Brave New World 12: Building the Borders

The Known World

Hullo, gentle readers. In this series of articles, we’re continuing to build our Beyond the Borderlands campaign for D&D Next. We put together our pantheon of deities last article, which, in turn, led us to naming and outlining some of the countries that we’d be including in this campaign. In this week’s article, we’ll continue to expand on some of these concepts, and we’ll begin to figure out where these countries exist in proportion to one another. Mapping It Out I want the cultures … [Read more...]

Brave New World 11: Have a Little Faith

Gods

Hullo, gentle readers. As we continue to work on the Beyond the Borderlands campaign for D&D Next, we’ve filled in a lot of details, including the rough outlines of a history. One thing we don’t have yet is nations, partly because I’ve been lazy about pulling out my map and deciding where the action will take place. I’m getting to that point, but, beforehand, I want to work on something that’s even more fundamental to a world – the gods that created it. Basics of the Pantheon Back in … [Read more...]

Brave New World 10 – Historic Significance, Part 2

Castle

Hullo, Gentle Readers. If you’ve been reading these articles, then you know we’re building a history for Beyond the Borderlands, a D&D Next campaign. We’ve outlined the various historical events and put them in an orderly list, and we’ve told our creation story (in our last article). Now, let’s continue the history lesson. Empires Rise and Fall After the power of Chaos was forced to retreat back into the darkness, the various peoples were left to lick their wounds and try to move … [Read more...]

Brave New World 9 – Historic Significance, Part 1

Pillars_of_Creation

Welcome back, Gentle Readers. As we’ve developed the Beyond the Borderlands campaign, we’ve thought of various elements of history, largely due to things suggested by the ideas we’ve had about the races, classes, and other elements of the game world. Now, we’re going to begin to put these elements in order and flesh out the various events, in order to begin to know something about the campaign we’re developing. Where to Begin In order to get started, I sit down with my campaign notebook … [Read more...]

Old School, New School

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During the recent Acquisitions Incorporated audio podcast, Jerry Holkins notes that he feels that D&D Next is a return to the “Old Ways”. “They break your shit, and they steal your HP.” “The Old Ways were dark,” agrees Patrick Rothfuss, whose character was dead at the time. Maybe it’s because of this, or maybe it’s the growing influence of D&D Next in my gaming consciousness, but the recent dungeon being explored in my 4E game had something my players hadn’t really seen in a while. … [Read more...]

Old Monsters, New Story

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Hullo, Gentle Readers. In my Seowyn’s Crossing campaign, there’s the underlying concept of the Old Ones. The Old Ones are a race that existed before humankind, and their great civilization disappeared completely. Now, my players explore occasional Old Ones ruins, seeking magical treasures, but fearing the devious traps and magical menaces that may have been left behind. An old story trope, yes? Well, I use this trope to take monsters that I might’ve had little investment, or little story … [Read more...]

Brave Next World 2 – Don’t Know Much About Geography

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Welcome back, Gentle Readers. This is the second in a series of articles about designing a new world, one which I intend to use specifically for D&D Next. In the first article, I mentioned my usual starting processes and outlined the basic feel of the campaign – medieval Europe with a sort of “points of light” aspect, deliberately recalling times like the Interregnum period of the Holy Roman Empire and the Anarchy period of England, when there were no strong central powers, and many people … [Read more...]

Do You Believe in Magic? – GGG Reviews the Re-released Spell Compendium

Spell Compendium

Before the days when the only spells wizards were worried about getting in their spellbooks were rituals, D&D 3rd edition had spells…a lot of spells. There were spells in modules, spells in handbooks, spells in sourcebooks, and spells in monster manuals. Spells were everywhere, and it was very difficult, when you were playing a spellcaster, to have every book that contained all the spells you wanted. In their great wisdom (and no, I’m not being sarcastic), the good people of Wizards of … [Read more...]

She Kills Monsters – GGG Reviews a New Piece of Geek Theater

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I had a completely different article I intended to share, but then, yesterday (April 26), I saw a performance that made me stop what I was doing and write this article. The performance was of She Kills Monsters, a play by New York playwright Qui Nguyen. This was a great play and a fantastic performance. It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud so hard at a play, and I also found myself choked up a couple of times. The play had some twists and turns that were predictable, and others that … [Read more...]

First Love – GGG Reveals His Favorite Classic D&D Modules, Part 2

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Last week, I began to tell you all about the 1st Edition D&D modules that hold a special place in my heart. I detailed 3 and held 3 back, saving them to share with you this week. Here then, without further preamble, are my other 3 choices for 1st Edition modules that still live for me. Many Years Ago, Rumor Has It… I’m cheating a little with this inclusion, as it’s not a 1st Edition module, but B1: In Search of the Unknown was literally the first module for D&D that I ever … [Read more...]