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friday: The Undercity Artificers

This faction is inspired by the makerspace movement. The Artificers are a group of mostly gnomes who operate a successful workshop in the city, crafting clockwork mechanisms, complex clothes, and such. Can be friendly (and thus constantly in need of supplies) or more sinister (supplying nefarious mechanisms to criminal elements).

More here:

BTW, of course, I meant "don't ever fit," not "don't never fit."

The editor inside me often requires public corrections like this.

It's totally up to you, but I've been thinking about digital vs. paper GM notes, especially for a campaign.

My full breakdown of pros and cons are here but the upshot is that I've settled on a 3-ring physical binder. Digital tools just don't never fit the way my brain needs to organize and access information.

What works best for you, and why?

Monday: Frost Mammoth

It's a cold spell, so let's create a frost mammoth. But it shouldn't just be a big, hairy animal. Oh, no. A frost mammoth is an avatar of winter, a force of nature that can use the ice itself as a weapon. Any normal person who stumbles across a frost mammoth wouldn't dream of disturbing it and risk its wrath. Its eyes are said to bewitch and doom those who dare approach it.

More here:

Friday: Quinder and the Crystal Ball

Bit of a pun today: Quinder, a halfling, sells ice, and once a year he throws a party in an ice cave, his "Crystal Ball." He needs ice-themed artifacts for the party, but there may be nefarious goings-on.

Read more here, along with plot hooks:

Just wrote a blog post about a handful of things that I think makes for an effective set of GM notes for an ongoing campaign:

Session logs
PC sheets
Faction sheets
NPC names

More details here:

: Telos

Usually, my factions are made up of groups. But a faction can also be encapsulated in an individual, someone who may have incidental followers and hangers-on but remains the central threat.

Telos is a young elf who found success as a warrior. That lasted until about 50 years ago, when he pledged his service to the queen of a respected country. He rose through the ranks rapidly; he's been a general for over 30 years.

More here, with 2 plot hooks:

I'm writing a series of posts aimed at new DMs. Today's post focuses on the cliché "you meet at a tavern" concept, which I claim is actually a great starting point for an adventure. I write about a few basic details that help a DM run that concept effectively:

* The tavern's name
* Who runs it
* Where it is
* How big it is
* What cool advantage it can give the player-characters

More here:

: Derek's Delvers

How about a faction you can play for laughs?

Darek is a charismatic, enthusiastic dwarf who leads a rag-tag adventuring party he's dubbed Darek's Delvers. Darek loves nothing more than diving into an abandoned dungeon, cracking into an old crypt, or exploring a long-abandoned temple for ancient treasure.

Unfortunately, he's terrible at it. If there's a trap, he (or a member of his party) will trip it.

More here:

What should a new GM make sure to bring to his/her first session, especially if the other players are new too, at a bare minimum?

I propose: dice, paper, pencils, snacks, rules, and notes. More at the link below. Notes should include info on the enemy faction, maps, and a list of NPC names.

What do you think?

More here:

: Hoverbike Gangs

In the cyberpunk near future, hoverbike gangs rove the streets looking for excitement. Click through for more info and a stat block for D&D 5E.

All of the RPG Talk entries I made this year and last (that I could find) are now on the VSCA academia list:

: The Fellows of the Forge

This faction is inspired by the Forge Domain Cleric in "Xanathar's Guide to Everything," a group of reclusive dwarves who forge magical weapons in a distant temple called Kovalla. Nobles and adventurers prize these artifacts, and a small network of Kovallan representatives, the Fellows of the Forge, offer them quests in return for Kovallan weapons.

Read more here:

Part 2 of my series on the basics of building a faction for an RPG:

This part focuses on defining a faction's specific goals, resources, and current actions in the game world.

Feedback very much welcome!

Is there a "Beginner's Guide to Scribus" anyone would recommend? Particularly aimed at tabletop RPG and/or gaming authors?

: Frost lizards don't challenge the PCs so much for their raw combat ability than for their ability to freeze their environment. They magically store cold in their body and release it on demand.

More details plus a D&D 5E stat block here:

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