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Trapmaster: The Soft Touch

In a previous post, I brought up focusing your traps with purpose and mentioned nonlethal traps. These types of traps are often overlooked when designing adventures, but they are equally valuable. Nonlethal traps alert guards to the presence of intruders, scare off dangerous animals, capture valuable prisoners, or hobble fleeing prey. We will discuss using these kinds of traps primarily to build suspense. When an alarm is raised, what is coming...

Secrets of the Emerald Order: Emerald Order Initiate

The Emerald Order is one of the few organizations in Demon Cults & Secret Societies that is not actively malicious. There are certainly many evil members who pursue their studies in the order for personal power and gain; however, their overall goals are not necessarily evil. In the first installment, we provided you with an arcane tradition available only to Emerald Order members. Presented here is a new background for those characters who...

Dungeon Tables: Instant Town

A GM’s work is never done, so to make things easier on you, we’re providing a series of tables to help you flesh out your encounters, adventures—your world. In this round of Dungeon Tables, we present to you Instant Town! Simply roll on the charts below to create a settlement from the ground up. Then after the town is set, add flavor (and maybe even quest hooks) with points of interest, make things interesting with some random encounters (many...

Tome of Beasts 2

From the creators of the original Tome of Beasts! Kobold Press has wrangled a new horde of wildly original, often lethal, and highly entertaining 5E-compatible monsters to challenge new players and veterans alike. The Tome of Beasts 2 brings 400 new monsters to 5th edition, from angelic enforcers, sasquatch, and shriekbats, to psychic vampires, zombie dragons, and so much more. In addition to the hardcover volume and PDFs, there’s also...

Expanding Codex: Ghost Dragon

Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter a ghost dragon without modifying its challenge rating. Possess Dragon (Recharge 5–6). One dragon that the ghost dragon can see within 10 feet of it must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the ghost dragon. The ghost dragon then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body. The ghost dragon now controls the body but doesn’t...

The Art of Skirmishing: Bailing Out

Selim’s dagger came free, the high priest’s corpse slumping over the altar. “That’s it then,” he said. “Let’s see what we’re getting out of this mess.” “Boss,” said Faridah, “we may want to nix the looting.” “Why would—” As he turned, Selim saw the ritual turned loose. The temple was falling apart, tendrils of noxious, ravenous void, ripping through the stones. Unleashed magical energy lashed across the...

Scarlet Citadel Kickstarter Update

Discovering a dusty library full of ancient lore in the midst of a dungeon is often a moment for heroes to stop, stare in wonder, and peruse the secrets to be had. When that moment strikes in the Scarlet Citadel, though, it’s far from peaceful. In fact, a resident chuul would demand a word with the intruders. This intense illustration by artist Egil Thompson shows exactly this scenario, as the classic be-tentacled and be-clawed aberration...

Getting the Kobolds Rolling with Roll20

Before the world turned upside down, I ran a 5th Edition game about once a month. I was hopping between campaigns with an overlapping group of players, which included my kids and my friends and some of my friend’s kids and ranged in age from preteen to middle-aged. We were running Storm King’s Thunder in the Forgotten Realms and two campaigns in Midgard: one that kicked off in Zobeck and then headed into the Margreve, and a new campaign that...

Beyond the Audience: Punch It Up!

A few installments back, I mentioned that I could write an entire article on pacing’s importance. So here I am, making good on that promise! In today’s post, I’m going to talk about ways to punch up the pacing to make your shows thrilling for both your audience and your players. I’ll talk about two general types of strategies: strategies you can employ while broadcasting live and strategies you can use when you have an...

One-on-One Roleplaying: How to Craft a Single-PC Campaign Arc

One of the biggest shifts you’ll need to make for your one-on-one game is from campaign arcs built to include many PCs to arcs crafted for a single PC. This is actually one of the changes that many people wind up preferring to group games, but it can feel strange or intimidating at first. It’s important to keep in mind that the GM is not alone in changing their story approach. The player needs to take ownership of being the story protagonist as...

The 4th Pillar: 5 Things to Avoid in an Imbalanced Campaign

We’ve discussed a lot about imbalance and taking your games off the rails, but before we jump into putting together a how-to for all of this, of course we’ve got to get some disclaimers out of the way. It’s important to know the disclaimers up front rather than as an afterthought. So here they are. Rule #1: Have a “Session Alpha” Even before you have a “session zero,” you should get together with your...

Warlock Grimoire 2: Now Available

Open a Chamber of Hidden Lore! DARKLY FANTASTIC MATERIAL FOR THE WORLD’S FIRST RPG Within these dusty pages, uncover the secrets of the world—indeed, of the branches of the multiverse! Collected here are entire lost volumes of esoteric truths. Only for you, the Warlock Grimoire 2! Dark revelations and wondrous testimonials of dark fantasy monsters and magic, locales and lore of Midgard: Details on the indefatigable halflings: the winterfolk,...

Scarlet Citadel Kickstarter Update

One of the biggest additions to the Scarlet Citadel adventure, after the addition of the Redtower chapter, is the inclusion of new levels and side quests. The first of these we hope to see funded is the Clacking Caverns, already listed in the stretch goals at $140,000. If we reach this benchmark, we add an additional battle map to the Scarlet Citadel Map Folio poster set and an additional set of JPEGs to the digital map pack—plus a full writeup...

Midgard Ley Magic: Ley Transportation and Shadow Roads

Welcome back to this blog series where we dive into ley lines, the magical lifeblood of Midgard, and the casters who strive to harness their power. If you have not had a chance to read prior entries in the series, you can find them here. This month, we discuss a fascinating topic that often comes up in Midgard game discussions on the Kobold Press Facebook page: the mysterious shadow roads. Information on this and the greater topic of arcane...


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