Beth Rimmels is a journalist, editor, and marketing professional. In addition to EN World, her game industry writing has ranged from CityBook VII to The Vampire Codex, as well as Awesome 8's, the multi-setting RPG she is currently designing. She has been a D&D Adventurer's League store organizer and taught a wide range of games at stores and conventions.
After raising $2,121,465, Strongholds & Followers might be the most anticipated Kickstarter RPG (at least until the next record is broken). Of course, the bulk of the money raised went to the “Streaming” part of the Kickstarter so creator Matt Colville could get a proper studio for his very popular YouTube channel. The book definitely fills a need within the 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons landscape.
This week’s burning question: What are some basics to remember as a first time DM when starting up a new D&D campaign? DMing for the first time can be scary so here are a few tips to make DMing your first D&D (or any kind) of campaign easier.
If getting your whole group together to play during December is a challenge, a holiday one-shot might be a perfect solution, and the official D&D Adventurer's League module Winter's Splendor by Ashley Warren is a great option. Even better, if you're running Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, it's a good side adventure any time of the year.
December means gift guides. Whether you're shopping for the gamer in your life or want to show some appreciation for your GM, I've got suggestions for you, focusing on the world's greatest role-playing game.
How much you like Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica will depend upon what you want. If you're a Magic the Gathering player who wants an RPG version of Ravnica, GGtR may or may not satisfy you, depending upon how much setting depth you want from MtG. If you're looking for a full setting like the old Dungeons & Dragons' box sets, then you'll probably be disappointed because this is more of a slice of Ravnica than a comprehensive resource. If you're looking for more of a toolkit for creating adventures in the famous Magic the Gathering setting, GGtR is it If you're looking for a D&D fantasy setting because you're tired of Forgotten Realms but still want something in a similar ballpark thematically, then GGtR will also work for you.
Invisible Sun, the surrealist RPG by Monte Cook Games is definitely unique in many ways. While premium or high production value board games and LARPs have become increasingly common, the RPG industry version has been tame by comparison. Invisible Sun blows the concept out of the water. I've never seen an RPG that had shelving before.
Wizards of the Coast has worked hard to provide a variety of adventure types for 5th Edition and with Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage they're tackling megadungeons. Mad Mage can be played on its own, if the players begin with 5th characters or better, or it can follow up the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure, which is for 1st through 6th level characters. Please note: This review contains spoilers.
A segment of the Dungeons & Dragons' fan base have been clamoring for setting releases and while Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica won't appease those who want a 5th Edition update of an older setting like Greyhawk, Planescape or Spelljammer, it is a fresh setting that Wizards of the Coast clearly hopes will bring the Magic the Gathering crowd to D&D.
Calling Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage the “dungeon to end all dungeons” would be a mistake but clearly Wizards of the Coast is aiming for fans of such things. While it's big, it's not the biggest dungeon ever produced. It is, however, the biggest ever produced for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons and Undermountain is considered the largest, deepest Forgotten Realms dungeon.
A running gag in the game industry is that adding Cthulhu makes everything better (much like bacon) but adding it to heroic fantasy isn't easy. That calls for not just an expert but a specialist, and Sandy Petersen, creator of Call of Cthulhu, is the perfect person for the job.
After H.P. Lovecraft – of course – the person most associated with the Cthulhu Mythos is Sandy Petersen. When the rest of the still-new role-playing game industry was making variants of Dungeons & Dragons and related types of epic fantasy, Petersen created Call of Cthulhu, his first game inspired by Lovecraft's work, for Chaosium.
Since the majority of official D&D adventures have been set in dungeons (or the equivalent) and wilderness areas, making the latest hardcover adventure, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, a city-based adventure is a breath of fresh air. It's also a great chance to give the Sword Coast's most cosmopolitan city some 5th Edition attention.
The main purpose of RPGs is to have fun but ensuring that everyone enjoys themselves is tricky. First you have to agree on a game, then a play style. A dozen or more things after that can make or ruin a game. John Stavropoulos created an elegant solution to a common fun killer by creating the X-Card.
Every older RPG that has been revived after being out of print for a number of years wants to be 7th Sea. Its 2016 Kickstarter raised $1.3 million, breaking crowdfunding records for role-playing games and making it a huge success in comparison to its $30,000 goal. Lands of Gold and Fire is a by-product of that Kickstarter and a gorgeous by-product it is.
GMs and players share a common problem – getting a group started. No matter the RPG or the genre, turning individual characters into an adventuring party, superhero team, supernatural coven or pack, etc. is hard, and yet it's essential for a good game. Group connections help to raise the stakes when something goes wrong and provides incentive for them to act.