For quite a while I was publishing a weekly roundup of Dungeons & Dragons content (mostly 5th edition) that I thought was worth reading. I thought I’d have a go at getting back into that practice, with a fresh blog. I expect this new iteration, which I think I’ll call ‘Dungeon Digest’, will be a little different. Previously I would trawl through Twitter all week looking for interesting content. Now I have an idea of some of the media sources I find interesting, so I’ll be focused on content from those publishers. If there’s a publisher, a blog or a video channel that you think I should be following, please let me know! Tweet me: @ChrisABooth
Pit fighting and duelling rules
One thing my Thursday night D&D group has done a couple of times is getting involved in a (literally) underground wrestling federation. A few of the players have really gotten into it, but running matches using the normal 5th edition combat rules can be pretty slow, and it isn’t great taking up a lot of time with something that not everyone is involved in. So I was interested when I saw that Lou Anders had published some pit fighting rules over at Kobold Press. They look like they’d make combat much snappier, so we’re going to try using them next time wrestling comes up.
In a similar vein, Shawn Ellsworth has published an article about duelling
at Tribality. This article goes into more details about things like interesting settings for combat and the kind of rules a society might place around duelling.
New dragons and dead dragons
If you’re looking for new dragons for your game, Kor Artificer has published stat blocks for fifteen new dragons, based on creatures from Magic: The Gathering‘s Tarkir setting. One of the things I really like about the dragons from Tarkir (and the cultures associated with them) is that they’re quite diverse and distinct.
If you’re looking for something to show the impact that dragons have had on your setting, check out this article about dragon’s breath from the folks at Nerdarchy. dragon’s breath is a kind of herb that grows in a place where a dragon has died. For someone who knows how to use it, dragon’s breath can be used to obtain powers associated with the variety of dragon the herb sprouted from.
Also on the topic of dead dragons, Mike Shea has updated an article about running his adventure Vault of the Dracolich, which you can find at his blog, Sly Flourish. Vault of the Dracolich was written as a playtest for D&D Next, which eventually became 5th edition D&D. The adventure is designed to be played by many tables simultaneously, with opportunities for tables to team up or exchange players, and we had a lot of fun when we ran this at Games Laboratory a couple of years ago. In the updated article, Mike has some tips about how to adapt the adventure for 5th edition and how to run it for one table.
Over at D&D Beyond, James Haeck has been writing a weekly creature encounter column, which I’ve been really enjoying. The most recent one involves a xorn, with important implications depending on how the players treat the little critter. (I also like the new spin on James’ Critical Role episode recaps, which should have more value to folks whether or not they’re into Critical Role.)
Star Frontiers for 5e
On the Tribality blog, Michael Long has adapted a whole lot of content from Star Frontiers (TSR’s 1980s space opera RPG) to 5th edition D&D – including player races, a space-traveller class, sci-fi weapons and more.
Roleplaying and psychology
On a similar theme, this panel discussion from PAX Unplugged discusses how we manage and navigate conflict in D&D.
Lastly, here’s a magic item I made this week: the crystal bead, a tiny crystal ball that reveals character flaws.
The backstory to this is that I’ve just recently had two new players join my Thursday night group. One of them wanted to start off with a crystal ball, and I thought that would be too overpowered early on. So I asked folks on Twitter for crystal ball ideas, and the crystal bead is what I came up with after ruminating on everyone’s suggestions.