The Friendly Bard's Companion to D&D

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

Author: Hannah (page 1 of 6)

Guest Players

If you follow D&D streams like Dice, Camera, Action, you’re probably familiar with the occasional guest player—a player not normally part of the group who comes in temporarily to play a character. In DCA, these guest players either play a character of their own creation or an NPC from the adventure Chris Perkins is running.

We can use this idea in our home games, too!

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4 NPCs to Put a Spring in Your Step

Spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, like it or not, so that means warmer, weirder weather and no small share of pollen. Do you do seasonal-themed events in your D&D game?

If your game needs some springtime flair, consider these four NPCs below!

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Making Homebrew Items for Your Group

I started homebrewing D&D stuff in the first campaign I ran—mostly magic weapons and other items. We’ve talked about homebrew before, but let’s get a little more granular. There’s just something special about designing an item with a specific player and a specific character in mind! More than that, I enjoyed seeing the creative ways that my players used these items.

Below are some resources and advice I’ve found helpful when making items to deploy in my games:

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Character Development: Your Character’s Expectations

How does your character see the world—and what do they expect from it?

Our reactions are influenced by our expectations. What are your character’s expectations?

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Running Pre-Written Adventures: NPCs

Adventure design has a lot of moving parts, so using a pre-written module can make things a lot easier. Additionally, your party might be excited to take on iconic D&D villains like the fearsome Tiamat in the “Tyranny of Dragons” storyline, the deadly Acererak of Tomb of Annihilation, the cunning Count Strahd in Curse of Strahd, and so on.

As the Dungeon Master, you get to bring these (and many other) characters to life—an opportunity that can be both exhilarating and intimidating. Running NPCs from a module feels a little different than running NPCs of your own creation, so let’s talk about how you can prepare to run them!

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“Flavoring” Your Character’s Actions

With just a few words of description, you can make your character’s class abilities unique from other characters of that class, without changing any of the mechanics. Personalizing your character in this way can emphasize that your character is a creation all your own!

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Handling Player Absence in Your Game

Life happens. Sometimes, life happens to get in the way of your regularly scheduled D&D session, like a springtime deer in front of a minivan. (Alternatively, like an unassuming squirrel, and you only have to put the brakes on a bit to let it go about its business.)

Regardless—you’re going to have to do some maneuvering.

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Engaging Different Types of D&D Players

Everyone around the table playing Dungeons & Dragons wants to have fun! But, we’re all aware that “fun” is different for different players. The good thing is that one session (and one campaign) has multiple encounters that can play to those interests.

D&D and other TTRPGs have been around long enough for people to discuss these different players, breaking them down into types.

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SBotLL Campaign Diary: Stealth Mission Round 2

Another month and another good squad session! This time, we had a some of everything—some roleplaying, a bit of combat, and a lot of exploration.

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Comparing the Old and New Artificer

The new Artificer Unearthed Arcana is here! It’s been a while since we’ve gotten an update on the Artificer class, so I was excited to read through this article.

This version of the Artificer overall seems to have more linear progression and beefier spellcasting abilities. The Alchemist subclass got some major changes, while the previous Gunsmith subclass has been transformed into the Artillerist. The Artificer class now prepares spells from a wider spell list (like the cleric and wizard) instead of knowing spells (like the sorcerer and bard). As well, the new Artificer gets their subclass at 3rd level instead of 1st.

“Well, hey,” I thought, “why don’t I compare the old and new Artificer and post what I find?”

Turns out, there’s a whole lot different!

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