• Justin Handlin

Roleplaying and Non Combat Encounters



Listen Now:

Crit Academy discusses how to get the most out of roleplaying and non combat encounters in Dungeons and Dragons. We break into improv roleplaying and act how some of these interactions can unfold. Roleplay takes on many forms such as simple changes in pitch and tone or mannerisms.


Unearthed Tips and Tricks: New and reusable D&D content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.


Character Concept:

The un-familiar is a powerful mage who has been polymorphed into an animal that is

commonly used as a familiar (such as an owl or toad). This curse keeps her trapped in a beast

form, and she’s been searching for a way to break the spell ever since. She is so ashamed of

her form that she has come to live vicariously through the bodies of others. She accomplishes this by using mind-control to force her victims into doing her bidding. The people she steals become the wizard, and she disguises herself as their familiar whilst secretly running the show.


As each body starts to get more and more worn out, it might be necessary to source a new

physical form. You’ll have to ditch the body somewhere secret, and pick up a replacement

in a suitably sneaky fashion! You’ll also have to come up with a reason for your frequently

changing appearance. For example, you might claim to be a shifter.


Once the party discovers the truth, they might be faced with a moral dilemma. How

do they feel about you stealing people from their lives? Are you using the party to find

a cure for your curse, or do you enjoy their company?


Encounter Concept:

The Innocent

In this scenario, a rash of murders has been wracking a community. People are turning up

dead left and right, and a serial killer or some kind of deadly monster is suspected. The players are hired to investigate and find the killer, and when they follow the clues it turns out that the killer… is a young child who seemingly has no knowledge of how or why the murders have been taking place.


The Innocent might be mind-controlled by a powerful enchanter or possessed by a demon.

Maybe the child simply has some kind of supernatural power paired with insanity that causes them to murder. Whatever the case, the party has a moral conundrum to deal with.

The town might want the child killed; they did commit these murders, after all. However,

would a Lawful Good Paladin see the child as guilty, or would they try to keep the child safe

from those that wanted blood? Even if they’re able to determine that an outside source is to