• Justin Handlin

Dungeons and Dragons Drama Cards

Updated: May 10

Crit Academy discusses Drama Cards for Dungeons and Dragons. Drama Cards are a series of cards to introduce drama into your D&D campaign while simultaneously giving your players a small measure of say in what goes on. They are awarded at the DM's discretion, mostly for being a good player, and then played by the player at any time. While made specifically for a 4e campaign, some of the dramatic situations presented in the cards generalize fairly well.

How do they work?

While there are a few with mechanical effects, many of them appropriately enough are just dramatic effects that may change the actions of monsters, NPCs, or the environment.

Why use them?

They are a great reward to go along with, or in place of inspiration, either for being a great role player, coming up with a clever solution or sticking to your character's personality and flaws.

While designed for 4e, some of the dramatic situations presented in the cards generalize to other RPG's fairly well, including 5e.

To reflect the idea of a reward, the cards are broken down into value categories, copper, silver, gold, and platinum. Not only does this represent the power of the drama card, but also, how often they should be rewarded.

Types of Cards:

The cards categories are pretty self-explanatory.

Adventure, assist, Attack, Combat, Defense, Movement, Recovery, Subplot, and Meta.

The cards are left deliberately vague, allowing a bit of freedom.

These card types allow you to kinda decide which types you want to use and which you don’t.

Cards require no action to use, but some can only be used when a special condition arises.

Here are a few of our favorites!

Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and reusable content for you to bring with you on your next adventure!

Character Concept: Must be Balanced

This character carries out futile and endless attempts to make the world “balanced”. This character has a severe fixation on symmetry, going so far as to always cut his bread into perfect squares before eating.

She strongly prefers familiarity and rigorous structure in all her activities, so much so that every day consists of the same meals for breakfast lunch, and dinner, as well as insisting to make sure that she gets each one at precisely the same time every day.

Doing random things to ensure everything is balanced.

Does that table have 3 tankards on it, the character may casually walk over to the table during conversation and move two tankards so they are on the center of each half, and moving the third tankard to another table that only has 1. Creating fuss among the bar patrons whose tankard she just moved, or worse, takes one tankard and pours the contents into another tankard to ensure they are filled to the same level.

Monster Variant:

Listener Jason Street

Hoard Turtle

Turtles that live under and on dragons hoard. Through years of being under coins and gems, with the weight of a dragon pressing onto them, these turtles have coins and gems embedded into their shells. The proximity to the dragon's magic has caused these to bond with their shell. The exposure to magic has had other effects as well

1) The turtles are fast. Movement of 40 on land and 60 swim.

2) Their bite counts as a magical attack. If it hits, a limb or item is grappled. In two rounds, the item or limb is severed if a DC 15 Strength check is failed. This includes magical items.

3) The have grown in size. Their shells are between 2'-3' in diameter.

4) Their shells are resistant to bludgeoning damage and immune to slashing and piercing damage.

5) Their AC is 20. If they are grappling, the AC for the neck is 15, and the attacker has advantage.

6) If one is killed, it's shell can be crafted into a shield +2 due to the gems/coins and magical energy infused in it.

7) If enough damage is done to crack the shell it loses its +2 and is decorative only. Since there are no turtle stats, these are easy to adjust up or down to fit your need. I have their HP at 3HD - the insane difficulty in hitting them makes up for it

Encounter: Puzzle - A Brothers Duel

Elia Triedes

In a small room, there is a poem written on a wall above 10 crystals embedded below it. The crystals are set in a way that they can’t be removed. The poem consists of 6 lines, each one in a different, very obscure language(take your pick which)

One bright day in the middle of the night

Two dead boys got up to fight

Back to back they face each other

Drew their swords and shot each other

The lone deaf guard who heard the noise

Came and killed the two dead boys.

If the players can’t figure it out on their own, use Intelligence checks to help them along. If they roll low, don’t be afraid to give them incorrect information. :)

This puzzle requires a character to cast a specific sequence of spells to continue. Any spell cast in the room is absorbed by the first available empty crystal rather than its normal effects. If the spell is the correct one, the energy is stored in the crystal, causing it to glow. If an incorrect spell is cast, all the crystals release their stored energy(including the energy of the incorrect spell), dealing 1d6 damage of raw force damage per spell level stored at the time of release( Con Save for half) to everyone in the room. The heroes have to start over again.

The poem gives clues on what to cast:


First line - First two stones: ( Any Light Spell), (Any spell that can obscure, fog, darkness and such)

Second Line - Third/Fourth Stones: ( Any spell that can resurrect a player or animate dead cast twice)

Third Line - Fifth Stone: (mirror image, Silent image or any spell that can produce a duplication)

Fourth Line- Sixth/Seventh Stones: ( A spell that can summon or conjure a weapon), (any ray spell or similar)

Fifth Line-Eighth/Ninth Stones: (blindness/deafness or silence spell), (minor illusion, thaumaturgy)

Sixth Line- Final Stone: (Any non-cantrip area of effect evocation spell)

Magic Item:

Patron Steven Kern

The invisible Sword of Haunting

My magical item idea is an invisible sword that chooses to show itself to only those who are worthy enough to wield it. Whenever someone kills someone with this sword the enemies soul becomes trapped within the sword and once again only the wielder of the sword can see their soul and the can't do any damage to the wielder or anyone that he is fighting but all these souls can talk to the wielder of the sword and no one else can hear or see what they say and do.

Dungeon Master Tip: I Spy With my Minds Eye!

Detection spells such as Detect Magic, Detect good and Evil, and Detect Poison/Disease in my experience often turn into, yes you detect magic, yes that creature is evil, yeah he’s probably going to die from poison in his system.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with this. We as DM’s owe it to our players to give them more.

I recently failed at this for the paladin detect good and evil in a very short adventure.(find on twitch).

I believe that we should be adding at least a few lines of flavor to this.

When a player wants to cast detect magic and is successful, get engaged with the spell allows the character to see. If it’s evocation magic is it a transparent wild crackling energy similar to fire? If it’s an illusion, does a wave of energy appear around the object much like a mirage or a distorting heat wave on a summer asphalt?

What about if the creature is evil? Does it show a menacing orange and red flame burning through the chakra points on the creature? Or is it more sinister, energy that encapsulates the target that leaves you with a feeling of blood lust?

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Don’t be a slob!

Avoid messy foods at the game table. Nobody wants your Cheeto cheese or BBQ sauce on their; paper, mini’s, books, maps.

If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks, or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on Twitter and Facebook @critacademy.

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