D&D General 100 Cool D&D Links

Each week, I send out ten cool D&D links to my newsletter subscribers. Here are 100 links I recently sent. There is all sorts of great advice here - read and enjoy!
  1. In 7 Ways to Hack Your Creativity, Scroll for Initiative shares a bunch of techniques to get your imaginative tap unclogged. I especially appreciate the references he provides.
  2. Periapt Games asks and answers one of the perennial D&D questions - why do unlooted dungeons exist? He gives a surprisingly comprehensive answer.
  3. Sly Flourish recommends you ask players to describe their new capabilities when they level up. I will use this in my game from now on.
  4. Pointcrawling Character Creation by Rise Up Comus is a unique take on something as old as the hobby. It is a very cool idea, and I want to hack it into a lifepath-style system for D&D.
  5. The Pastel Dungeon does some game theorizing in Choices, Information, and Meaning. If you've read Anatomy of Adventure, you will recall I've covered similar ground. I might adopt some of her terminology.
  6. Pastel's article reminded me of a Bastionland classic: The ICI Doctrine: Information, Choice, Impact. Well worth reading.
  7. In We Built This City, Christopher Chinn presents a flexible city-generation tool with a card-based mechanic. It is simple but generates rich results, which is what I want in tools like this.
  8. Prismatic Wasteland declares that Shopping in DnD is garbage and suggests how to fix it. His gamified alternative will appeal to some.
  9. Seed of Worlds describes their recent Spelljammer game and explains how to turn a one-shot adventure into an entire campaign. This post is a fun read!
  10. Trilemma looks at Avoiding Inapt Discussion in RPGs. The techniques are specific to heist-based story games, but I've seen the flashback method (at least) used in more general D&D games.
  11. The Pastel Dungeon has prepared a lore primer for her world of Neurim. It is concise, informative, and a terrific model for your fantasy world.
  12. DM David has not posted much recently, which is a shame. In Shut Up and Fight This Thing, he looks at the meaning behind our monster encounters.
  13. I adore resources like this. Dumpstat Adventures has created a list of 80 Generic Regional Effects for Legendary Monsters. Bookmark it!
  14. This post has generated some debate. Maxims of the OSR by All Dead Generations attempts to define the principles behind the Old School D&D movement. Not everyone agrees with the conclusions! It's a thick post that will get you thinking about your game.
  15. Mindstorm Press presents a simple D&D reputation system in Ringing the Bell.
  16. Songs of Sibylline wants to use drama as the benchmark in D&D encounters and shows us how in Dramatic Encounter Building.
  17. The Herald's Ethnography of Spirit Folk contains 20 pages of new player options influenced by Japanese folklore. It is nicely presented and free!
  18. Monte Cook brings us Intentions Before Actions, a game designer's post that unpacks the importance of defining your core gameplay.
  19. In Games as Moral Stories, Mikael examines whether you can use games to promote pro-social behavior. It's a dense piece that many will find interesting.
  20. Finally, Giants of the Star Forge is a free adventure from WOTC aimed at tier 3 characters. Can you save the world from a titanic war machine?
  21. Sly Flourish shows how to create a situation-based D&D session using a location from the Scarlet Citadel as an example. It doesn't matter if you don't have the book; the principles are broadly applicable.
  22. Johnn Four suggests you try back-pocket events in your campaigns. It's a neat little trick that can be fun, though it will only suit some DMs.
  23. In Samwell Tarly vs. Ghost, Knight at the Opera considers whether pets are better than flunkies in D&D.
  24. Bandits Reimagined by Daily Adventure Prompts describes a bunch of bandit variations. It's color rather than stat-focused, but it's valuable information if you are creating factions in your campaign world.
  25. All Dead Generations tells readers how to craft an engaging dungeon. No story - only theme!
  26. Following is an older post, but I missed it when it first came out. Thomas from the Indie RPG Newsletter has defined several fundamental facets of RPG game design and supplied examples. His article is full of insight.
  27. The Bardic Inquiry provides four tips for organizing consistent D&D sessions. These are bang on the money.
  28. Archstone Press explains sandbox-style role-playing. Some of you would love a sandbox game if you gave it a go.
  29. Leith Brownlee shares some insights from his Call of the Netherdeep campaign. It is worth reading; he has some tips you can apply to any campaign.
  30. The Tome of the Heretic is 23 pages of antithetical (and sometimes heretical) subclasses and other options. It has lovely presentation and is entirely free.
  31. Fantastical Scars by The Alexandrian looks at the marks left on bodies and landscapes by a dangerous and magical world. I want to add a scar mechanic to my next D&D campaign, primarily for color. Any suggestions?
  32. Kobold Press has a new advice column called Pack Tactics, which gives reader questions to a panel of game designers to answer. What a great idea! This week's question concerns players who metagame the climactic boss fight.
  33. Goblin Guerrilla suggests you should encourage domain-level play from the beginning of the campaign. It is about big player projects, such as building a wizard tower. I'd love to have a list of 10 or 20 such projects to inspire players and serve as a gold sink. I might incorporate something like this into the next version of the Iskandar Player's Handbook.
  34. Mike Bernier explains how to run a hub city in D&D. It is solid 101-level advice.
  35. In Plan for Failure to allow for actual stakes, DM Micycle explains why our D&D conflicts often result in hollow victories and suggests a solution. I wish he'd provided a few more examples, but the bones of the idea are sound.
  36. DM David examines how the changing rules of D&D have affected party composition. It is fascinating material, but don't read the comments!
  37. World-builders will like this one. Hex Population by Regional Capacity by Marcia B. is an elegant system for generating population figures on the fly.
  38. Fighting a horde of weak monsters is one of D&D's great pleasures. In Damage Pool, Sly Flourish proposes a clever method for tracking damage in that situation.
  39. The Unwritten Man has created a framework for running exploration-based adventures. In this post, he works through a practical example.
  40. Finally, Gorgon Bones has some tips for play-by-post gaming. I plan to start such a game when I get some time.
  41. In Great RPG Mechanics, Age of Ravens kicks off a new series looking at roleplaying game rules. There are some great ideas here that you can incorporate into your D&D game.
  42. In Let the Adventure Begin, Nick Kuntz writes in praise of megadungeons, which are much-beloved in the Old School community. His enthusiasm is infectious. Who amongst my readers is currently exploring a megadungeon?
  43. You get the spoils and spend it. End of story, right? No. In Ill-Gotten Loot, Bruce Heard discusses the implications of a big treasure haul and supplies a nifty table of consequences.
  44. Traveller's Rest is trying to solve crafting. He has done an excellent job identifying the fundamental problems, though I'm less enamored of his solution. Do you have a crafting system you like?
  45. Jeff Grubb explains what it was like to play D&D in the 70s. You'll think some of these are made up, but they are not!
  46. Chris Bissette has tweaked how he tracks factions, which has immediately improved his game.
  47. Dumpstat Adventures offers a slew of tips on creating epic boss fights. Read, and enjoy!
  48. Dawn Fist has some tips for describing scenes when playing D&D. It's good 101-level advice, but I wish she had provided more examples.
  49. Attronarch attended a Monte Cook lecture on dungeons, gamemastering, and playing RPGs. There's some good advice here for both the DM and the player.
  50. Money is tight these days, and many are looking to pare back their expenses. Nykloss has assembled a list of free resources to replace D&D Beyond.
  51. Graham Ward explains how character creation choices can slow down your 5E combats. It's a thoughtful article reflecting his vast experience as a pro DM.
  52. Age of Ravens continues her exploration of great RPG mechanics. You can easily incorporate some of these ideas into your D&D game. I especially like "icons" from 13th Age.
  53. Roleplay Rescue is coming to terms with being a socially anxious GM. I'm sure a few readers can empathize!
  54. Now, this is really cool! It's a subreddit devoted to real-life battle maps for your D&D game. Have a look, and you will see what I mean. I wish there were a few more entries - perhaps you can contribute some?
  55. Cavegirl Games shares a technique for running a war in RPGs. It's a solid approach if your players aren't much interested in the tactical angle of a battle.
  56. Sly Flourish is back, explaining how to include homebrew adventures in published settings. This approach is widespread, but some folks may need a nudge.
  57. Omega Ankh has just updated her Spells that Don't Suck supplement. It contains over 120 reworked spells from the Player's Handbook, all completely free.
  58. Warlock's players think he is super creative, devising great adventure ideas each week. In reality, he has discovered a simple adventure idea hack.
  59. Hexroll is a very cool D&D sandbox generator with fun and pulpy results. It has just undergone an upgrade.
  60. Finally, in a fun little piece, David McGrogan wonders aloud if halflings could create an empire.
  61. Jack Guigol explains how to craft a campaign arc. He includes six fundamental techniques, and they are well worth following. I think we need more advice about campaign arcs.
  62. The Alexandrian suggests you should start roleplaying initiative. It's a cute method that I may incorporate into my game.
  63. Are your villages all the same and a bit boring? DnDSpeak lists 100 medieval village notable features. Some of these are really creative.
  64. Merric suggests a simple technique to help your players bond with NPCs. It may seem obvious, but it's easy to forget.
  65. One of the unique features of the original Planescape setting was the city factions, each based on a different philosophical position. DnD Beyond has created recruitment posters for each faction. They are a lot of fun.
  66. Deathtrap Games overviews all the classic science fiction tabletop RPGs. This article is of the "grab a cup of coffee and enjoy" sort. Track down some of these masterpieces and see what you can incorporate into your game.
  67. Spider Queen Gaming asks if you can run an old-school campaign if you are time-poor. She offers some suggestions for making it work.
  68. Sachagoat aims to reinvent wilderness travel in D&D. Many wilderness systems are coming out these days. Will the new version of D&D have its own?
  69. In A Gap in the Armor, Brett Devereaux compares the depiction of armor in 5E, Baldur's Gate 3, and real life. This topic is of perennial interest to me.
  70. Finally, The Grizzly Tome is a collection of 8 disturbing new subclasses by Warpfist. And its free!
  71. Dawnfist offers a compilation of 53 DM tips, tricks, and hacks to help you run a better game! I'm always excited to come across lists like this, and these hints are excellent.
  72. Fail Forward explains why Depiglio is the perfect blueprint for an NPC. This post contains a lot of insight.
  73. Mike Shea describes a convenient and ethical way of sharing commercial PDFs with your players.
  74. If you have followed The Alexandrian, you will know that he loathes "railroad" games. In this article, he explains a better way to adapt linear stories to your favorite RPG.
  75. Teos looks at how D&D sells and what it means for the hobby. Even if you are not an industry professional, it is fascinating to see some real numbers.
  76. Archstone Press explains why you should run a sandbox-style game. If any of my readers are running sandboxes at the moment, let me know!
  77. Dice in the North has eight tips to make traps fun. You may have seen some of these ideas before, but it's a great reminder.
  78. It's all in the details, especially when bringing a boss monster to life. To help you, DnDSpeak lists 100 Creepy Villainous Traits.
  79. Speaking of creepy, Dump Stat Adventures has everything you need to create your own Darklord, just in time for Halloween.
  80. Finally, LaserLlama is renowned for their class and subclass design. They just published the latest version of their alternate fighter class, and it's free.
  81. In Supporting Cast, The Alexandrian shares much valuable advice on NPC management. The "Law of Conservation of NPCs" is especially good.
  82. Dreaming Dragon Slayer transforms monsters (and campaigns) by adding a single word. I've considered using this technique in my Iskandar world.
  83. Blot describes how to bake a layer cake of history into your campaign. It looks like a fun world-building tool, and I'd like to explore it further.
  84. Speaking of world-building tools, Greg Olopogus has designed a one-page character sheet for settlements.
  85. All monsters want to kill you, right? Well, maybe not. Newtwizard suggests d100 things a monster can threaten that aren't your life. It's good to shake things up.
  86. The Crusty Old Gnome is thinking about Old-School gaming and how it encouraged him to become a "game facilitator" rather than a "game master." Give it a read and let me know if it matches your style.
  87. Monte Cook suggests you should design "toward" rather than "away," and gives some fun examples from Third Edition D&D.
  88. Kobold Press tackles DM ethics in I Yelled at a Player. It turns out DMs are human, too!
  89. Ninja Breadman says that magical healing should be ugly. There are some campaign worlds, like Dark Sun, where this would be a great fit.
  90. Finally, The Secrets of Ravenmyre is a 48-page setting. It includes lore, monsters, player options, and a small adventure... and it's free!
  91. In a sizzling hot take, the Alexandrian states that the much-maligned 5E Challenge Rating system works pretty well! Furthermore, he thinks that the real problem with encounter planning lies elsewhere.
  92. In How to Run a Session 0, Jae shows you on how to start a D&D campaign. Such sessions are invaluable and allow you to agree on things like tone, character options, house rules, length, and lethality. As I prepare to kick off a new campaign, this material is much on my mind.
  93. Ben Meadows suggests what to do when your players are not making decisions. The proposed strategies are simple but effective, and I use them frequently when the action bogs down in my games.
  94. The 6-year-old DM advises how to make amazing magic items. These are good tips!
  95. The Oracular Somnambulist shares 66 weird effects in a chaotic landscape. It is a wonderful resource if your characters are plane-hopping.
  96. Gnome Stew has 5 strategies for creating unforgettable Big Bad Villains. It is rock-solid advice and very practical.
  97. Roleplay Rescue has some simple advice for Dungeon Masters - Write Your World. I agree. If nothing else, it can be terrifically therapeutic.
  98. Mike Bourke is back with another lengthy essay about campaign mastery. This time, he discusses meeting player expectations in the Theater of the Mind. It is a dense read, but there are some gems.
  99. Sly Flourish contrasts two adventure structures in Dungeon Crawls vs. Situations. That reminds me - Robin Laws has just released a book called Adventure Crucible, which looks at the various adventure structures. I need to read that soon.
  100. How about we end with some body horror? Dungeon Fruit presents d66 ghastly creatures in Of Men, You Make Beasts.

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