😎 Professor Dungeonmaster aims to make 5E D&D games grittier and more badass.
📚 Professor Dungeonmaster admires Critical Role for their enthusiasm, preparation, and quick turns.
💪 Professor Dungeonmaster appreciates the modularity of 5E rules and how they can be tweaked to create different game experiences.
🧙♂️ Professor Dungeonmaster's history with D&D includes playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
⚔️ Warhammer was initially perceived as grittier than D&D, but after playing it for years, they realized they could achieve similar results by tweaking 5E rules.
🎲 Professor Dungeonmaster provides five tweaks to make your D&D game grittier, including restrictions on resting, rolling attack dice openly, reining in gods, reducing hit points, and eliminating death saves.
🛠️ Professor Dungeonmaster encourages game masters to hack and import rules from other games to achieve a grittier game experience within the 5E system.
💀 Deathbringer, a character in Professor Dungeonmaster's games, questions accusations of him getting soft and sings "Sailing" by Christopher Cross.
Apologies for the cutoff. Here's the continuation:
Number five, death at negative hit points and no resurrection. This tweak adds a significant level of danger and permanence to the game. In traditional 5th Edition D&D, characters are typically knocked unconscious when their hit points reach zero and can be revived through healing spells or magical means. However, in a grittier game, you can make death more impactful by implementing negative hit points. When a character's hit points drop to zero or below, they immediately die, and there is no chance for resurrection or healing.
By removing the safety net of revival, players will have to approach combat and dangerous situations with more caution and strategic thinking. This not only adds tension and a sense of danger but also makes the consequences of their actions more significant.
In conclusion, these are just a few tweaks that you can make to your 5th Edition D&D game to make it grittier and more challenging. Remember, you can choose to incorporate all or just some of these changes based on your preferences and the preferences of your players. It's important to communicate and discuss these modifications with your group to ensure everyone is on board and enjoys the new style of gameplay.
I hope these tips help you create a game that embraces verisimilitude, grit, and excitement. Happy gaming!
It's a new era for Dungeons and Dragons, and the D&D community stands firmly against Wizards of the Coast. How can you keep playing D&D in such a state? The short answer is any way that doesn't give money to WoTC. Let's talk about that.
Links to videos, webpages, and products referenced in the video:
Videos covering the Open Gaming License (a.k.a "Betrayal"):
🎯 Zone combat and zone terrain are advantageous alternatives to grid-based combat in tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and Pathfinder.
🔄 Zone combat is faster, easier, and more flexible compared to traditional grid-based combat.
📏 Grid-based combat, using tape measures to calculate distances between opponents, is commonly used in miniature war gaming and strategy games, but it can slow down gameplay and is less suited for collaborative storytelling and character creation in RPGs.
🧩 Zones in RPGs, such as Fate, Conan, and 5E Hardcore Mode, simplify movement and combat by dividing the playing area into specific zones or areas with defined rules and limitations.
⚔️ In 5E Hardcore Mode, there are typically two zones: melee combat and ranged combat. Movement and attacking are different within each zone, and there are limitations on who can attack whom.
🌟 The use of zones allows for abstract representation of various terrains and environments, offering flexibility in the game's setting.
🔥 Spells and abilities in zone combat have specific ranges and areas of effect, providing strategic options and considerations for players.
🏰 Ultimate Dungeon Terrain (UDT) is an example of terrain design that supports zone-based combat. It offers practicality, versatility, and the ability to reveal the terrain as the game progresses.
🎭 The use of UDT and zone-based combat draws parallels to live theater, where the focus is on the main characters in the center of the action, while the surrounding elements provide context and support.
🖼️ UDT strikes a balance between detail and simplicity, enhancing immersion without slowing down gameplay. It can be supplemented with pre-made 3D terrain pieces from various manufacturers.
📐 UDT can represent diverse settings, from castles and taverns to wizard studies and mad scientist laboratories.
✂️ Crafting UDT does not require extensive skills or supplies, and there are resources available to learn how to create it.
💰 Additional resources, such as Facebook groups and Patreon pages, provide access to related content, games, and tutorials for a small subscription fee.
💡 "You can certainly try": Encourages players to be creative and take risks, reminding them of the limitless possibilities in the game and the potential consequences of their actions.
💡 "What you don't see is": Adds suspense and mystery by providing players with information their characters are unaware of, enhancing immersion for those who enjoy role-playing and can separate player knowledge from character actions.
💡 "How does your player feel in this situation?": Puts the spotlight on individual players, allowing them to explore their characters' motivations and backstory, while also engaging players who may not have had much to do recently.
💡 "How do you want to do this?": Celebratory phrase marking the defeat of a significant enemy, giving players the opportunity to describe their character's finishing blow and fostering collaboration between DM and players in shaping the narrative.
💡 "What does it look like when you do this?": Encourages players to visualize and describe the visual aspects of their character's spells or actions, promoting player immersion and creativity, while also enhancing the overall atmosphere at the table.
✏️ Mistake 1: New DMs often make the mistake of planning an epic game with grand plots and expectations. It's recommended to start with more modest plots and expectations, focusing on basic elements and getting comfortable with the rules and mechanics.
📚 Mistake 2: Using pre-published modules is a great option for new DMs. They provide guidance on writing descriptions, creating stat blocks, pacing, and balancing encounters. Modules like the Starter Set's "Lost Mines of Phandelver" and Goodman Games' "Into the Borderlands" are highly recommended.
🏰 Mistake 3: Dungeons are recommended for new DMs because they provide a closed circuit and limit player options. Wilderness settings can be overwhelming as players have more freedom to do anything.
⚔️ Mistake 4: Starting with first-level characters is advised for new DMs. Beginning at a higher level with powerful spells and abilities can be overwhelming. It's important to ease into the game and learn the mechanics before handling more complex elements.
📺 Mistake 5: Planning a mini-series of four or five sessions is preferable to planning a long campaign. Most D&D campaigns end before reaching high levels, so it's better to have a concise and satisfying conclusion within a shorter time frame. The DM can decide whether to continue the series based on the players' feedback.
📜 Mistake 6: New DMs often struggle with understanding story construction. The two essential elements are characters (brought by players) and conflict (brought by the DM). A conflict consists of an objective and a time limit for achieving it, which creates a narrative drive and engages players.
🧑🤝🧑 Mistake 7: Having too many players can be challenging for a new DM. It's recommended to restrict the number of participants, with three players being the ideal number. This allows for a cohesive group dynamic and quick turns, preventing long waits between player actions.
📖 Mistake 8: New DMs often attempt to use all the optional rules in D&D 5th Edition. It's advised to stick to the basic rules, especially for beginner DMs, to simplify the game and reduce decision overload.
🎭 Mistake 9: Avoid comparing oneself to famous celebrity DMs like Matt Mercer or Chris Perkins. Each DM has their own style, and it's important to focus on having fun and enjoying the game. Playing with new players who have no expectations can be a great experience.