• Justin Handlin

Dungeons and Dragons Solo Adventures

Crit Academy is joined by BC Beats(Paul Bimler) creator of 5e Solo Gamebooks company. We discuss his Adamantine DMsguild Best-seller D&D Solo Adventure: The Death Knight's Squire. This 100 + page solo adventure for D&D Fifth Edition, set in the Forgotten Realms. This adventure has been created for individual play without a dungeon master and is is a great way to scratch your D&D itch between regular adventures with your DM. Or, it can serve as a way for a player who cannot find a group to get a taste of the game.

Not everyone can manage to get a group together, or sometimes we are stuck as a forever GM. This supplement allows us to scratch that itch. We discuss in detail the creative inspiration and many uses of this fantastic adventure, such as building backstory, playtesting character builds, combinations, and even homebrew monsters or character options.

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Segment 2: Crit Nation Feedback: Let’s talk about Blank! (Answer questions!)

I want to spice up a minotaur encounter. I am basing it on the old story of the Minotaur in Crete. I.e., Its a fight against a minotaur in a maze. Anyone have any ideas for how to make the maze interesting (certain traps, or designs) and ways to spice up the minotaur to take advantage of the design?

  • Could have the labyrinth be made of hedge, which the minotaur can run through. Think Harry Potter's Triwizard tournament but with a minotaur

  • He shows up and kicks butt for a turn or two, then disappears. Repeat until the hit and run attacks are making your players paranoid, then the final battle. Basically, he IS the random encounter, until they get to the center and then he's the boss fight.

  • Percy Jackson did a great job explaining the labyrinth. They explained that calling it a simple maze did not do it justice. It was a massive, hidden cluster of chambers and hallways, dead ends, and opening. And best of all, itchanges its form when you tried to map it. I think my favorite part was that just because you went east in the labyrinth didn't mean you went east above ground. It was separate from the world. And travel inside meant nothing in relation to the normal world. There was no guarantee you would be anywhere near where you thought you would be when you left.

  • Maze changes regularly

  • Instead of a flat labyrinth, you could have cube space with passages that run in different directions

Segment 3: Main Topic: Solo Adventures!

BC, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

What is your most memorable D&D moment?

Do you have any moment where you failed as a DM/Player?

Can you tell us about how Death Knights Squire and how it came to be?

Can you walk us through the process of development?

What makes Death Knight Squire different from other products?

Can you tell us a little bit about the crew you work with?

What was/is your favorite part of creating Death Knights Squire?

What kind of challenges did run into?

How did you overcome those challenges?

Do you have a favorite part from your material?

Do you have a favorite resource that you use?

Any new secret projects coming up that you can give the listeners a little taste of?

Get your copy of Death Knights Squire here

Surprise UTT!

Slips, Trips and Flying Turnips

D&D Solo Adventures Group

Segment 4: Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We bring you new and creative content for your next adventure)

Character Concept:

Patron Joe Laurendeau

Bad Press.

I create a fairly well-known bard NPC who dislikes the party for no apparent reason and heads up a smear campaign against the party, spreading rumors and questioning the motives of the party. Kind of like Jay Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man. He might catch wind of a bandit raid and implies the party is part of a turf war with the local bandit groups. He might accuse the party of a scandal with a noble's child or he could go as far as give them false leads about a quest to try and get them killed.

Monster Variant: Dark Knight

Origin: Knight

New Features:

Marshal Undead. Unless the dark knight is incapacitated, it and undead creatures of its choice within 60 feet of it have Advantage on saving throws against features that turn undead.

Flames of the Nine Hells:

As a bonus action, the dark knight can summon forth fiery flames from the nine hells, and imbue them within his melee weapon for 1 minute. The blade glows with black and purple flames and sheds dim light within 10 feet. When the dark knight hits a target with a melee attack, the target ignites in flames. At the start of each of its turns the target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 1d6 fire damage. On a successful save, the effect ends. If the target or a creature within 5 feet of it uses an action to put out the flames, or if some other effect douses the flames, the effect ends.

Hellfire Blast (2/Day): The dark knight hurls a black and purple magical ball of fire that explodes at a point it can see within 120 feet of it. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. The sphere spreads around corners. A creature takes (4d6) fire damage and (4d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


Undying Specter

Apparition restored to life no matter how many times its defeated.

A special ritual is needed to weaken it to the point it can be defeated.

Magical circle of salt.

Old possessions need to be burned on hallowed ground.

Magic Item:

Listener Joe Hickles

Sash of the Scouts Master

I've always wanted to submit a Magic Item! This was inspired by the Robe of Useful Items. Sash of the Scouts Master: This well crafted, mustard yellow sash was rumoured to have belonged to a veteran Scout Leader. It is adored with 28 patches of various shapes and colours, one for each skill (acrobatics, stealth etc.), tool set* and one for vehicles (land/water). While wearing the sash, you can use an action to detach one of the patches, imbuing the wearer with the knowledge that patch represents. You can now add double your proficiency bonus to checks made using that skill/tool, for up to 1 hour. Once the last patch is removed, the sash becomes an ordinary garment. However! Provided the wearer has used ALL the patches (and not another character), that character is granted the Jack of All Trades** ability. *only one Artisan Tool, Gaming Set, Musical Instrument or Vehicle **You can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn't already include your proficiency bonus.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Will Padgett:

Allow Paired Initiative:

  • Group initiative rolls together - players and enemies into pairs

  • Amazing for getting flavor out of pack tactics

  • Gives players a chance to intermingle their attacks and actions

  • This can easily lead to more cooperative combat and a creative experience

  • Can give combat a more live flow feeling

  • Can speed up larger group combat


A barbarian and monk team up, both gang up on a large ogre. The Barb rushes forward and strikes the foe with one of his two attacks. The monk then vaults over the barb using his back to as a ramp, to reach the ogre’s head and lays into him with a single blow, and stuns him. As the ogre staggers back, then the barb uses his extra attack to knock the enemy prone as the monk rides the ogre down for an epic elbow drop.

It certainly makes things more interesting and keeps all the players thinking about how they can be creative together, while waiting for their turn.

Player Tip:

Use Sound Effects:

Make a short playlist of sounds or songs to play when you cast your big, not-every-fight spells and use those as your verbal components, especially if you're a bard.

Battlebards, youtube, imcompetech, and roll20 are great places for these.

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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