If you like The Gamers or Gamers Live from Zombie Orpheus Entertainment and wished that it happened more than once a year, you are in luck!
From the collaboration between Zombie Orpheus and HyperRPG we have Masters of the Metaverse, a live streamed RPG shown every week on Twitch.tv/hyperrpg! It’s fun, it’s free, and best of all YOU can directly affect the show!
Tune in every Monday at 6pm Pacific to Hyper RPG on Twitch and get ready to experience the heartfelt storytelling of Journey Quest with the insanity of Gamers Live! We can’t wait to see you!
With the popularity podcasts like TAZ or Critical Role have gained I’ve been seeing many people start getting into tabletop roleplaying which is so nice and fills me with hope since I’ve gotten used to be the youngest in groups at 23.
So here’s some tips for people who are interested in getting into tabletop roleplaying:
Your first session is not going to be what you expect. Unless you and your peers have a theatre kids background, you’re probably going to be shy and it’s going to be awkward. It’s normal. You’re not an actor or a professional entertainer. You’re having fun sharing a story with your friends, not recording a podcast for a living.
Long campaigns are good but it’s usually difficult for adults to commit to one and it’s sad when they get abandoned. Give one-shots and short campaigns a chance! They are honestly really fun for a night with friends and don’t usually require hours of building a character.
Speaking of characters, my recommendation is to start with a character whose personality and beliefs resemble yours. Choosing to play a charming and outspoken character who loves public speeches can put a lot of pressure on you if you’re shy.
If you go to a LARP do a bit of research on who is organizing and who is attending, if you don’t know them make sure it’s in a public place. If there’s softcombat let the GMs know if you’re allergic to latex and if you have any lesion they should be aware of.
D&D and high fantasy are not the end-al be-all of tabletop roleplaying (in all honesty I find it kinda boring?), give other universes/systems/lore a chance, you might find something that suits your interests more than D&D.
Don’t stress over rules. Also, a good GM should not make you stress over rules.
Villain campaigns might sound cool, but I wouldn’t recommend them if this is your first campaign. ESPECIALLY if you don’t know the people you are playing with.
A good GM should not make fun of your triggers and will work around them .
Trust your gut. You are here to have fun, if you are feeling uncomfortable it’s time to get up and leave.
OMG, It’s done! This was a lot of work, but worth every second! :D
I present to you: The Dungeon Master’s Mimic! The idea behind this project was to make one single container that a GM, or well prepared player can store all their RPG needs in and easily carry them from game to game. And what other way to make a chest more roleplaying game related than making it a mimic? :3
It’s made from solid pine that I stained with a nice walnut stain and finished with briwax. All the hardware is steel and brass. It has a soft, 100% wool felt lining to protect the books it’s carrying The main compartment comfortably holds around 5-6 large rule books and a smaller secondary compartment holds an insert that can safely store all your dice, miniatures, tokens and pencils!
It measures 14 inches across, 9 inches deep and 10 inches tall. The main internal compartment measures 12 x 6 x 10 inches.
The teeth are solid wood, too and have been dulled for safety. (I’d still not joke around and slam it shut on your friend’s hand, though…)
This project was loads of fun, even though throughout the built I came across some rather annoying stumbling blocks. Making it would have been a lot easier if I had a table saw :P Still, I’m so happy that it’s finally done and am very proud of how it turned out.
I won’t sell this as usual through my Etsy store. It is a unique item that I put a lot of my heart and soul into and I don’t feel that Etsy’s “first come, first serve” policy on purchases would do it justice. Instead I have listed it on Ebay in a one week auction. I thought that way instead of whoever happens to see it the quickest, it will go to whoever wants it the most ^__^
Rebel wizards leaking open-source spellbooks for free to spellcasters that can’t afford to join the elite magic schools
I don’t know if there’s free press in Faerûn but there are bards that will spread catchy songs about asshole nobles trampling on half-orc rights
A gnome-run toy shop that sells kits for kids to learn to build their own cool, animate clockword toys
Wood Elves that grew up in a city and have never seen a tree in their lives, but are really good and blending into urban environments
Genasi tattoo artists: because not being born with kickass skin markings shouldn’t preclude you from getting some
Races with natural darkvision having the same eyeshine as nocturnal animals
Dragonborn and Kobolds speaking in gender-neutral Common because they have trouble spotting gender cues of the non-reptillian races
A network of druids, clerics, and diviners acting as an early warning system for storms, earthquakes, and floods days or weeks in advance
With humans able to intermingle with elves, orcs, dwarves, fiends, djinn, and the occasional kinky dragon, family trees and census paperwork must be a nightmare to sort through.
(’Please check any non-human ancestry within 1-5 generations:’ “YES”)
A wizard-tailor using mage hand to take measurements, mend to fix tears, and transmutation to change fabric colors and materials
Familiars serving as support and guide animals
Mage-heavy cities utilzing conjuration and transmutation to make post-scarcity societies
A troupe of Kenku performers using their natural sound mimcry to put on high-production plays, musicals, and puppet shows
Druid-run animal shelters
First day of class, a teacher terrifies some freshman by drawing a sword -but wait he’s…putting it on a pedestal up front? Oh, that’s Professor Eversharp Darkrender, a 1,200 year old sentient blade who has personally impaled three of the historical figures that will be covered in this course.
Ever since I first tried DM’ing, I have jumped from one method to another of creating maps for my D&D games. Recently I was using a Google Doc spreadsheet for something and it occured to me that I could use these to make maps.
What it is
I basically set the spreadsheet to be a small squared grid and apply conditional formatting to the entire grid along with a key of what means what. So once it’s set up, if I type a letter ‘T’ in a square, that square turns dark green and now represents ‘Trees’, same as ‘M’ means mountains and turns grey, ‘V’ means village, ‘C’ means city and shows as orange, and so on.
On top of the basic auto-colour coding mentioned above, you can right click any of the squares and ‘insert notes’ which gives you a text box to include any notes you have about that map-space(like a town name and who lives there)
Why it’s awesome
Super simple, hassle free You can do it anywhere you like without needing any special software or apps (all browsers run google sheets i’m fairly sure). And it’s as easy as typing letters into a spreadsheet.
Can be shared easily You can share it with friends thanks to the great sharing functions of google, you could even work on it at the same time as someone else(if you’re brave enough to try co-DMing).
Customisable You can use the same method for world maps, town maps and dungeon maps. You could even make multiple pages of the documents for different levels of a dungeon.
I know not everyone is as into making spreadsheets as me, so below is a link to an example world map and city map (tabs down the bottom for different pages)
Shields exist in D&D 5e. That’s about it. You can bash with em and get +2 AC with em, but that’s all that they do. That’s all the customization that they have. But what about the differences in wood and metal shields? What if I carry a buckler? What about my shield breaking? What if I am a simple weapons guy? Shields were hands-down the best options for soldiers in the middle ages fighting with one-handed weapons so they really should have more mechanics dealing with them. Here are some homebrew rules for shields to let more people use them and make using them more fun!
Some notes I couldn’t fit in any section: Shields went out of style as armor improved. People started using two-handed weapons around the same time full plate armor became widely used. The kite shield was used in a time when leg armor was weak or not worn because it was too heavy and unwieldy. The kite shield’s shape could protect their legs without exposing themselves to attack. Also those shields with holes for lances were largely ceremonial or for jousting tournaments only, not adventuring. Bucklers were the most common for someone who needed to be ready for combat at a moment’s notice, as carrying a shield was really tiring unless you were going specifically to battle. But hey, this is a fantasy RPG so we can do whatever looks badass.
Wooden Shield: +1 AC.
Metal Shield: +2 AC. Only creatures proficient with Medium or Heavy Armor can comfortably use a metal shield. Druids are typically forbidden from using a metal shield.
Wooden Buckler: No AC bonus. Creatures proficient with Light Armor can wear bucklers.
Does not provide an AC bonus against ranged attacks.
You can use your reaction to deflect an incoming melee weapon attack that beats your armor class, reducing the damage by 1d4. The buckler has a 50% chance to break when used in such a way.
A metal buckler
Metal Buckler: +1 AC.
Creatures proficient with Light Armor can wear bucklers.
Does not provide an AC bonus against ranged attacks. Druids are typically forbidden from using a metal buckler.
Wooden Tower Shield: +1 AC. You must be proficient in Heavy Armor and have a STR score of at least 13 to comfortably wield a tower shield. You can plant the shield on the ground to gain partial cover (+2 AC). When using the shield in this way, you only move at half your regular movement speed. The bonus provided by the shield does not grant cover against spell attacks. You have a -1 penalty to attacks while using your tower shield for cover.
Metal Tower Shield: +2 AC. You must be proficient in Heavy Armor and have a STR score of at least 15 to comfortably wield a tower shield. You can plant the shield on the ground to gain partial cover (+2 AC). When using the shield in this way, you only move at half your regular movement speed. The bonus provided by the shield does not grant cover against spell attacks. You have a -1 penalty to attacks while using your tower shield for cover. Druids are typically forbidden from using a metal tower shield.
Sticky Shield: When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, this sticky shield coated in alchemical slime can catch the weapon. The attacker must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw, or the weapon becomes stuck to your shield. If the weapon’s wielder can’t or won’t let go of the weapon, the wielder is grappled while the weapon is stuck. While stuck, the weapon can’t be used. A creature can pull the weapon free by taking an action to make a DC 11 Strength check and succeeding
Spiked Shield: When you succeed at a Shove attempt when wielding a spiked shield, you deal 1d6 piercing damage to the target. Improvised weapon attacks made using the spiked shield deal 1d6 damage instead of 1d4.
A dhal shield (Indian spiked shield)
Mirrored Shield: Any metal shield treated with alchemical silver. When a ranged spell attack is rolled against the shield’s wielder and the attack misses, the wielder may use their reaction to reflect the spell back at its caster. To do so, the wielder makes an attack roll against the caster using their DEX modifier at disadvantage. If the new attack beats the caster’s AC, the spell affects the caster instead.
Pavise Shield: A tower shield meant for archers to use as cover. It has either a spike on the bottom to be driven into dirt, or a hinged rod to prop it up. Creatures can prop up the pavise shield as an item interaction, or stow it as a bonus action. Once set up, it provides partial cover (+2 AC) for those standing behind it, and it does not move unless hit with a melee attack. You do not need proficiency in Heavy Armor to set up a pavise shield and use it for cover, but using it as a regular tower shield does have this requirement.
Tanglevine Buckler: A wooden buckler intricately grown out of vines by wood elves that can be used to deflect ranged attacks as well as melee attacks in the way described above.
Stonemountain Shield: A dwarven stone tower shield that requires a STR score of 18 or higher to wield. It can be used to provide ¾ cover (+5 AC) when planted on the ground. In addition, it is resistant to being sundered (see below). It has one additional point of durability.
Iron Shield: A metal shield resistant to sundering (see below). It has one additional point of durability.
Sundering: You can sunder an enemy’s shield with repeated bashing. You can attempt to hit a creature’s AC minus the bonus provided by their shield to target their shield directly. Each time you hit their shield, roll for damage. For every 7 damage dealt to it, it loses one point of durability. When the last point of its durability is lost, the shield breaks. This also makes it easier for creatures who deal more damage to sunder shields more easily. A magical shield cannot be sundered except by a magical weapon. Use the table below:
Wooden Buckler: 1 durability
Iron Shield: 4 durability
Wooden Tower Shield:
Metal Tower Shield:
Stonemountain Shield: 5 durability
Group Tactics: Shields for the Romans and Greeks were all about group formations. Greek hoplon shields were held in the left hand and the hoplites would sometimes use their righthand neighbor’s shield to block attacks (leading the right flank to often win battles). Roman scutum shields were sometimes used in a tortoise formation to protect everyone from incoming arrows. Give shield-carrying characters adjacent to one another +1 AC against attacks if they opt to halve their speed and always move together to simulate this.
Example of a Roman scutum shield and javelin
Javelins: So another point on Roman scuta: the legionaries would usually throw a few javelins as they made their initial charge. The purpose was not necessarily to kill the enemies (although I am sure that would be perfectly welcome). The intent was to get the cheap-to-make pointed sticks to impale themselves in the enemies’ scuta. Have you ever tried to hold up a 6-foot javelin sticking straight out from your forearm? Me neither but I would imagine it’s unwieldy. You have to either spend time snapping it or ripping it out or just ditch the shield altogether. Javelins in D&D, however, always have felt stupid. It’s just a basic ranged attack for orcs and goblins. Instead, have creatures just carry a few javelins and let them try to disable the PC’s shields! And let them do the same! To do so, make a sundering attempt (see above). If you remove at least 1 point of durability, the javelin sticks and the unlucky creature either has to drop the shield, spend an action making a STR check to break the javelin, or else live with a -10 move speed reduction and no shield bonus.