Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sites Other Than Mine You Should Peruse

Hello Everyone!  Good news! My friends and I will be starting a new campaign this week so expect some interesting stories in future posts because our party is so imbalanced that, if anything, it will be… challenging.  But regardless, I wanted to take this post to introduce to you three web sites that I have found particularly useful when it comes to running a campaign.  Theoretically, you could run a completely book-free game of D&D with these sites.  However, the books are still worth it and are more helpful in the long run.
The first site is the D20srd and is possibly the most useful site you will ever find for Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5.  This is because the site is a digital compilation of all three books necessary to play D&D 3.5 (The Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual).  Races, Classes, Feats, Spells, Equipment and everything else can be found on this site in text and table format that is about the same as the books.  There is even a search function for all those obscure bits of info that you are having trouble finding.  Overall this is an excellent site for all your general D&D purposes. [This post is property of Do A Spot Check]

The second site is Pen, Paper, & Pixel, which works in conjunction with the d20srd.  This site provides you with three specific tools that, while not necessary, will certainly save you a lot of time flipping through pages.  The first tool is a simple Dice Rolling tool that has your 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, and 100 sided dice set.  Preferably, you want your own dice, but when you are down a pair or don’t know if you want to purchase your own dice, it’s a good “starter set”.  The second tool is the Monster Filter, which helps you narrow down what monsters are appropriate for your particular environment and character levels.  The final tool is a Spell Filter, which if you aren’t sure what kind of spell you need for a particular situation is very helpful.

             The final site is D&D Wiki, which is a fun site for alternative campaign equipment, classes, monsters and other interesting things that you won’t find in any book.  For instance, in the campaign that we will be starting this weekend, I wanted to play as a different class than the basic ones so I went onto this site and found the Jumper class.  If you’ve ever seen the movie Jumper, that’s exactly what the class is only with the limitation of only being able to teleport at max 100ft each round.  Now while the Jumper’s page is a very complete and well thought out entry to the site, not all of its info is 100% sound.  Many classes, like the Lucky Bastard class, do not have complete character information or are not formulated well and should not be played with.  Regardless, this is still a fun site that is worth digging into.
[This post is property of Do A Spot Check]


Player Tip of the Week

Pay Attention!  While this should go without saying, it is still a problem that comes up consistently.  If your group is strategizing how to deal with a situation and you aren’t paying attention, it is very frustrating to have to recite the plan all over again.  This applies also to the role playing elements of the game as well.
            For instance, in this party of 4 there is a Paladin, Rogue/Assassin, Druid, and Ranger who have to infiltrate a small keep.  The Paladin and Rogue were both disguised as guards who were taking the Druid and Ranger “prisoner”.  However, they had no rope to bind their hands with so when the real guards asked why they were not bound, the Rogue bluffed and said that a magic spell was holding their hands together.  Testing this the hefty guard was easily able to pull the rangers wrists apart, but thinking quickly the Paladin said that anyone could pull the arms apart except for the person bound “Try and pull your wrists apart” the Paladin said to the Ranger.
            In a panic she promptly responded by pulling her wrists apart, completely blowing their cover.  Then face-palms ensued. [This post is property of Do A Spot Check]

DM Tip of the Week

            Don’t go overboard with magic items.  One thing that can be a relatively big problem, at least as far as difficulty is concerned, is giving your players too many magic items.  Magic items, while perhaps taken individually are not too game changing, once a player starts gathering more and more of them, it becomes more difficult to give your players a decent challenge that won’t kill them at the same time.  The problem is that if your players have magic items, then your enemies also need magic items to compete with your party, but then once the enemy is defeated, all of a sudden your players have MORE magic items.  I had this problem in my last campaign.  Here is what each player ended up with:

Rogue: A Pokeball with Charizard in it, Chameleon Power ring, +5 Anarchic Short Sword, +3 Flaming Dagger, Headband of Intellect, Amulet of Health +2,  Medallion Thoughts, and -2 Short Sword of Shock, Flame, and Frost (don’t ask…).
Paladin: A +2 Thundering Long Sword of Mighty Cleaving, The Deck of Many Things, Amulet of Protection +2, The Holy Sword Excalibur, Horseshoes of a Zephyr, Cape of the Mountebank, and a Cross of Blessing.
Ranger: Dagger of Returning and +3 Seeking Bow of Frost (this one weapon with all her specific feats made her do 40 damage on average per turn.  I decided this was more than enough.)
[This post is property of Do A Spot Check]
            While some of these items I made up as plot devices and others I rolled up randomly, either way, they ended up way overpowered, so much so, that they beat the final boss in only 4 rounds (dealing between 75 and 100 damage each round).  To avoid situations like this, I recommend being VERY restrictive of what you randomly roll for magic items.  As the DM, just because you rolled up a +5 Anarchic Short Sword or a +3 Seeking Bow of Frost does not mean you have to give them to the players.  Just reroll or dumb them down yourself.  However, if you do decide to make your magic items weaker, DO NOT tell the players; peer pressure may get the best of you otherwise.


  1. The weekly tips in your first post seemed a bit simplistic, but this week's made up for that by attaching an interesting story; I like that. Did that prisoner story happen in a real game? Funny either way, funnier if it actually happened.

  2. I realize that some of my tips are simple in nature, but they are quite frequent problems that arise in a campaign. As for my examples, every example that I give is from personal experience. The Prisoner one happened like 2 or 3 weeks ago in fact.