Articles By Author - Hannah Rose

Mastering the Mechanics: Roll for Initiative

Initiative is a mechanic that you can customize as much as you want, even more so than with other parts of the 5th Edition ruleset. But if you want to learn how initiative is designed to work, whether for organized play or streaming, to have an authoritative rule for your own home game, or to understand the nuances of game design, this article is for you. Let’s examine the “rules as written” regarding initiative: “Initiative determines the...

Designing with Style: Heading to the Races

In this installment, we’ll talk about headings (or headers, the terms are interchangeable), which are used to separate content into smaller pieces and indicate what information each of those pieces contain. The 5th Edition style guide says, “We expect headings to be used logically and consistently throughout a manuscript.” From my perspective as an editor, this means a few different things. Use Headers Regularly. This one is pretty simple: if...

Mastering the Mechanics: Bonus Actions

Bonus actions are easily one of the most confusing parts of a combat turn in 5th Edition. In fact, designer Mike Mearls dislikes bonus actions and has declared that they are “fairly hacky” and that he prefers to run games without them. So why do bonus actions exist, and how can we understand them? To answer the first question, let’s take a look at the genealogy of bonus actions. In the 3rd Edition era, the concept of swift actions was not part...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Wotan’s Warriors

“Forth from craggy peaks they strode, Their blades bright-shined and razor-honed. Before them lay a dangerous road, With enemies both far and near. With sword and shield, with axe and spear, They fought with valor and gained song-fame. It was wisdom they sought, knowledge earned dear, A raven’s whisper in the All Father’s ear. Though no one knows from whence they came, The tale is told from fane to fane, Of Warriors who honor Wotan’s name.”...

Mastering the Mechanics: Features that Decrease Damage

I recently played in an Adventurer’s League game (at D&D Live 2019) where the GM accidentally gave our war machine damage reduction 20 instead of a damage threshold of 20. This is an easy mistake to make, especially for those used to older editions, but it made a big difference in the longevity of our war machine; the vehicle took much, much less damage as we were hit by lightning guns and wrecking balls and sonic blasts from other...

Designing with Style: Unlocking the Style Guide Using Thieves’ Tools

The Designing with Style series breaks down the official 5th Edition style guide to help designers create content that’s well-written, polished, and precise. Using consistent language for rules and mechanics makes it easier for new players to understand the game and helps to avoid confusion that slows play. For example, the range of hold person is 60 feet, but the spell text still specifies that the target must be “a humanoid you can see within...

Designing with Style: Ability Checks and Saving Throws

The Designing with Style series breaks down the official 5th-edition style guide to help designers create content that’s well-written, polished, and precise. The exact language for rules and mechanics is extremely specific for a reason: to avoid ambiguity, the enemy of elegant design and easy play. Understanding the style guide is the key to creating content that’s usable, elegant, and professional. Adventures expect player characters to use...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This