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...

Cult Activity: The Fading Legion

Cult Activity gives you a cult-driven set piece: location, background, hooks, everything you need to build your own adventures in Midgard. There are few in Midgard who worship Loki and fewer still who openly admit to doing so. Whether called Loki, Hermes, Kvasir, or any of his countless aliases, the trickster god gives few demands of his followers, and said followers are happy to simply wreak mayhem as suits their own designs. A small sect of...

Tome of Beasts: Kishi Demon

This strong and handsome warrior has a snarling hyena’s face at the back of its head. Dark Appetites. Kishi are two-faced male demons perpetually driven by their voracious appetites, carnal or otherwise, with a predilection for female humanoids. Kishi frequently behead, scalp, or skin their conquests and decorate their shields with their trophies. Hats and Veils. Kishi demons typically masquerade as muscular warriors or glib storytellers,...

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.”...

Out of the Frying Pan: The Duneglider

Encounters have consequences. Every slain bandit has friends who will want revenge, and every devil banished back to the Eleven Hells reports its failure to its dark lord. What happens when the PCs’ daring deeds come back to bite them? The following encounter chains are more than just random conflicts. Each event flows organically into the next, sometimes without giving PCs the chance to catch their collective breath. Each link in the chain...

Expanding Codex: Albino Death Weasel

The Expanding Codex series fleshes out monsters from the Creature Codex, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign. Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter an albino death weasel without modifying its challenge rating: Albino Camouflage. The albino death weasel is naturally camouflaged in areas with white backgrounds, such as...

The Far Side of the Table: Ending a Campaign

Welcome to the table! This session was the last in the campaign. I had been planning it for a while, yet ending the campaign was a real challenge. I left the table hoping that everyone felt fulfilled or at least happy with how things wrapped up. Today, let’s talk about ending campaigns and the lessons I’ve learned from finishing a number of them. I believe that everyone throughout the land could accurately recall where they were and...

Gen Con: One More for the Books

Gen Con 2019 is done, and I’m on the long road back to upstate NY. This was my fifth year of seriously coordinating convention games for Kobold Press. We’ve had wonderful volunteers in years past, and this year was no different. We hosted 50 tables, offering a dozen scenarios in three different systems. We had nearly every table full. It was one of our largest if not our largest year yet. We had two new adventures—one from veteran...

Silver ENnie Wallpapers

It’s Gen Con! So here’s a treasured set of wallpapers for your computer, your smartphone, or whatever electronic device you’ve got. Because this month… We got the Silver ENnie for the Creature Codex!!! (Art by Craig Spearing, Silver by the Kobold Monster Squad and you for voting for us!) We got your silver, adventurers! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Please, click on the image you want to download to expand it into a downloadable...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Dwarven Firearms and Airships

Dwarves are often lauded for their impeccable engineering, but this extends far past intricate stone work and into the realm of science and artifice. They delve into the Ironcrags to glean resources needed to create mechanical inventions unlike anything else seen in Midgard. Don’t be fooled by the boisterous dwarf; these are nimble-handed folks who can construct the smallest of innerworkings of clocks and the most powerful of engines. Dwarven...

From the Archives: Midgard Legends

Though there’s been an explosion of 5th Edition compatible material for Midgard, including 173 adventures by last count, there’s a lot of Midgard goodness that came out before 5E debuted, including adventures written for 4E and for Pathfinder. And some of that is still “canon,” assumed to have happened one way or another when the Midgard Worldbook was updated, jumping the world of Midgard forward five years in time. A lot of that content is...

Welcome to Midgard: Origins of the Mharoti Empire

The lands of the Dragoncoil Mountains have always been infested with drakes, wyrms, and wyverns—they give the mountains their name. But about 400 years ago, one especially cunning red dragon by the name of Mharot decided he was tired of working so hard to steal golden treasures from humans and dwarves, and then being forced to continually guard those treasures. He proposed a pact to neighboring dragons, and he accepted the standing offers from...

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...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Dwarves at War

The news from the Ironcrag Cantons is always of interest to lowland humans, given how often the followers of Mavros hire dwarves to serve as mercenaries in the Seven Cities or to help the Magdar Kingdom hold the line against the Mharoti in the east. In recent years though, many small dwarven companies are forming up to go west to the Wastes or north to the Wolfmark and the free city at Johzt. Some of this is driven by piety and some of it by...


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