Feat Design 4

In a G+ thread discussing one of my UA breakdowns in Tribality, Jim Carstensen said: I’d welcome your input on “half feats” that grant +1 to an ability score. On one hand, it’s half of an ASI so you are getting value. But on the other side, it seems like […]


New Background: The Revolutionary 3

The Aurikesh campaign is set in an early-colonial period, and revolution of various kinds (political, technological, cosmic) is a central theme. Several existing backgrounds touch on ideas of overthrowing the established order and expressions of zeal – the Acolyte, the Criminal, the Folk Hero, and the Hermit all come to […]


Sunless Citadel Variations: Birthright, Part 1

I completely gave the Sunless Citadel a miss during its first release, back in the early days of 3.0. As most readers undoubtedly recall, there was far more than enough D&D material to spend money, even before the OGL content glut. It has been lightly retooled for 5e in Tales […]


Reactions and Timing

A conversation in the comments of a now-quite-old post has prompted me to go through the Player’s Handbook for every kind of reaction and figure out its timing. Even two reactions with the same trigger don’t necessarily have the same timing, and the phrasing could stand to be clearer.


Encounter Postmortem: Four Battles

Over the past few weekends, I’ve had the great fortune to play in three D&D sessions and run one. Each of these sessions wound up with a centerpiece battle, and I want to look at the different setups, uses of tension, and some statting issues that arose. These were all […]


Meet the New Blog 2

Harbinger of Doom got its start in Blogger back in November of 2010. Web design standards have moved on and left it looking a bit long in the tooth. Therefore I’m happy to announce that it has moved to WordPress, thanks to the tireless support of Wendy Holler. We’re working on […]


The Royal Sorcerer, Revised 1

Two and a half years ago, I posted a sorcerous origin called the Royal sorcerer, based on ideas around the divine right to rule, handed down as a bloodline. It has proven fairly popular with readers, and more so with the PCs in my campaign. As I’ve worked more in […]


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 […]