The rulebook and accessories are pretty good. Otherwise "Dragon of Icespire Peak" stands on its own about as well as the DM screen in the same box: it doesn't, really.
Despite the way Wizards of the Coast has positioned them, I don't think that Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage really pair together very well. One is an urban intrigue and investigation campaign, and the other is a chthonic megadungeon. These have very different tones and structures, and many players will … Continue reading Dungeon of the Mad Mage lead-in alternatives
I started playing in a new Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign tonight. It feels good to get to enjoy it from the other side of the screen for once! I have run the campaign before and thus know most of the goodies, modulo whatever the DM changes. However, I see my role as primarily supportive, … Continue reading Playing with my kids in somebody else’s game
I went down to my friendly local gaming store this morning and picked up the new Dungeon Master's Guide. (They had a 15% discount on all D&D stuff, which gave a little extra bit of unexpected happiness.) A full review of this book would take significant time due to the density and amount of material in … Continue reading Initial Impressions: Fifth Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide
My Lost Mine of Phandelver group has been sporadic lately due to real life causing scheduling difficulty. So I ran a dungeon crawl in Roll20 on Sunday using the first level of Dyson's Delve. After I picked it up in a recent Bundle of Holding, I knew I wanted to find a way to use more of … Continue reading Play Report: Dyson’s Delves level 1
My intended one-shot dungeon crawl ended up cancelled tonight as half the group had various real-life crises and could not attend. While disappointed, I decided to make the most of it and spent time preparing for the next Lost Mine of Phandelver session. We still have at least one character a little too far behind on … Continue reading Session planning during an off night
When last we left our heroes, most of them had left us one way or another. But the Redbrands realized they'd reached a turning point...
RPGs may be at their most fun when everything goes pear-shaped due to adventurer decisions. The story The group, consisting of a fighter, rogue, cleric, and wizard, explored Phandalin with great caution. They expect intrigue, conspiracies, and betrayal at every turn (meaning I need to find a way to give that to them). The adventurers meandered … Continue reading Play Report: Lost Mine of Phandelver Episode 2
I decided a few days ago to cancel my Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign. The module felt far too linear for me, as it consists largely of a plot rather than situations. For the purpose of organized play across many groups where players can come and go as they please, it probably works fine (at least for … Continue reading Cancelling my Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign
Even more than tabletop RPGs, I spent many years playing (and sometimes roleplaying) in MMORPGs. So term "sandbox", as opposed to a "theme park", means something very specific to me. Effectively, players get to create their own adventures rather than choose them. Think of children playing in a sandbox, building castles or having battles with dolls and army … Continue reading Lost Mine of Phandelver as a 5×5 sandbox