• Justin Handlin

Tools to Enhance your D&D Games

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Let's be honest, all you really need to play Dungeons and Dragons is the Basic Rules, some pencils, dice and paper. Today we discuss the different tools that can be used to bring your Dungeons and Dragons games to the next level. This includes, miniatures, battle grid, random generators, note passing and so much more.

Recommended Tools:

Dmsguild Best Seller "Nerzugal's Dungeon Masters Toolkit!

The Ultimate RPG Character

Bucket of Monsters

Chessex Battlemat

Reapers Learn to Paint Kit

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

Character Concept:

Title Collector

It’s common for your character to have a host of accomplishments that they’ve added to their reputation. Imagine if your character took this to heart and insisted that they receive the praise and acclaim they deserve.

Every time you achieve something noteworthy, keep track of your exploits (either in-character or out). When introducing yourself, don’t simply announce yourself as “Rondok.” Instead, you are “Rondok, Slayer of Kings and Dragons, Breaker of Worlds, Defender of Nations, Liberator of Slaves, Bane of Demons, Banger of Men/Women…” Keep a list if you need to, and make sure to announce every single title as often as possible.

You can’t let even one commoner forget who you are and why you should be praised! You might even find yourself specifically seeking out quests that you know will bring you

a worthwhile title. Sure, you could rescue the princess, but you already rescued a princess

a while back and it would seem gauche to use the same title twice. There’s that portal to the

Abyss that needs to be closed; it’s a bit more dangerous, but hey, it’ll get you a new title...

Encounter Concepts:

The Final Countdown

While walking along through a dungeon, the party enters a room that is pitch black with

magical forces suppressing all light sources, even darkvision. Shortly after they enter, they

hear the doors on either side of the room immediately slam shut at which point the lights

come back on. Of course the sight before them is not a welcome one: the walls are covered with spikes, and the center of the room sports a large, raised dais. On one end of the dais is a skeleton chained to the floor, and on the opposite end is a pedestal bearing a large sigil and a floating metal rune in the air above. The rune changes to show a countdown, and as the numbers count down, the walls begin to close in.

When a player places their hand on the pedestal’s sigil, the countdown resets and the

walls halt and return. A passage carved into the dais reads, “Death is the only way out”

or something similar. Canny players might surmise that the only way to survive is to

shackle a party member and let the walls close in on them.The trick here (and the meaning of the carved passage) is not that a player must be sacrificed, however. Instead, the only way out is to just let the trap activate. Just before the walls get close enough to crush or impale the party, the mechanism stops, the walls recede to their starting position, and the doors in and out of the room unlock themselves.

If players ask specific enough questions, feel free to give them clues that might indicate this

fact. The moving walls could have left scratches on the floor, but the scratches have never gone beyond a certain point, for example.

Magic Item:

Amulet of Mockery

Wondrous, Uncommon (requires attunement)

This item is sentient, and rude to a fault. It can speak, read, and understand all languages. It can hear and see out to 60 feet, and it often follows a chaotic neutral alignment. The amulet of mockery often seeks to humiliate as many creatures as possible, no matter the situation, even its wielder. This amulet can be used to cast vicious mockery as a bonus action once per day. This effect cannot be used again until the next dawn.

“Your mother was a kobold!”

DM Tip:

Give Non-Treasure Rewards

Getting treasure is awesome, but treasure comes and goes. If you complete a quest for the king and receive 1,000 gold pieces, that’s cool, but what if, instead, you’re granted a title? Or maybe a plot of land? What if a parade is arranged in your honor? Non-treasure rewards can be so much more interesting and life-altering than another thousand gold. Titles can be something that exemplifies your character’s traits (such as “Champion” or “Archmage”), and plots of land can be turned into strongholds and/or businesses (which could then generate more income for your players in the long run). Parades or feasts in your honor can be great plot hooks and can lead to plenty of adventures in the future!

Player Tip: Don't be a Dick!

Share the DM's Workload

Do you ever feel like battle takes forever? Does the DM ever seem flustered, or maybe mix up details while trying to keep the game running smoothly? Try offering to help share the


Offer to keep track of initiative. If the DM is behind a DM screen, and is constantly having to

stop and move miniatures, move them yourself! Work with the DM to track experience, or keep a list of treasure gathered, or even something as simple as packing up books or cleaning the battlemat. Being a DM is a lot of work rewarding work, but still work- and anything you can do, no matter how small, will help lighten the DM’s workload and make it easier for them to keep the game running smoothly.

If your DM has been having a rough week and is struggling to keep all of those plates in the

air at the gaming table, maybe- and this is a big one, so don’t take it lightly- offer to run a game session yourself, and give the DM a chance to sit back and be a player for once. That’ll help the DM have a different experience they probably don’t get very often, and it can be a refreshing change for your group to try something a little different! (Also, it’ll surely give you a better appreciation for the work that your DM puts in!)

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