Making things report

So I have been busy making things. Lots of things.

Last month I worked on World Anvil Summer Camp and am going to transition my world bible over to that instead of forcing a blog into doing it. (It is basically a Wiki custom designed to work with awesome map functionality and templates for story peices).

World Anvil Home Page: The Cradle of Worlds

Recent RPG playing. My son was the Dungeon master for a game with his sisters and myself. Of course my daughter wasn’t playing, but she was helping her stuffed liger named Larry play a character named Larry.


Not sure if I posted this earlier but we had an Epic conclusion to our our extended campaign for Rise of the Runelords.IMG_0230

An intro to wargames for the kids and cousins. Mine too, actually and I am intrigued. Age of Sigmar might be fun to try.


Adding to my decorative storage for terrain by crafting a giant tree.

IMG_0243IMG_0251 (1)




Travel Skill Challenges

Recently Matt Colville mentioned using Skill Challenges in 5e for travel. This was somewhat on my mind as we are starting a low level campaign that will need something for travel. So here is my take.

Travel has three types in gameplay: Day trip, Getting from A to B, or Exploration/Scouting

Day Trip Single random encounter roll
From A to B Skill Challenge Challenge Level determined by difficulty of the path
Exploration/Scouting Procedural Dungeon-like Skill Challenge  Mix of fixed encounters and random encounters. Each day, hex, or week becomes it’s own skill challenge with at least one each of Scouting, Navigating, Quartermaster. and Foraging check

Common Checks

Role Check Why Skill Used Bonus Tools (conditional) Drawbacks
Weather Check Determines Current Weather (preroll) Special Table
Event Check For What Happens Special Table
Scout Travel Check  For travel complications Perception Spyglass / flying familiar  sprains, equipment breaks, etc
Navigator Direction Check  For getting Lost (most likely to not use) Survival Compass / Map getting lost (losing time, losing way)
Quartermaster Camping/Condition check  For how well you are able to rest. Survival Camping Gear No long rest, sprains, equipment breaks, etc
Foraging Foraging Check (option) How much food you can gather Nature / Athletics / Survival / Dex  attack  non improvised hunting traps equipment breaks

Other checks in the skill challenge may be terrain dependent, such as fording a river, getting across a gully or scaling a cliff. This may be a good place to make players come up with something they want to focus on doing.

Terrain and Weather DC’s are as follows: If they are proficient, with good weather, and in grassland the only thing we are looking for are critical fails or successes.

Grassland, meadow, farmland, sea coastline 5
Arctic, desert, hills, or open sea with clear skies and no land in sight 10
Forest, jungle, swamp, mountains, or open sea with overcast skies and no land in sight 15
Overcast, light fog, light rain/snow +5
Heavy Fog, Heavy Rain/snow, Storm +10
White out conditions, Complex Illusory Terrain with a failed save +15
Role: Scout Roll: Travel Check

Tools that grant advantage: Spyglass, Flying Familiar

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1 Scratches  (1d6) Sprained Ankle (disadvantage dex saves)
2 Scratches  (1d6) Scratches  (2d6)
3 The difficult Route  1 lvl fatigue Sprained Elbow (disadvantage str saves)
4 Insect Bites  (1d6) Broken Item wielded
5 Insect Bites  (1d6) Broken Item Worn
6 Sinkhole  (1d4) Broken Item in pack
Role: Navigator Roll: Direction Check Skill: Survival

Tools that grant advantage: Compass, Map

Critical Success: Faster Travel is possible move an extra 50% or shave a quarter of the time off

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1-2 Lost some time (lose half your movement) Went the wrong Way (lose half your movement)
3-4 Lost some time (roll for extra event) Went the wrong Way (lose all your movement)
5-6 Discovered something unwanted Went the wrong Way (go a random direction)
Role: Quartermaster Roll: Camping Check Skill: Survival

Tools that grant advantage: Special Camp gear/ wagon

Critical Success: Party Advantage

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1 Got wet and cold (sluggish start to the day, lose half the next day distance) Bad Sleep (No long rest, only short)
2 Smoke in the eyes. (Next day’s scouting check has disadvantage) Fire out of control (1d6)
3 Can’t Light a fire Bad Sleep (1 lvl of fatigue)
4 Vermin Infestation Freaks you out (No long rest, only short) Broken Wagon/camping equipment
5 Fey play tricks on you Really Bad Sleep (No long rest and 1 lvl fatigue)
6 Animal or Vermin decides your pack/wagon is a new home Haunted Campsite (1 lvl of fatigue)

Or check:

Role: Hunter / Gatherer Roll: Travel Check Skill: Nature, Survival, Dex Attack etc

Tools that grant advantage: special Traps 

Critical Success: Gain an extra two rations worth of food

Failed Check Table

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1-2 No Food/Water gathered Tainted Water gathered (Con 15 save or poisoned for half the day)
3-4 as 1-2 and Animal Steals some Rations Bad food makes you sick (Con 15 save 1 lvl fatigue)
5-6 Food comes to you, a herd invades your camp Prey Attacks Back (monster or 3d6)
Roll: Weather Check d6
inclement weather moderate to major 1
inclement weather minor 2
regular for season 3-4
a bit colder/cloudier than usual 5
a bit warmer /sunnier than usual 6

Moderate /Major Inclement Weather:   roll d6 1-4 moderate, 5-6 major


These can be scripted, but at times may be random. Generating random events may take some time. I would roll the event check with players but not all the other rolls. I would roll for half a dozen interesting encounter and half a dozen problematic encounters to be available as DM notes, cross them off in play and generate more for the next session as needed.

Roll:Event Check d6 Number of Events
Nothing 1-2
Interesting 3-4  d4-1  (min 1)
Problematic 5-6  d4-1  (min 1)
Interesting Table d4
Roll on DMG Monument Table 1
Roll on DMG Weird Locations Table 2
Generate with Random Generator 3
Friendly/ Neutral Table 4

For Nothing do nothing.  For Problematic roll on a monster random table appropriate to the terrain. For Interesting / Problematic roll a d6 to determine the time of day the encounter takes place.

Time of Day Event Occurs d6
Dawn 1
Mid morning 2
Noon 3
Afternoon 4
Evening 5
Night 6
Friendly and Neutral d6
Settlement/ Hamlet 1
Animal Group 2
Animal Solo 3
Intelligent being Group 4
Intelligent Being Solo 5
Caravan 6


Happy Little Minis

Geek and Sundry on Alpha has a new show all about mini painting. The last mini I painted was about a decade and a half ago. So my wife, my son and I painted some over the weekend.

The wizards and mini dragon by me, the archer by my wife and the knight by my son.

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.


Notes for Campaigns

I am finding it hard to organize things for all the little games going on. There are more intermittant games than I have ever run before all with the possibility of picking up at random notice. I have been looking at a few tools and think I am going to try a disc bound notebook. All the benefits of a spiral bound animg_0890d 3 ring binder. Specifically I will start with two, current and archive. Since all the pages are movable and I can intermix lined paper, dot grid, graph etc. It should help with the sprawl of paper I am dealing with now.

The other thing that will help it to make some template of game session logs to organize my otherwise sprawling notes. It worked well when I was managing one player in a pathfinder game, I just need to adapt the concept for DM/GM tracking of info. Once I get that I will post it up here. Any things you use for campaign management?

Sometimes it is tricky

So my nephew and son wanted a game. They wanted to play a rouge an17158-thumb140.jpgd sorcerer in 5th edition. With almost no notice and prep time I felt it was messy to run something, however they seemed to enjoy it.

When dealing with two soft and sqishy characters, and when they really wanted to fight was tricky. Several moments of near death, a bit of dice fudging and monsters who decided to cut their losses instead of deal with the PC’s that much saved their lives. I should really have a couple short things prepared for when they want to play “right now.” I think I should prep B2 Keep on the Borderlands, It has been forever since I reviewed that adventure, but would work well I think.