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.

Episode 47: D&D is a bicycle and other tortured metaphors

After some uninformed speculation about what the announced 2019 D&D campaign setting book will be, Rob and Matt discuss a recent article in Quartzy"Dungeons & Dragons Created the Blueprint Nerd Culture Still Follows Today" by Dave Gershgorn. 

Q&A time! If you could DM for any three celebrities, who would they be? What video game needs a TTRPG rulebook? Can a DM metagame?

What is your answer to these questions? Let us know at dmofnone@gmail.com!

 

Music:

Roll the Dice, Pac Div

Be Healthy, Dead Prez 

Q.U.E.E.N., Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu

Video Games (Remix), Lana Del Ray and Club Clique

Episode 46: The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Put on your masks and get out your account books! Matt and Rob are joined by a very special guest, Dave the Prof! They discuss Seth Dickinson's groundbreaking fantasy novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant. The book's approach to race, queerness, and empire will get your fantasy world-building gears turning like no other novel! 

Happy Halloween and happy the Monster Baru Cormorant day!

 

Links:

On Top of the World, Dave's podcast (Matt is also a co-host)

The Traitor Baru Cormorant 

The Monster Baru Cormorant

 

Music:

Roll the Dice, Pac Div

Rebel, Rebel, David Bowie

Empire State of Mind, Jay Z. feat. Alicia Key

Mask Off, Future 

Episode 45: Water Heist, Deep Dragon

Matt and Rob review the newest adventure from Wizards of the Coast, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist! 

WARNING! Spoilers begin at 45:10.

But first, we gird ourselves for a Tales from the Loop TV series and a Wheel of Time TV series. Matt shares his bafflement with TORG: Eternity.

Now, on to Waterdeep...Dragon Heist is a welcome departure from the all the other 5e adventures...modular antagonists...it's so short (and that's a good thing)......non-adventuring things for your adventurers to do...walking the fine line between pure sandbox and straight linear adventures...is this too complex...where are our criminals...Waterdeep is a city of LAWS...planning for when your players do nothing...inaction should never be the best choice for your PCs...modularity is still in beta but better to go down swinging...we recommend Daughter Peep: Flagon Iced! 

 

 

Music:

Roll the Dice, Pac Div

A Theme for the Wheel of Time, Robert Berry

Love Song, Sara Bareilles

Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads

Episode 44: Mailbag of Holding, Type II

DMs Matt and Rob talk about RPGs in the classroom using the Reacting to the Past curriculum and Matt's panel on Paradox Interactive's video games and history.

 

Now, on to your letters:

Nate writes, "Discord has a dice roller and a macro add-on!" [16:30]

Ryan asks, "Is the Dynamic Lighting option in Roll20 worth it?" [21:00]

Abstract Figure writes, "I love old school throwing weapons and boomerangs from movies of the 80s and 90s. What's the best way to put these iconic items into a game for my kids?" (He also sent us a link to some great drawings!) [25:30]

Adam asks, "How do I get players more engaged with NPCs and make them curious about my world?" [35:00]

 

Music:

"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div 

"The Games People Play" by The Alan Parsons Project

"Blinded by the Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band

"When I Come Around" by Green Day

"BKNY" by Fat Tony (featuring Old Money)

Episode 43: DMing 201

"7 DM Tips to take your game to the next level...#6 will blow you away!" 

"Players hate him! Master the Game with this one Weird Trick!"

Matt and Rob are back with some slightly more advanced tips to help you as a game master!  But first, a listener asks, "Can I run a game with two swapping Dungeon Masters?"

On to the tips: creating a recap blog...playing to your strengths...you are using your DM screen wrong...the freedom of rolling in the open...binders full of NPC names...player name tents...getting to know what makes your players tick...mastering the "character spotlight" and the quick "around the table check-in."

Thanks for listening! Don't forget to rate and review!

Email / Twitter

 

Music:

"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div

"Going through the Motions" by Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"Good Times Bad Times" by Led Zeppelin

"Say My Name" by Destiny's Child 

"No Beginner" by Serengeti 

 

Recommendations: 

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Episode 42: Playing Extremely Online


Matt and Rob discuss some recent drama related to Roll20, a virtual tabletop platform [05:40]. Your hosts then try present both the challenges and opportunities of running RPGs online [20:30]. Last, Matt and Rob try to give you some practical tips for using Roll20 and other online tabletops [41:30]. 

Have you struggled or had success running games online? Let us know how it went! dmofnone@gmail.com 

Music:

"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div

"Pursuit of Happiness" by Kid Cudi, MGMT, and Ratatat

"Smoke and Mirrors" by Gotye

"Long Distance" by Bruno Mars

Episode 41: History and Magic Items

Matt and Rob love history. They also love making custom magic items. In this episode, your hosts combine these two loves by using historic artifacts as inspiration to create stats for D&D magic items. 

Image Gallery


D&D 5e Magic Item Descriptions


Music:
"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div
"Season of the Witch" by Donovan
"Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes
"Nothin' But A Good Time" by Poison
"The Magic Clap" by The Coup 

Episode 40: One Shot, Part Deux

The Celestial Job: A Planescape Adventure for 3rd-level Characters

DMs Matt and Rob return to "The Celestial Job," a one-shot Planescape adventure we wrote during Episode 30. Today, we take a fresh look at the adventure after play-testing it with two groups of players. Your DMs discuss how to run an adventure with an eye towards revision. We look at what didn't work, what was fun, and what was hilarious!   

If you liked our journey from brainstorming ideas to writing and revising an adventure module, feel free to download and run the whole thing (using the link above or on the Homebrew page). Let us know how the adventure goes! 

Music:
"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div
"Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addicition 

Episode 38: Engineer Cantrips and Other Lost Tales

Matt and Rob answer your letters!

Helping new players learn to role-play...hacking other systems into 5e DnD...balancing player goals...ditching random encounters...Chekhov's magic sword on the mantle...inclusivity in Pathfinder 2nd edition...Eurocentric humans in the Player's Handbook...the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin...getting "a head" with the Speak with Dead spell...Hellboy 1 is the best dungeon crawl...using science and the Move Earth cantrip to break the game...when is it okay to ask your DM to stop arguing about the rules...using the humanities to own your friends and make them sad...John McCain didn't like D&D.

Music:
Roll the Dice by Pac Div
Riddles in the Dark by Chris Thile
I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King

Episode 37: Mazes and Monsters!

We have done a crazy thing. Rob and Matt sat down and watched 1982's made-for-TV movie, Mazes and Monsters. 

We are now the Maze Controllers and have absolute authority! So grab your maps and get ready for a strange journey of 80s DnD panic, Tom Hanks, bad parenting, dungeon love, 9/11, and WASP angst. Your intrepid hosts deduce the rules-as-written of the Mazes and Monsters RPG, determine which character has the worst parents, and lust after the muggers with the coolest leather jackets in all of NYC.

Please, whatever you do don't watch this movie.

Episode 35 - Critical Role & Numenera w/ Natasha

Matt and Rob are joined by special guest Natasha, an amazing DM and co-host of the Metamashina Podcast, a show about genre fiction from the feminine perspective.  

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 26 OF CRITICAL ROLE BEGIN @ [03:40].

 

Your DMs discuss how to handle character death, the problems of custom class mechanics, and fan reaction to the episode.  [Discussion ends 40:10]

Matt, Rob and Natasha are briefly distracted by Hasbro's bizarre announcement about D&D becoming an e-sport. [40:15]

Natasha shares her experience running games in Numenera, Monte Cook's far-future rpg centered around exploration and discovery.  [45:50] If you plan on running any type of post-technology adventure or if you just want to improve your ability to create ancient mysteries for your players to solve, give Numenera a try.  It's a great system and setting for growing as a Dungeon Master!

You can check out the Metamashina Podcast (and we recommend that you do) by following this link: https://metamashina.com

Episode 34: Ravnica and Eberron - New 5e Campaign Settings!

Matt and Rob discuss WotC's surprise announcement of a Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons crossover: The Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. While we are mostly disappointed and unenthused about this mixing of games, your hosts try to salvage some useful silver linings in the upcoming Ravnica release.  Then, Matt gets way into MtG's "Color Wheel" for a few minutes.

On to what we really love: Eberron! For $20, Matt and Rob wholeheartedly recommend the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron.  It's perfect for introducing your players to the campaign setting and for creating Eberron-specific characters in 5th edition DnD.  The book has a great new set of rules for Changelings, Kalashtar, Shifters, Warforged, and Dragonmarked characters! Unfortunately, if you are DM, you will still need the 3rd edition Eberron Campaign Setting as well. Listen for our complete review of our precious first 5e Eberron book! 

Episode 33: Clan Brujah-ha & Unwanted Advice

Matt and Rob recap the controversy over the new 5th edition of Vampire: The Masquerade. [07:20] This is a chilling reminder that the  alt-right and actual Nazis are using our hobby—specifically fake controversies like Gamer Gate and DnD Gate—to recruit people to their reactionary and racist ideology.

On to Unwanted Advice, the segment where we answer the questions you didn't ask about RPGs:

  • How do you deal with flying characters at low-levels?  [22:30]
  • What is the best level to start your campaign? [30:00]
  • Help! My DM is stealing from Critical Role. What do I do? [34:00]
  • What is the best way to continue Curse of Strahd? (Minor spoilers for CoS) [42:20]
  • Can I give my Warlock (5e D&D) a Shield at-will ability? [47:00]
  • Should rolling a "natural 1" have additional negative consequences? [50:05]

If you have questions about RPGs, DMing, or anything else, send us them to us at dmofnone@gmail.com!