Dungeons and Dragons

When planning out my Chaos Helm campaign, i wanted to make Dwarves seem extremely different than humans. To hammer (get it) down this point, i decided to give there weapons different properties. Below are some examples, as well as a download link to a PDF to what i’ve put together.

For my players, i know i’m a bit behind at getting you guys this, but I’ll have all this compiled together in a nice PDF.

Dwarves Known Combat.
Being set upon by the legends of the fey for centuries before the coming of man to the Chaos Helm, the dwarves had become a war hardened race with the knack for making weapons that strike as hard as any magical blade, and armor so resilient it can stand up against the deadliest of blows. After the coming of Man, and the taming of the Chaos Helm, the dwarven people of Gelgrohm went about adopting and utilizing Runes in the make of their weapon and armor. Since their craftmanship knows no equal, and because they have capitalized in the practice in making weapons and armor utilizing runes, their prices are a bit excessive – but worth every gold piece Read More


This year at Cleveland ConCoction I’ll be play-testing The Delves of Andophine, a “funhouse” dungeon crawl made to fit with the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules. It was credit by my friend Antonino Nigro and myself and is part one of the “Dice Grinder Series” (which will be available to download as a PDF by the end of March). If you’re in the area and interested in the event, please visit Cleveland ConCoction’s website and sign up!


Magic Runes and Rune Creation (Rough Draft)

Inside my homebrewed campaign setting, the Chaos Helm, magic items are rare. Usage of magic items are also heavily restricted, normally only granted to prominent figures, such as wizards sworn to various baronies (known as Travelers), nobles, or those chosen few who have been granted, or paid for, the right to use them. The reason for this restriction of magic is baked into the setting of the Chaos Helm and the humancentric baronies that control it. To the baronies who favor order and law, magic is a necessary evil in combating the elven folk, which they been at ends with only up until recent history. Using magical abilities and wielding magical items without going through the proper channel is highly illegal, in some baronies weighed against the penalty of death; and magic items are to be turned into local garrisons or handed over to any practicing wizard licensed by the barony. There is still a way for a wandering adventurer or tomb plundering rat-catcher to still use magic, and this has been exploited to no ends in the Chaos Helm through Runes.

Runes are magical devices created from the essence of magical items. Powerful wizards render a magical item inert, draining its powerful essence, and then convert it into small stone tabs carved with arcane runes that can then be applied to necklaces, weapons, rings, and armor built with the ability to hold runes. The process is complicated and hard for any up-and-coming wizard to get a handle of unless they are being trained by a Traveler, which even then could take decades to master. But, when the process is finished, one magic item can that can be wielded by one person can then become a multitude of magical implements that can be used by many. They are short lived creations though, having only half a dozen charges or so, but they can help satiate the appetite of any magic starved adventure out there in the Chaos Helm. Spells can also be turned into runes, which is a less complicated approach, no more tricky than creating a magical scroll, but it can be wielded by anyone. It is especially resourceful in the field battle, and collecting such runes is widely viewed as a common, if not expensive, hobby by nobles or anyone with more than enough coin to burn.

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It’s been a while, and like always the reasons vary from different view points. The typical reasons are apathy, but i haven’t just been apathetic, i’ve also been busy – continuing working on my novels, working on a secret project, playing dungeons and dragons… you name it, i’ve been digging my hands through it – so some things have to suffer. And, in this case, the thing to suffer the most has been this page.

Now that the colder seasons are descending upon us here in Ohio, i’ll have more time in front of this computer away from the distractions from the outside (other than shoveling snow… it’s coming soon, believe me).

Last gaming session my players came upon a planar crossroad as they sought out an Annis Hag (don’t worry, I’ll have a Dungeons and Dragons session story time soon enough – we’re only getting to session 8, so there isn’t all that much to cram). As they made it to the Annis Hag’s home, they found that it was surrounded by Nothics. That ended the session, and the next session picked up right in the beginning of a fight, and i figured, instead of just drawing it out on the battle map, i’d build some battle terrain for them to play with. The end result Read More

gonna-need-a-bigger-newspaperBefore i start biting off more than i can chew, i decided to start with the basics: tiles. I’ve seen a handful of different tutorials on reddit and Youtube, but the easiest (and cheapest) method was DM Scotty’s method from the DMs Craft.

The process altogether, counting cutting, gluing, designing, drying and painting, took about 8 hours, leaving me with about 12 gaming tiles i can use in almost any table top situation. Also, other than the cost of the glue gun (and paints, which i already had), the whole project only cost me about 5 bucks to craft. Again, like my last Dungeon Crafting post, i don’t have a play by play on how i did this, but i can try to describe what was done with each set of pictures.

Part One: From Foam
I started with foam board, which can be bought at $1 for a poster board size of this stuff Read More


While I’m not going to go into too many details here, i have to say that following The DMs Craft (Check out DM Scotty’s forum and his Youtube channel) makes it very easy to realize some of the visual aspects you wish you could convey to your players. Also, it kind of adds that extra “wow” to the gaming session.

So, without rambling on, here are some pictures of how i turned cardboard and hot glue into battle encounter set pieces Read More

mindflayerMines of Madness was my first real taste into the refreshing “fun house” dungeon crawl which Dungeons and Dragons had been lacking for quite some time. Goofy puzzle, random monsters, and magical traps made to incinerate a player in the blink of an eye. Ah, the good days, when schadenfreude was just as common of an occurrence as rolling the dice, or forgetting that the DM really wanted to kill you.

I first heard about Mines of Magic on the Dragon Talk (i think it was under another name back then, but now it can be found in the Dungeon Delves back catalog), where one of the Mine’s creators, Scott Kurtz (Table Titans and PvP), and an assortment of other talented individuals explored the mine. It was a blast, and it really got my engine humming. After two play tests (one of which was recorded, but I’m not sure if i’ll release that or not), and some revisions, here it is. (RIGHT HERE!) Read More