […]


D&D 5e: Alternate Threat Tracks

D&D’s Exhaustion condition is a six-level track, starting at a mild penalty and ending up in death. I really like what they’ve done here and how it intersects with the overland exploration system. Dehydration or starvation are really the main ways you ever go from Exhaustion 5 to Exhaustion 6, […]

suspicion, Tangled, Eugene, Wanted

D&D 5e: Way of the Silver Chain Monastic Tradition

The recent Unearthed Arcana article of new monastic traditions, which I examined in detail over in Tribality, was the kick in the pants I needed to work on developing another of my own. The monk’s meditative nature makes it a good fit for a subclass about dreams and astral travel, much as […]


D&D 5e: Giant Death’s-Heads

New kinds of undead never go out of style, right? I hope not, anyway, because this post presents a new kind of undead, with four variants. The PCs in my campaign were wandering through the sewers under the city they live in when they ran into some undead, including a […]


A Sixth Year of Blogging

I’m now completing six years of writing this blog. This year is on track to equal or very slightly surpass last year’s post total, even with the weekly column I’ve been writing for Tribality. This has been a momentous year for me in gaming and writing: I’ve gotten fairly steady freelance […]