Episode 66: Earthsea is the G.O.A.T.

Howdy y'all, it's the Kickstarter roundup! Yeehaw! Then, your DMs of None talk about the D&D "canon" and whether it has any value. What should be in the new canon and what are the books that have influenced your Dungeon Mastering? What is in your Appendix N? Let us know!

 

Kickstarter Roundup: 

Critical Role: The Animated Series

Lasers and Liches: Tales of the Retroverse

Comrades RPG

Arcana of the Ancients

Rosenstrasse

Seas of Vodari

Welcome to Tikor: The Swordsfall RPG Setting

Witch+Craft: A 5e Supplemental

The Great American Novel: A Roleplaying Game

The Veil Inheritance

Humblewood

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

Ice Cube - The Predator 

Episode 65: Medieval Times w/ Special Guest Paul Sturtevant

DMs Matt and Rob are joined by the Smithsonian Institute's Paul Sturtevant. Not only is Paul the founder and editor-in-chief of The Public Medievalist, but he has a new book, The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination: Memory, Film and Medievalism, that listeners of this show will really love. 

We talk about castles in DC, what the public knows about medieval history, and how to deal with race in role-playing games. Paul tells us about the roots of Dungeons and Dragons races in 19th-century scientific racism, the camp of knightly tournaments, the weird aesthetics of Warhammer Fantasy, and why your shouldn't treat the Middle Ages (and your worlds in quasi-medieval settings) as the "trash pit of history." 

Links:

The Public Medievalist Magazine 

Paul's new book: The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination: Memory, Film and Medievalism

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

GZA, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Killah Priest - 4th Chamber

Episode 64: Artificer? I hardly know 'er!

DMs Matt and Rob review the new version of the Artificer. An effusion of infusions for everyone, huzzah! Happy Artificer Day to one and all. 

But first, the Lasers & Liches kickstarter is back! Be sure to check it out and have a listen to our full review back in Episode 23

 

Listener questions:

David asks, "Can I improvise my way through world-building?"

Ryan asks, "How should I prepare for a kickstarter?" 

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

Sir Mix-A-Lot - Iron Man 

If I Had a Hammer - Peter, Paul and Mary

Episode 63: Homebrewing Classes

The DMs of None chat about home-brewing classes in sub-classes in 5e DnD. We take a look at some of our favorite homebrew and third-party classes and speculate about what to create on the show in the future!

 

Classes and sub-classes reviewed:

The Blood Hunter by Matt Mercer

The Scholar by Charrmeleon

The Pugilist by Benjamin Huffman

Broath of the Brotherhood by Ryan Bennett 

Oath of the Common Man by the_singular_anyone

Tome of the Pact by Alex Clippinger

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

Jean-Joseph Mouret - First Suite in D

Seu Jorge - Space Oddity by David Bowie 

Episode 62: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Bold!

Let's talk about and create dungeons! Matt and Rob discuss the essentials of dungeon building: story, theme, ecology, and variation. Your DMs then build a one-page dungeon "live!" 

No abusers in our RPG community. 


Links: 

Rough draft of the one-page dungeon

Final draft of the one-page dungeon

Link to Dyson Logos' table of random dungeon entrances  

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

Merle Travis - Dark as a Dungeon

Pete Seeger - Which Side are You On?

Episode 61: Worldbuilding 203 - Factions and Politics

DMs Matt and Rob talk about how to design factions, powers, and political groups that will hook your players. Let's build some better worlds!

Letters:

"What are some strategies to employ between encounters?"

"How do I create emotional and cinematic moments for my players?"

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

The Unicorns - I Was Born (A Unicorn)

Ghost Mice - Critical Hit, recorded by DMofNone listener "Cinderblock" Sally

Episode 60: DM Tips 202

DM tips! Learn how to start games good! Practice shutting the hell up! And more! Plus, DMs Matt and Rob answer your letters and get some deserved criticism and critiques! 

Tips: playing on the cheap...setting the tone...seeing, hearing,  smelling for your players' characters...using your posture...preparing social situations...listening to your players...how to make mistakes... 

Letters: steampunk and hopepunk responses and critiques! What's the best way to build dungeons? How do I get started reading fantasy to help me DM? Should I twist the plot? 

 

Recommendations:

Elizabeth Bear

The Magic Goes Away

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

Tommy James & The Shondells - I'm Alive 

Loretta Lynn & Jack White - Portland, Oregon 

The Staves - Tired As Fuck 

Scenario - A Tribe Called Quest 

Episode 56: Dice Farce

Happy New Year! After alienating every listener from the UK, your DMs of None answer some unwanted advice and then use real historical artifacts to build new magic (and mundane!) items for your campaigns. 

Image Gallery

Historical Magic Items 2: The Dragon's Maw, the Cyrosiphon, and the Mirror of the Exalted Ancestor 

 

Music:

Pac Div - Roll the Dice

Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Ty Dolla $ign - Shell Shock 

Nicki Manaj and Eminem - Roman's Revenge 

Episode 55: The Old School with Special Guest Andy

Happy new year! Welcome to a brand new episode of Dungeon Master of None on Old School Rules and mega-dungeons with special guest Andy. 

[00:19:20] What is OSR? Andy discusses what types of campaigns and players work best with Old School Rules.

[00:49:00] The art of the mega-dungeon design. Plus, Andy gives his trademarked 1d4 rules for creating a mega-dungeon.  

[01:04:45] Matt and Andy riff up some sweet mega-dungeon  concepts for you to steal. 

[01:10:20] How to raise money for charity at your convention games. 

 

Links:

Goblinoid Games' free Labyrinth Lord rules 

Labyrinth Lord rules for purchase 

Give to the Houston Food Bank

 

Music:

Roll the Dice - Pac Div

Gravitas - Little People

Old School - 2Pac

Christmas in Hollis - Run-DMC

Texas - Fat Tony 

Episode 54: Strongholds and Footnotes

It's your mega-episode for the holidays! DMs Rob and Matt review two successful kickstarters that are now available for public purchase: Savage Worlds Adventure Edition [00:11:05] and Strongholds and Followers [00:44:00]. Then, on to your DM questions and letters [01:20:00]!

 

Gerard asks, "Will I destroy my game giving my players opposing goals?" [01:21:10]

Scott says, "Quidditch is trash." [01:25:45]

Ryan asks, "What are quick tips for creating interesting NPCs and setting their CR?" [01:26:05]

 

Recommendations: 

Strongholds & Followers, MCDM

Running the Game, Matt Colville

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, PEG Press 

 

Music:

Roll the Dice - Pac Div 

The Passenger - Iggy Pop

Sweetback's Theme - Earth, Wind & Fire 

Seein' Red - Unwritten Law

Power - Kanye West

Marathon - Rush 

Episode 53: Hobbit Phrenology

DMs Matt and Rob sit down for a deep dive into Tolkien, race, drow, Game of Thrones, and Euro-centric campaign worlds. Listen to a discussion of how to think critically about ideas of race in fantasy RPGs. We hope you will leave with some ideas about to tell anti-racist stories in our games.  

You can do your DM of None homework by reading Paul Sturtevant's article on the Public Medievalist, "Race: the Original Sin of the Fantasy Genre."

 

Recommendations: 

Saladin Ahmed - Throne of the Crescent Moon 

N. K. Jemisin - The Broken Earth Series 

 

Music:

Roll the Dice - Pac Div

Fantastic Man - William Onyeabor 

Episode 52: You are a Pirate!

WARNING: Spoilers for Skulls & Shackles begin at 37:30!

Have your players ever wanted to acquire a ship? Pirates are the murder-hobos of the sea, so let them!

DMs Rob and Matt discuss how to plan open-ended nautical adventures for your players. Stick around for a review of Skull & Shackles, one of the best pirate modules ever published!

 

Music:

Roll the Dice - Pac Div

Black Is the Color - Lucette

Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid - Luigi Boccherini

You are a Pirate - Lazy Town

Episode 50: Pod of Many Things

It's a mailbag episode! We. Answer. Your. Letters.

But first, DMs Rob and Matt chat about surprise Yog-Sothoth as well as the new errata and unearthed arcana for DnD 5e. Here's a link to Matt's homebrew rules for 5e Naval Combat. Also, because we live in Hellworld, we talk more about the Flaming Sphere of Shit that is White Wolf (now featuring Instagram despot Ramzan Kadyrov). 

Here comes the letters:

Jai asks, "Did you here some other stuff about Nolan T. of Roll20 being a jerk?" [00:21:00]

Sally asks, "I have a player with a character with a build centered around disarming enemies that doesn't work mechanically until the build has reached a higher level. What should I do to alleviate his dissatisfaction until the character comes into its own?" [00:26:30]

Sally also asks, "How do I create memorable combat encounters for my players?" [00:35:45]

Anthony asks, "I enjoy the interstitial music on the podcast. Can I find a list of the songs and artists?" [00:39:00]

Darrin asks, "What's a good one-shot to run for my parents?" [00:41:45]

Other Matt asks the greatest question of all, "How great are we?" [00:48:20]

Conner asks, "I'm making custom werewolf race at a player's request. Should I share this race with the other player's in the game or the let the player keep their lycanthropy a secret?Also, send us your campaign bibles!!! [00:51:40]

Scott asks, "I have a final encounter with my campaign's big bad coming up. What level should my characters be?" [01:01:05]

 

Music:

Roll the Dice - Pac Div

Starman - David Bowie 

Date with the Night - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Disarm - The Smashing Pumpkins 

Better Off Alone - Alice DJ

Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon 

The Time is Now - John Cena

Episode 49: D&D is an eSport now?

Hoooooo boy. So remember back when the CEO of Hasbro said that D&D was going to be the new "E-Sport?" Well, it didn't take long for someone to try to put that together. 

DMs Matt and Rob watched the very first competitive PvP game of D&D on Twitch and are here to talk about it. We aren't saying you can't have competitive RPGs. You can. But, uh, this ain't it, chief. 

 

Music:

Roll the Dice, Pac Div

He Got Game, Public Enemy & Stephen Stills 

Fight Night, Migos

Episode 48: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Mage (plus Ravnica)

Matt and Rob review two new releases from Wizards of the Coast: The Dungeon of the Mad Mage and The Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica

NO SPOILERS! If you are planning on playing Mad Mage, do not be afraid! Your DMs only talk about the adventure in general terms. 

Megadungeons! What are they? What types of players and dungeons masters will enjoy this type of adventure? Matt and Rob discuss the benefits and limitations of megadungeon-style adventure and what you can steal for your own campaigns. DM of None recommends Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Ravnica! It's not great. Also, we complain about how you can't be a Plainswalker, the most obvious thing for a group of heroes. New races and new classes! Lots of centaurs but the cen-towers have fallen. 

Do you love Ravnica? Please let us know why! 

 

Music:

Roll the Dice, Pac Div

Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden

Mad World, Tears for Fears

Red Eyes and Tears, B.R.M.C.