Category Archive: Game Elements

Place to discuss various elements of the game, encounter design, tpks, DMing tips etc. Note Skill Challenges and Sources of Inspiration are separated from this to allow them to grow on their own. As other parts get enough posts they may also be split off.

Know Your Ally

We’ve all been there. The party have a carefully crafted plan that involves the PCs splitting up and one group waiting for the other group’s signal. And yet they players didn’t think to agree on what the signal was beforehand. Some DMs will hand-wave it and say “You’ve adventured together long enough that you would …

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Hacking D&D 4E

Important note: this article discusses the use of CBLoader, a Windows program of questionable legality, to modify the core character generation rules of D&D 4e. This application reverse engineers the data used by the no longer supported offline character builder, and can be used to download fan versions of the D&D material released since the …

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REVIEW: The Devious Book of Fumbles & Crits: A 4th Edition D&D Supplement

I attended the 4th UK Tweetup event on Saturday 16th March and was lucky enough to win this book in the raffle. Here is my review. Details 107 pages Colour cover art, non-colour illustrations inside the book. Price: £9.29 / $15.99 Link: US Amazon, UK Amazon This book aims to introduce consequences for PCs and …

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The Dogs of War

When I first considered what to write for the Classics Return blog carnival my first idea was to write up themes based on the Planescape Factions, then right as I was about to start the content for this month’s Dragon was announced including an article that would present themes for the Planescape Factions. Not wanting …

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Tension To Die For

As you likely know Mike Mearl’s brought up the dreaded save or die mechanic on the Legends & Lore column this week. This article gives the thoughts of @paulbaalham and @obsidiancrane about this matter. Save or have no fun? The classic argument against save or die is that save or die effects are not fun. …

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Goons: One Line Monsters

4E is a game full of complexity. It is often complexity of the good sort, it makes the game more dynamic, challenging and exciting all of which are desirable. However sometimes things are a little too complex and something similar is desired. Looking at the 4E rules for PCs the answer is clearly found in …

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Ability Scores & Setting

Ability Scores and Crunch Ability scores are a rather arbitrary way of establishing a range of bonus and penalty around a median set of values. Essentially they are a way of using 3d6 to establish a bell curve of ability from a certain negative value to a corresponding positive value. That derived value has been …

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Not Seeing It

Or “Why the Perception Rules Work in 4E”. There always seems to be some discussion going on somewhere about the perception rules in 4E. Typically these discussions center around the interaction between passive perception and active perception; usually in regards to things like traps or other hazards or clues that the DM wants to hide …

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An Older Style 4E

I have recently been thinking about 4E and how skills work in it, and how combat speed works, and how 4E plays compared to older versions of the DnD game. The first thing is that I am pretty happy with 4E as it stands, but I recognise some of the complaints that are leveled at …

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Skilled with Skills

There has been a lot of talk about skills lately on Twitter and the WotC site which has led to a few blog posts by members of the community as well. The first starting point is of course the Legends and Lore column with 2 articles by Mike Mearls and this week’s one by Monte …

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