The Friendly Bard's Companion to D&D

One bard's take on the rest of the game!

Month: December 2018

2018 D&D Retrospective

2018 has been a great year for Dungeons & Dragons! Let’s look back on everything WotC-side that’s happened this year.

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Looking at UA: Sidekicks

If you haven’t seen it already, the new Unearthed Arcana came out this Monday. This month’s UA is about “Sidekicks,” creatures who end up tagging along with the player characters during their adventures. “Sidekicks” offers a system for leveling up these creatures in a streamlined way.

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8 Seasonal NPCs to Inspire Your Next Session

A picture of frosty foliage with a blur effect. The text over it reads "8 Seasonal NPCs for your next session".

Whether you’re running a special holiday-themed oneshot or chugging along with your normal campaign this month, here are a few NPCs you can sprinkle in to add some wintry flair!

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Questions About: Traps, Puzzles, and Tricks

A picture of a mousetrap with the text "DM Seeks Trap Advice" over the image

Traps, puzzles, and other exploration-type challenges can make an adventure really stand out. To help out Dungeon Masters, Wizards of the Coast has provided official guidelines for trap design in both the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. But, still, I don’t really “get” trap design.

I can whip up a riddle—a “speak friend and enter” deal—but when it comes to traps or other puzzles, I tend to just avoid them. I’m worried that I’ll make something that either is too difficult (takes too long) or too easy to solve. I want to make something that’s unique and challenging for the players, not frustrate them.

So how do you run traps?

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DM Tips: Seasons and the Passage of Time

In “How I Take Session Notes,” I talk about the different ways I keep track of campaign events. One of those ways is a campaign timeline, which summarizes what happened on each in-game day in the campaign. This helps us remember our character’s perspective of time passing (common example: “I’ve only known my party members for a month and a half but I Would Die For Them”).

Keeping track of time is also a valuable tool for DMs! You can use the time of year to inform your descriptions of the world around your players.

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SBotLL Campaign Diary: Good Squad’s Back Together!

Hey, we had a good squad session last week! Now that the party is all back together, I’ll start writing a bit about each session in a campaign-diary type series. So, here’s the first one!

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Words of Creation: Incorporating Rune Magic into Your Campaign

Hey, everyone! Last month, I talked about some of the playtest process behind my upcoming homebrew project. Now, I’m excited to announce that “Additional Master Runes” and “Secrets of Rune Magic” are complete!

As explained earlier, this is all inspired from the Unearthed Arcana article about rune magic and the rune scribe prestige class. But, what is rune magic, and how do you bring it into your campaign?

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