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  1. Ralif Redhammer

    OSR Must OSR = Deadly?

    OSR should not have to mean deadly. I ran my games back in the day and while they were probably more lethal than the ones I run today, most of the characters survived. Honestly, I have a theory that a lot of the meatgrinder OSR attitudes come from modeling the bad behavior of young inexperienced...
  2. Ralif Redhammer

    I want smaller, leaner core books.

    My preference is for shorter, more concise core books. When I see an RPG core book that's the size of a phonebook, that definitely makes me less likely to pick it up. That being said, don't underestimate the value of evocative text. If you look at stuff like the BECMI red box, it's filled with...
  3. Ralif Redhammer

    General How do you introduce new material to your campaign?

    I generally have a discussion with my players after each book comes out. It's generally the same spiel about working with them if they want to rebuild their characters based on new stuff, though if we're nearing the end of a campaign, I recommend that they hold off.
  4. Ralif Redhammer

    5E My Quick and Dirty Tasha Read

    It's one of my favorites, to be sure. I want an extraplanar sourcebook and/or adventure for 5e so badly.
  5. Ralif Redhammer

    5E My Quick and Dirty Tasha Read

    I've ended up really digging the foil covers - even Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which I detested the online images of the alt cover. If they ever come out with a Manual of the Planes, I dearly would love to see a foil riff on this:
  6. Ralif Redhammer

    5E What tools would you choose?

    Thieves tools (if there's not already a rogue in the party) and herbalism kit would certainly get my vote. Though, I'd confirm with the DM that they'll be okay with you crafting them - without spoiling anything, due to the nature of the campaign, I could see some DMs saying that the resources...
  7. Ralif Redhammer

    General Comparisons of D&D editions with Lew Pulsipher

    I quite enjoy the Grognard Files podcast. It's an interesting interview, though I disagree with some of Pulsipher's observations and assumptions about play then and play now. But he is right about 4e being very much about teamwork. There were so many abilities that granted allies this that or...
  8. Ralif Redhammer

    5E Polearm Master + quarterstaff...+ shield?

    I know what a jo staff is, and how to fight with one (rusty at it that I am). I was trained to do so two-handed, I might add (though certainly, other fighting styles are out there). I've got a PC in my one group doing the shield+quarterstaff+polearm master at the moment. Though stylistically...
  9. Ralif Redhammer

    General The D&D Monster I have never used (or faced) and probably never will.

    I also make heavy use of third party bestiaries. There's always a place for classic monsters - mixing things up makes both feel fresher.
  10. Ralif Redhammer

    WotC ICv2 Has A Theory That WotC Will Be Sold

    I kinda hate that this article is getting traction in the nerdosphere discussion spaces. It's essentially "hey, this is what I think could happen" without a shred of any evidence beyond that speculation. As far as I can tell, basing it on what happened with Pokemon almost 20 years ago and those...
  11. Ralif Redhammer

    General The D&D Monster I have never used (or faced) and probably never will.

    I've never used a Tarrasque - I had planned to end a campaign with a tarrasque wrecking the city, but the campaign fell apart before we got anywhere near that. Over the years I've used all sorts of weirdo monsters. Flumphs, catopblepas, stwingers, umplebys, tirapheg, and more. My feeling is...
  12. Ralif Redhammer

    5E Fantasy Appalachia

    Goodman Games The Chained Coffin presents a setting very much this, inspired by Manly Wade Wellman's John the Balladeer stories alongside folklore of the region. I'd highly recommend both the RPG product and the books that inspired it.
  13. Ralif Redhammer

    Wonder Woman Out Dec 16th

    While it could certainly happen, there are a number of other reports indicating the opposite of this. Of course, Disney could certainly be keeping their cards close to their proverbial chest. My feeling is that trying to hold off until going to a movie theater is a thing again will involve...
  14. Ralif Redhammer

    What are you reading this year 2020?

    The DCC Lankhmar boxed set is a wonderful work. Even if you're not planning on running it, seeing all the information about Lankhmar codified and centralized is just grand. As for the tables and charts, DCC RPG definitely leans in on those heavily - it's one thing I'd say is a flaw in an...
  15. Ralif Redhammer

    Wonder Woman Out Dec 16th

    I can't imagine going to a theater right now, but I'll be happy to check it out on streaming. Pixar's Soul is also coming to Disney+ on the same day. One wonders if this represents the breaking of the floodgates, if we'll see Black Widow, Dune, and others released in a similar model? I think it...
  16. Ralif Redhammer

    5E My Quick and Dirty Tasha Read

    "What do ye want? I've got Octopus Salad, Fried Octopus, Grilled Octopus, Octopus Sashimi, Hamburgers, and Octopus Stew." "I'll take the hamburger!" "Just so's ye ken, it's also made with octopus."
  17. Ralif Redhammer

    5E What is the appeal of the weird fantasy races?

    I think D&D's brand of fantasy is increasingly stepping out from the shadow of Tolkien. There's a ton of fantasy with nontraditional beings as protagonists and sidekicks. As the fanbase skews younger, you're getting more videogame and anime influences in people's idea of what fantasy is. And...
  18. Ralif Redhammer

    General what's your favorite starting town?

    Waterdeep and Hommlet. Waterdeep offers such a vast tapestry of lore and adventure hooks. The Village of Hommlet is perhaps my platonic ideal of a 1e adventure and locale. It's tightly-focused, but still has mysteries that a DM can expand on.
  19. Ralif Redhammer

    Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots Of Dungeons & Dragons from Strange Attractor Press

    Just came across the announcement for this new volume. It's lavishly-illustrated collection of short stories and excerpts from classic Appendix N literature: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/10/read-the-authors-that-inspired-gary-gygax-and-the-origins-of-dd-in-appendix-n.html "Drawing upon Gary...
  20. Ralif Redhammer

    What are you reading this year 2020?

    The hyper-detailed combat descriptions definitely do tend to drag. I think the problem is that too often, their narrative influence is limited to who wins and loses. They rarely provide character, thematic, or plot development. There is little depth to them beyond the action being depicted. I...