I like to make deadly boss monsters with big weaknesses to balance things out. This means I tend to miss the 6-8 medium encounter daily target. This can leave some classes feeling a bit weaker. I’ve found the best way to fix class balance is through magic items rather than class changes. Items can be adjusted with little fuss and can add a lot of flavor to the narrative.
I love mundane items. There’s something really appealing about portable rams, sacks of flour and 10 ft poles. Throwing a bag over an enemy’s head is a popular move at our table. You’d be surprised by how many spells require the caster to see their target!
“That’s the problem with adventurers these days. No appreciation for death. “ Karen, Vassal of the Raven Queen A comic based on our recent session. Death has become easier to mitigate over the last couple editions. Some people increase the reagent cost, add a dice roll, ban the spells or add a lingering negative effect to resurrection. In my setting, finding diamonds is harder than normal and being caught with them can land you in jail. It’s become a fun secondary resource for my group to manage. The Diamond Mines of Ciar is my favorite homebrew dungeon to run.
Some #dnd rules are vague. For Wild Magic Surge, I have the #sorcerer roll an additional D20 when they cast a spell. A surge occurs on a nat 1 or nat 20. My players can take their complaints to the dice gods!
Most of the towns I design have an elaborate criminal justice system. My players have started to declare every attack they make as “nonlethal” no matter how over the top their description gets. We’ve started calling it the “Get Out of Jail Free Card.
There aren’t rules that dictate how long a table should spend on any one pillar of the game. Talk to your players and figure out what they enjoy. Time at the table is limited so make sure it’s spent on the things your players actually find fun!
Surprise is a powerful tool. When battles can be over in 5 rounds, 1 round of inaction can turn a fight into a stomp. I typically require my players to purposefully research, plan and enact a plan to gain surprise. I believe the normal rules for initiative already cover the “quick draw” situations that commonly arise.
The most important aspect to party cohesion is a shared goal and an evil character can work with a good group if it moves them towards their ultimate desire. During your session 0, hammer out what exactly holds these characters together!
Right now, my party is in the Feywild but just before that they were pirates. I had planned out an entire setting for the pirate adventure and only used 10% of it because I thought throwing in a space ship would be cool. I didn’t expect them to use it!
Another comic based on my DnD experiences! When it comes to persuasion, I’ll accept an out of character logical request in lieu of an in-character appeal. I do draw the line when the player skips the logical part and heads straight for the request!