Posts by Steve Winter

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The Rise of Tiamat: A DM’s and Player’s Overview

Ideally, players and Dungeon Masters (DMs) who sit down to tackle The Rise of Tiamat will already have played Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Rise is a continuation of Hoard’s story about the Cult of the Dragon, but they are very different adventures in style. Hoard of the Dragon Queen is a big, sprawling adventure …

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Tiamat Tuesdays: So You’re Running Tyranny of Dragons . . .

Tyranny of Dragons is an immense, sprawling adventure filled with epic encounters, plot twists, and numerous NPCs with their own agendas. Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat allow (some might say demand) Dungeon Masters to really stretch their wings and put their creativity to the test. Things start out straightforward enough …

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Tiamat Tuesdays: Closing In On the Cult

As I hinted in the installment of Tiamat Tuesday on July 8, episodes 5–8 of Hoard of the Dragon Queen are more open-ended than episodes 1–4. The second half of the adventure isn’t a sandbox; characters still have a mystery to unravel and an evil plot to stop. They will, however, face dilemmas that have …

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Kobold Guide to Magic: How Do You Arrest a Wizard?

The Kobold Guide to Magic is written by a star-studded cast of designers and authors. Here’s an excerpt from Steve Winter’s essay about magic and the rule of law, asking: “How do you imprison and try a spellcaster?”. Pre-order the Kobold Guide to Magic at the Kobold Store! It all depends on how your magic works. …

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Howling Tower: The Elevator Pitch

When designing a world as a setting for replaying and storytelling, condensing your concept down to an elevator pitch is a great exercise. Not that you’re likely to corner a venture capitalist and a Hollywood producer in an elevator and pump them to invest money in your idea, but because you are going to corner friends, …

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Howling Tower: World of Wonder

Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I’m definitely not a reactionary type. I consider myself to be progressive about most things. But in some regards, I’m an unapologetic originalist. I almost always prefer the first recording of a song to the cover version, the original version of a movie to the …

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Howling Tower: Lure of the Unknown

“The unknown” has a hypnotic lure. If you’re anything like me, then you started exploring the dark recesses of the closet the moment you were old enough to switch on a flashlight. After the closet came the basement, the attic, the garage, neighbors’ yards, the woods down the hill, and eventually the storm drains that …

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Howling Tower: A Terrible Place to Visit

How often have you heard the phrase, “It’s a great place to visit but I’d hate to live there?” When designing a fictional world, you’re actually aiming for the opposite reaction: “It’s a terrible place to visit, but I’d love to live there.” Your world is a terrible place to visit because it’s falling apart …

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