Railroading – WTF?

I see a lot of sound and fury about railroading on various internet fora. Trouble is, I think almost all of it is bullshit.

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Random Encounters Are Dumb.

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s unpack that, shall we?

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DON’T F*CK WITH 5E’S FUNDAMENTALS

After yet another thread on Facebook’s big 5e group, I found myself writing the same thing for the umpteenth time, so I’m going to set it out here as an essay for you, dear readers (and so I can just post a link next time I have to say the same goddamned thing). Here’s the …

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Hit Points – Abstraction?

It happens every couple of weeks, it seems. Someone posts somewhere lamenting about hit points in D&D and how they don’t make sense. An argument ensues about what hit points really mean. These arguments are almost always as poorly informed and poorly thought through as they are passionate. Here are my thoughts on it, collated …

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Tips for DMs Series – Critical Fail?

If a natural 20 is OMGTOTALLYRAD, a natural 1 should suck. That’s what most D&D people these days say, right? Roll a 1, something bad happens. What’s the problem with that? It’s stupid, that’s the problem.

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Tips for DMs Series – Manage Expectations

Manage expectations. This is the first and fundamental mission you have as a Dungeon Master.

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Tips for DMs – Passive skills?

The Skills section of Ability Scores portion of the PHB gives a rule for Passive Checks. This is usually only ever used with Perception; there’s even a special spot on every character sheet I’ve ever seen for passive Perception. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If Perception can have a passive …

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Fudging die rolls – good or bad?

It’s a common question in gaming discussions online. Should I, as the DM, fudge die rolls? It crops up with distressing frequency. I have a standard answer, and I’m sick of typing it out over and over again, so I decided I’d toss it on my blog and refer to that from now on.

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Tips for DMs Series – Fire That Player

That’s the very first thing to learn. Don’t be afraid to fire players.

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Tips for DMs Series – Managing Combat

There are basically two types of player when it comes to combat: The Tactician and The Thespian. The names are fairly self-explanatory, but they deserve a bit of detail.

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