The unbearable inconsequentialness of combat

This post is for DMs’ eyes only. If you do not DM, close it now, as it contains a trade secret that may change the way you look at the game. It might even ruin it for you, though it probably won’t. Ok, players gone? Oh, who am I kidding…

Collision of Perfect Spheres

This is the third part of the two-part series on interactions between characters and encounter elements. Having discussed in some length how DMs can design compelling terrain powers and how players can be encouraged to interact with terrain, I now move on to the other significant element of encounters – monsters. Unlike the aforementioned posts, this one won’t […]

I kick sand in his face!

In the previous post I’ve discussed a method to make environmental effects and terrain powers more engaging to the players, making the battlefield itself matter. Still, those are somewhat big things, and it’s not always easy to come up with an appropriate terrain effect to a given encounter. And not every encounter needs them. All too often, […]

Perfectly Spherical Adventurers in Vacuum

4e adventurers can do a great many things on the battlefield, arguably more than in any D&D edition before. They dart, fly and teleport; taunt, pummel to the ground and plow through. Due to the nature of character powers, they can do so anywhere and anyhow. What works on a swaying ship in a storm […]

Reality Breakdown

As their transition to epic, the party I run had to defeat a kobold named Eep. A near-omnipotent, channeling the power of a cthulhu-esque Far Realm god and the Big Bad of the whole campaign (the Patient One), ex-PC kobold. It’s been a long campaign, and it’s nowhere near over yet. For this adventure, I […]

Are you sure?

Tonight’s post is a general GMing advice. While it’s a basic thing, it’s something that even after 10 years of running games I occasionally forget. It’s also something I’ve promised to write about in one of the previous posts: misunderstandings. Every now and then, PCs fail, and fail spectacularly. Hilarity and mass death ensues. While […]

Death and Danger in D&D

This topic has been preying on my mind lately. So much, in fact, that I’ve decided to resurrect this blog. Not even blog death is permanent! The question I’ve been asking myself is this: what purpose does death play in RPGs, and D&D4e specifically? 1. Excitement D&D is a game about heroic combat. Kill monsters […]


Let’s start with something small. See what I did there?.. Never mind. This idea isn’t terribly original. Something similar was in DMG 2 (4th edition), and probably in other places as well. But it works surprisingly well, so, hey, why not. Sometimes a bunch of NPCs need to talk to one another, and it would […]