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Howling Tower: Mounts

When is the last time one of your characters bothered to own a horse in a D&D game? How long has it been since anyone soared over the mountains on the back of a roc or traversed the underworld on a lizard or giant worm? Has anyone ever even seen a chariot?

Howling Tower: The Tongue-Tied Bard

The introduction of skills into D&D and its offshoots solved some important problems in the game, but those solutions came with costs of their own. The earliest editions had rules for fighting and not much else. That’s not surprising, considering they were written by wargamers, for wargamers. No one yet understood what a roleplaying game …

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From Diablo 3 to D&D: Memorable and Challenging Boss Battles (Part 2 of 2)

Today we’re going to finish talking about boss battles in your tabletop games, including how you can borrow a few ideas from Diablo 3 and other titles as well. Arenas, Temptations, and Movement: Providing a Memorable and Challenging Environment Another idea to borrow from Diablo 3 when it comes to boss battles is to crank …

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The Lost GM Scrolls: Mike Mearls on Stepping Up and Taking a Poke at the World

Back in the fall of 2009, Chris Dinkins and I interviewed a host of game designers and novelists who were also experienced game masters. We sent around too many questions to too many GMs and received far too much material for one article to hold. As a result, a lot of great material got scrapped. …

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From Diablo 3 to D&D: Memorable and Challenging Boss Battles (Part 1 of 2)

Today we’re going to talk about boss battles in your tabletop games, including how you can borrow a few ideas from Diablo 3 and other titles as well. Making these climactic encounters a true apex to your adventures is crucial, and they are loads of fun to dream up. Remember, folks, D&D invented the “boss …

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Howling Tower: Placing Traps to Serve a Larger Purpose

The trap is a D&D icon. Classic dungeons such as Tomb of Horrors and The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan are famous for their mechanical ambushes. Traps are so central to the concept of dungeons that an entire class—the thief—was developed to deal with them (along with locked doors). In real life, of course, archaeologists have …

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Howling Tower: Plight of the Demon

Demons and devils occupy an odd position in the pantheons of most fantasy RPGs. For the most part, those terms are just two more names in a long list of monster classifications, not much different from fairies or talking animals. They’ve been stripped of their terrifying spiritual implications. That’s a shame, because their unholy aspects …

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Howling Tower: Old-School Renaissance

Old-School Renaissance A movement is happening in the shadows of the big fantasy RPGs. It calls itself the old-school renaissance, or OSR for short. You might have seen its logo popping up around the web. Like most grassroots movements, there’s no specific date when this got started. It’s tough even to say whether what we’re …

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From Diablo 3 to D&D: Traps with a Twist (Part 1)

This week, we have the first part of a two-part article from Jerry that explores Diablo’s traps, which might make a few GMs out there happy. Players should take heed, though: Sometimes your characters can take advantage of traps, too! Old Traps, New Ideas Traps are pretty common in a lot of D&D campaigns, especially …

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