I’m DM-ing at Meltdown. Thurs 10/19

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A Beginners D&D Game

Update: This game continues on Thursday 10/19!

I am continuing the beginner’s one-shot at Meltdown Comics Thursday, October 19, 7-10pm. Players are at 2nd level now. Congrats.

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90046

Reserve your spot via
Los Angeles Dungeons & Dragons Meetup

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Understanding Sneak Attack

Understanding Sneak Attack

A rogue’s sneak attack ability is very powerful and can easily turn the tide in a fight. As a DM, I thought I understood it well until a player brought up some interesting scenarios that caused me to take a closer look at this skill. Here is what I found.

Basic Sneak Attack Rule:

  • Sneak Attack can be used once per turn when he/she has advantage on the attack or there is an enemy of the target within 5′ (PHB page 96).

After analyzing the rule, here are some additional thoughts that should clear up some confusion:

  1. “When” is not specified. So sneak attack can be used as an action, bonus action or reaction.
  2. The rules say once per turn so if a rogue has a dagger in each hand and misses with his action but hits with his bonus action, he could use his sneak attack on the second bonus action hit.
  3. Once per turn does not mean once per round. So if you use sneak attack during your turn but later in the round have an opportunity attack, you could potentially use sneak attack again as a reaction (See post by Jeremy Crawford, lead rules developer for Dungeons and Dragons).

Thanks for reading,


War Darts

War Darts

This is a dart:


It is bright blue, but it doesn’t really add much color to a D&D game. I mean, the idea of using something like this dart in a heroic defense against invading orcs seems patently ridiculous.

I’m all about aesthetics in-game. To me, an item shouldn’t look like a reject from your home play room if it wants to be in a heroic fantasy RPG. Yet the inventors and perpetuators of D&D have included the thing in every version of the game. There must be more to the weapon than this. They must know something I don’t. So—no surprise to anyone by now—I did some research. Read more

Lessons in Class

Lessons in Class

©Wizards of the Coast

Sorcerer and Monk

DM-ing a group of strangers in D&D 5e is new for me. A longtime DM of an old version and other games, the spirit of the job is deeply ingrained, but the ruleset? Still pretty new. Fortunately, being a Dungeon Master is the best way to learn, and I value my little game a lot. It helps to have nice players, too.

I learned something about Sorcerer and Monk classes last week and I wanted to share them with those considering these classes for the first time.

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More Trinkets

More Trinkets

Let’s face it. The dozens and dozens of trinkets in the D&D Player’s Handbook (p.160) are barely enough. A paltry number, really, which shows how little regard WoTC has for this all-important piece of equipment. (don’t you think?)

That’s why I took it upon myself to collect and create 201 more! Two lists of 100 trinkets, plus a bonus trinket. (For the collected ones, I’ve been hoarding them from around the web for a while now, and have long forgotten where I found them. So, no source info.) Read more

DM-ing At Meltdown 10/12 (Part II)

DM-ing At Meltdown 10/12 (Part II)

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Character Development Assistance

More Q&A for my beginner’s one-shot at Meltdown Comics this Thursday, October 12, 7-10pm.

Q: I don’t have time to create a character!

A: Ah, yes. To us it’s half the fun, but to others it is a necessary “evil”. Here, if you must, are pre-generated characters. Be sure you know their stats and personality traits.

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Pistol Play (Part III): Pistoleer Class

Pistoleer of the Horse Guard (aka Cuirassier) archetype.
CONTINUED from Pistol Play II


Third in a three part series.

“This character class is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by design iterations or full game development.”  —WotC Unearth Arcana Disclaimer

Note: The Thunderbuss Pistol of the Pistolier Class does not work as a “weapon” in the classic D&D sense. Don’t expect it to have a traditional stat block. This pistol is built more like a non-magic magic item, or custom tinker-tech. However, it is still purpose-built to be used in a scuffle. A game changer? Yes it is. And yes it was. History plays a big role in the design. (I may, eventually, do a toned-down, traditional version.)

The smoothbore flintlock pistol is a powerful one-shot weapon available to any character regardless of class, but only a Pistolier can make full use of the weapon.

These variant rules include a new character class (Pistolier) with three original archetypes (Tercio, Horse Guard, and Master Pistolier); three new background options (Gun Steward, Gunsmith, and a variant for Nobel); and an optional feat (Range Sergeant). For rules on the weapon itself, see Pistol Play II.

Help me out. All this is totally experimental. I’m sure there are plenty of changes that need to be made. Give this a test play.

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