Leveling Up Your Background 4

I’m a bigtime fan of 5e’s introduction of Backgrounds, particularly as a source of skill and tool proficiencies and noncombat features. Even more than (most) classes and subclasses, Backgrounds also suggest a trajectory of your personal story, beyond zero-to-hero. But within that arc, your Background features don’t change. Inspired by […]

Worldbuilding with Charm Person 6

A few days ago in Twitter, and in a friend’s Discord channel, I posed some questions about how a setting might respond to the existence of charm person and, implicitly, higher-grade mind-control magic. I want to be 100% clear about this: this is a thought experiment, not me telling you […]

LARP Design: Effects on Buildings 4

This is the story of how, a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea eight years too late for the problem it solves. There’s a lot of development history to go into this, though, so bear with me and I’ll get to it – or you can skip straight […]

New Invocations for the Pact of the Chain 2

I don’t know if this is going to be one of my Unpopular Opinions, but I think it’s easy to look at the warlock Pacts (not Patrons, just Pacts) and expect them to deliver more than the designers seem to have intended. Today I want to talk about the Pact […]

D&D 5e: Four New Spells for Seafaring

As part of the Seas of Vodari project, I’m creating new spells for nautical adventures. Thinking back to 3.x, I recall a lot of highly-specialized spells that were okay for wizards, but so situational that any Spells Known class can’t justify taking them. My goal, then, is to create sea- and […]

The Way of the Silver Chain, Revised

A bit more than two years ago, I posted the Way of the Silver Chain monastic tradition. I showed it to several friends recently and got some great feedback, leaving me completely dissatisfied with its original conception. I like to think that I’ve learned a lot about subclass design over […]

D&D 5e Story Hooks from 2e Cormanthyr 2

I’ve been talking to Kainenchen a lot lately about the Forgotten Realms canon around surface elves and drow, which has changed a whole lot between the time I first learned it (2e) and now. For a better breakdown of that canon – including trouble spots – check out G.A. Barber’s […]

My Current Projects

I have a bunch of projects that I’ve talked about in other social media platforms, but haven’t really mentioned here. Let’s fix that!

D&D 5e: Expanded Way of the Wild Features

Back in January, I posted the Way of the Wild monastic tradition, drawing on the Five Animals of Southern Style kung fu. There are a lot more than five animals and five styles in kung fu, so I wanted to add more options – Monkey Style because it’s a real […]

The Whole Story on Two-Weapon Fighting

A Twitter thread the other day explored a lot of the issues around two-weapon fighting in 5e, so I wanted to write a blog post that covered the whole deal, including potential changes to correct things that I see as issues. Stands-in-the-Fire crunched a lot of the numbers on this […]