Organizing the Game, Part 2

For part 1 click here.

I have organized my disk bound system with 3 ring binder dividers with new holesDungeons and Dragons punched. I actually have tabs from two sets that don’t match so I may get new dividers at some point.

Red for the Rise of the Runelord Pathfinder campaign. Blue for Princes of the Apocalypse 5th edition campaign. Green for my homebrew setting. Small orange (not visible in the picture) is for the Time of Bamboo campaign in my homebrew setting. Black is empty and Clear has ideas in development.

The red, black and green tabs are tied for the most pages. After that the ideas in development takes up the most space. Depending on how things go I will definitely look at archiving some pages out on a regular basis as the campaign progresses. Notes and maps from earlier in the campaign can safely be placed in a second book that can be on the floor or in a bag for reference instead of open on the tables.Dungeons and Dragons

I find that rewriting a few pages about the adventure from the book/pdf is a good way to commit a written adventure to memory.

I am going to look at making a bunch of stuff for dungeon building but I have limited time before Saturday so we will see if it happens. Next time I will show what I keep in the binder.


Organizing the Game, Part 1

I have tried to make this a post but I think it needs to be multiple or I will never publish it. So here is the problem, and my next posts will be my current solution.

I have a problem, and one I have never had before. Too many games going and a real life. When I last played RPG’s regularly I was in college with just one game at a time and lots of disposable time. Now however I have infrequent groups that meet up for games, and for most of them I am the dungeon/game master. That is a lot of content to arrange and keep straight.

So I have been looking for a way to organize the papers, and it needed the following requirements.

  • Flexible use of papers (Graph, lined, dot grid, printed game aides etc)
  • re-orderable and removable pages for handouts
  • not bulky for use at the table
  • Archivable

Three ring binders or modern variants of trapper keepers, if you can find them, work with the first two requirements quite well.

But for the third I found a solution that has been called (paraphrased) “If a spiral bound notebook and three-ring binder had a baby it would be a disc bound system”Dungeons and Dragons

I ran into them being used by a co-worker several years ago, but didn’t see much of the point. Now however I see a decent use for them.

There are several brands; Tul, circo, arc etc.The Arc system was fairly inexpensive, but the hole punch was the biggest barrier to entry. I opted to purchase are more heavy-duty hole punch so I could punch out thick plastic covers, dividers etc. This way I could grab some three-ring binder tabs from the dollar store and punch holes in them for a quick divider system. I have a tab for each current campaign, and have purchased more rings for the archives. I will have two books, one for active and one for slightly older stuff that can be referenced but not permanently on the table.

Next time – how I have things organized.

After that – how well it worked this saturday’s 9 to 4 game day.


Sickness and Healing in RPG’s

Miracles can cure anything, at least in theory. In real life these are not as obvious or common as roleplaying games. While heroes often possess great power, and the function of a Cleric in-game terms is to reset things to enable continued game play. However that seems overpowered when you ask the question, why would there be any sickness left in the world if you could just heal it away. Here are some possible explanations.

  • Heroes are fit, able bodies, and as such they are like high performing athletes that have access to good medicine and training regimens etc. So they are able to bound back faster than the standard populace when healed.
  • Healing restores vitality, fixes cuts and bruises but only temporarily causes sickness to flee. So for the flu it works great, but for diabetes it only can provide temporary relief. There is not enough healing power to provide constant healing for much of the wider elderly population. Lesser and Greater restoration are usable but only in some narrow confines, which come up a lot in adventuring but not in mundane life.

Wounds in games

So following up on my previous post about lingering damages after a near death… DMsGuildProductLogoLargeThere is one on the DM’s guild for that, so here is a review.

A review of Lingering Injuries by Damage Type by B.A. Morrier.


These are excellent tables, my only desire being I want longer tables. One of the best aspects of any RPG supplement is it’s ability to get the creative juices flowing and this certainly does that.

The ease of healing in D&D can often be viewed as unrealistic and exaggerated. The addition of more complications can help with that and ground this more, the use of these tables does so without introducing a significant slow down to game/narrative pacing which would make the game less fun.

I may have to work on making some expansions.


This is the only downer. So as a disclaimer, I have a degree in Digital Design even if I ended up in an entirely different career. So I can be nit-picky on some details, take that in consideration. The visuals are haphazard and not particularly consistent. The icons for damage type are a mix of clip art of a wide variety of visual styles. The pagination makes it hard to read, and I feel the tables really should never run over to the next page.

Additional Thoughts

I will not include as verbose a set of notes for each, but here is an expanded Bludgeoning Lingering Injuries table.

  • 1. Limp
  • 2. Broken Leg
  • 3. Broken Arm
  • 4. Broken Ribs
  • 5. Damaged Windpipe – Can’t speak and 1 level of exhaustion due to exertion
  • 6. Broken Nose  – Can’t smell
  • 7. Crushed ear  – Can’t hear due to constant ringing
  • 8. Dislocated Jaw – Can’t speak
  • 9. Concussion
  • 10. Bruised Stomach – can’t eat for several days due to pain, exhaustion until they can finally eat.
  • 11. Broken Hand – all fine dexterity skills at disadvantage unless cured
  • 12. Giant Bruise – disadvantage on charisma based skills

Magic and Healing

Winter is a time of flu and colds. Magic in roleplaying games cures much, why can it not cure everything?Sandwitch over character

My answer is that curing is not so simple for daily life. Sure, for adventurers getting into a scrape here and there, losing energy (part of the meaning by hit points), cauterizing wounds etc Magical healing does wonders. The catch is that it still cannot reverse aging (without using world breaking spells like wish etc), or eliminate all disease and accident. In that it is much like modern medicine; many things are fully curable, others mitigatable, the chief causes of death in previous generations are not remembered hardly at all and replaced by heart disease and cancer as major killers. Modern medicine also still strugles with unusual conditions and rare diseases. It sounds like a perfect description of why cure wounds spells can’t heal everything, quicker than antibiotics and stitches but still not able to do everything.

So several maladies beyond quick healing:

  • Every time a character drops to zero they get an affliction of some sort, dropped con score, scars, lost limb in severe cases etc. (deserves several random tables, one per dammage type slashing, bludgeoning, pericing, thunder, magical etc?)
  • Chronic rare conditions uncurable but mitigatable by spells. Pick a system effected: Hormonal, Bowels, Muscles, Mental Illness etc.
  • Magically augmented diseases resistant to basic healing spells that may require additional resources.

Sounds like a few more articles are in order on each of these.

Princes of the Apocalypse: Session Summary 1

The day was way to cold, but the adventure fun.

Our intrepid adventures were tackling the monastary of the cult of elemental earth. They used charm person to get deep into the monastary, but then had to fight their way out. Eventually ending up with all characters down to zero except one who healed the cleric. The cleric then gave the kill shot to the last monk and they all miraculously survived. On the way back they ran into some water cultists so have another group to begin investigating next time.

Too much snow

The Best Artificer

dnd_logoI really liked the concept of the artificer in 3rd edition dungeons and dragons. I never got to play one, but developed several NPC’s around the concept. I have seen half a dozen attempts to create the artificer in 5th edition, but all seem very complex and I am just not sure how they would work. The best version I have seen was just released by Wizards of the Coast in their Unearthed Arcana column. It is the first that makes me not feel it is difficult to write one up.

I really like the focus on the tinkering aspect, the two archetypes are evocative and things seem at first glance to be balanced. It fills an odd niche of a jack of all trades; magical, martial, and skills.

The Good:

  • A good mix of proficiencies make them capable second string fighters, especially with the armor proficies.
  • The toying with attunement is perfectly fitting to both the system and concept
  • Wonderous Invention seems a great fit, and a great place for a DM to allow campaign specific items, or provide additional rewards of special objects.
  • Alchemist has a good set of potions and elixers.
  • Infuse spells also is particulary fantastic

The Bad:

  • Gunsmith is less focused than the Matthew Mercer Pathfinder conversion. I would not prefer this varient unless additional rules for magical enchantements were added as an arcane gunsmith.

Not sure:

  • The spell list seems limited, not sure that will matter without testing it
  • The companion is great for roleplaying, but suffers in a large boss fight simmilarly to ranger companions etc.

What to add:

  • golemancer, portal jumper or such would be a great archetypes