Encounter Table Design For DnD

I have written about how good Dungeons & Dragons random encounter tables are before, both in this blog and in issue 7 of my zine

In this post I want to respond in a way to a video I watched where the host was explaining how bell-curve random tables are not truly random and shouldn’t be used. A single die with a way to roll higher than the max would be better. 

I both agree and disagree with this notion. 

It all comes down to what you want to get out of the table and what area in your campaign world the table is for. 

Let’s dive into it. 

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Monster Stat Blocks – A New Layout

Monster Stat Blocks - A New Layout

Monster stat blocks are an essential part of the Dungeons & Dragons game.

They let the GM know a lot about the monster – at least they should.

What they tend to end up like is a combat block, rather than a monster stat block, focusing on combat-orientated information.

Helpful in combat, but not very complete, given the characters may want to parley or interact with the creature in other ways.

What I have developed is a modular monster stat block that will give GMs the information they need – at a glance – to run the monster in any situation. 

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Reaction Rolls in Dungeons & Dragons

Reaction Rolls

Reaction rolls are an old school mechanic in D&D that allows you to determine how an NPC or monster will react to the PCs. 

This mostly forgotten mechanic (at least in the modern game) was a core rule in earlier versions of the game (OSR). 

When the party came upon a random encounter with intelligent monsters, and the party decided to parley with them instead of attacking them, the GM would then roll a reaction check for the monsters. 

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The D6 Mechanic for D&D And Other TTRPGs

The D6 Mechanic

What’s going to happen?

Let the simple D6 Mechanic decide for you.

This simple mechanic will allow you to add in some randomness to your Dungeons and Dragons sessions.

Instead of making decisions all the time, let the die decide for you.

All you have to do is decide on the odds.

A simple mechanic like the D6 Mechanic can be used at the table within seconds. 

Let’s look at an example.

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Simple Downtime Process Using A Word Generator

Downtime Process

With the thoughts of my easy word generator still ringing in my head, I thought I would put it to some use other than what I laid out in that blog post.

This time, I will use it to create a simple, yet useful, system you could use for any downtime you have between adventures.

In fact, you could easily generate mini-adventures using this system, as you will see.

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Grounded Fantasy

Grounded Fantasy

This (very short) post is my attempt to explain what fantasy I like the most: Grounded Fantasy.

Grounded Fantasy is fantasy that has one foot firmly planted on solid ground, and one firmly planted in fantasy.

There is magic, but it’s not over-powered. There is the fantastic, but it meshes with harsh reality.

But what do I mean by “grounded”?

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