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Skills for Creature Info in 5E

For my own reference, I have put together the following table for skills that can be used to identify information about specific creature types:

TYPE SKILL Aberration Arcana, History Beast Nature, Survival Celestial Arcana, Religion Construct Arcana, Tinker Dragon History, Arcana Elemental Arcana, History Fey Arcana, History Fiend
Recent posts

The Middle Ground on Feats

Feats are an optional rule in 5E. Playing with them can drastically alter the balance of the game. Stacking multiple feats can even generate borderline broken, overpowered characters. To avoid the issues with feats, but keep them in the game, I came up with the following feat classification for 5E that limits characters to feats based on the type. This keeps multiple feats from stacking to maximize only one aspect of a character to the point of being broken. 
This includes the feats I had in play at the time it was written. 5E feats are being added all the time, so new categories (maybe racial feats?) and feats may need to be added.
Drop me a line if you find this useful in your game.
Feats have been divided into 3 categories given below. Each character may take feats through normal RAW, but may take no more than one feat from each category.  Feats marked with * appear in more than one category and count for every category in which they are listed. For example,  taking the Drago…

My Experiment with OSR-style 5E

For those of that have been in the game for a while, there is a certain happy nostalgia that goes with playing earlier editions again. After hearing the ambitious goal that 5th edition would be a complete edition covering every time of game that folks wanted, I was intrigued. Could 5th edition really recreate the old AD&D style game?

After playing 5E for a few years (since it came out), I decided to try an experiment to see if I could run an old-fashioned dungeon crawl. I decided to pick up "Veins of the Earth" by Patrick Stuart with art by Scrap Princess and give it a try. I placed it carefully as a whole new Underdark found under Kara-Tur, the Asian-inspired eastern continent of the Forgotten Realms. The party would be a band of new adventurers sent to explore this deadly new world. It would be dangerous, but the rewards would be many.

I put together a set of modified rules, gather pieces, parts, and ideas from various articles on the internet and my own experiences in…

Avoiding PCs Using the Same Action Every Round

For me, a good combat in D&D 5E involves players engaged, thinking, strategizing, and playing off of each other. Every player hangs on seeing what the other players are doing. The action is intense and varied. PCs work together. Players aren't just waiting on their turn. Not every combat has to be this way, but there are times when I want this level of combat.

For me, as a GM, one thing that breaks this type of combat is a PC simply taking the same exact action over and over. They are on cruise control. They aren't surprising the other players with their actions. They aren't working together as part of the team. Now, I have played with awesome players and I can tell you this isn't a player problem. Some classes do one thing well in combat and they use it. That is the way the class plays out based on its designed. As a GM, I want to help solve this issue in my games. I want players to have options.

The first solution that fixes most of the problems is putting togeth…

How To Not Help a GM

I am an experienced D&D 5E GM. I have played it since it came out and I have GMed over 100 session with more than 40 different players in 5E. I know 5E pretty well. Still, like with all systems, there are problems. I decided to ask the community for some possible solutions for an ongoing problem I have with warlock players.
Most of the warlocks in my 5e games often just use eldritch blast over and over in combat. Any suggestions for breaking the cycle an d getting them out of this rut? I'd really like too encourage the use of other options. We are at levels where flying is likely.
It didn't take long for the nerf hammer to come out in the comments, so I tried to stem the flow and look for solutions that players might actually like.
A key part of the solution needs to involve expanding options, not nerfing eldritch blast or simply designing an encounter to nerf it. If your only approach to avoid redundant battle actions is taking away their best option, there is likely to be …

Why Do I Prep?

So I don't have to draw maps or explain complex tactical situations at the tableSo I can have the right terrain and minisSo I can prepare dynamic lighting and tokens in roll20So I can prepare music and background soundscapesSo I can practice appropriate voices before the sessionSo I don't forget my best ideasSo I can collect and organize my thoughts about all the things that could happenSo I can think about NPCs and foes and their motivationsSo I can take the time to create and scale just the perfect foes to move the spotlight around in the partySo I can bring fresh new ideas to the table without falling back on things I have already used and am comfortable withSo I can plan literary style elements like foreshadowing and foilsSo I don't waste time thinking and letting players get boredSo I can choose the best way to handle different potential sceneSo I can work in connections between PC backstories and the plotSo I can practice pronunciation of new namesSo I can use a prem…

An Unexpected Gender Experiment

When I resurrected my gaming hobby several years ago, I did it as a father bringing his 4 daughters and wife into the hobby. For me, this was a really cool experience and I wanted to share it so I started this blog, the Pink Dice Chronicles. Now, years have passed, daughters have grown up and moved out and it is me and friends just playing now. Along the way though, I found that I wanted to help more people in the hobby, so I started a twitter account, and the PinkDiceGM twitter handle was born.

On twitter, I accidentally started an unexpected gender experiment. I left off anything to indicate my gender, not on purpose. With a name like PinkDiceGM, I must be a woman, right?   So the experiment began without me even noticing it.

Now I've been around the internet (been online since '92) and I know there are always jerks and trolls. Twitter is no exception. When I ran into jerks here and there, I did what I have learned to do. Engage politely, and then block if needed. I had to d…