Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Plans for 2015


My plans for this blog for 2015.

Now that the fifth edition is here, my goal for the coming year is first to convert all of my previous rule supplements to D&D 5E. I have already done this with my module “Fires of Hell” and Chase rules. Still to do are Ship to Ship Combat, Time Travel, Mass Combat, and  Skyships (rules for battles in the air and in space). If you have a need for one of these, let me know and I will try to do it first. I will also continue to add chapters to my novel “Dragon Hunt“. As ideas come to me regarding playing aids, I will add them.

As I have mentioned here before, 5E is the version I had hoped 4E would have been. If it had been, I would have never created “Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 – Lite“. I will leave it here for any of you who may be playing with those rules, but I will not be making any future changes or revisions to it.

If there are any areas of the game not covered in the Player’s Guide or the Dungeon Master’s Guide that you would like for me to address, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Here’s hoping you each have a wonderful year. Happy Gaming!






wardukeadndpointsword Warduke

Cursed items are magic items with some sort of potentially negative impact. Sometimes they’re directly bad for the user; sometimes they’re just inconvenient. Occasionally they mix bad with good, forcing characters to make difficult choices.

Cursed Item Common Curses

d% Curse
01–15 Delusion
16–35 Opposite effect or target
36–45 Intermittent functioning
46–60 Requirement
61–75 Drawback
76–90 Completely different effect


Substitute specific cursed item

Delusion: The user believes the item is what it appears to be, yet it actually has no magical power other than to deceive. The user is mentally fooled into thinking the item is functioning and cannot be convinced otherwise without the help of a remove curse spell.

Opposite Effect or Target: These cursed items malfunction, so that either they do the opposite of what the creator intended, or they target the user instead of someone else. The interesting point to keep in mind…

View original post 1,443 more words

12 Days of Christmas

12DaysOfChristmasThanks to our friends at https://twitter.com/wizards_dnd

New Theme for my Blog

Don’t panic! This is the same blog, I just changed the theme.

I felt that it was time to update the appearance of this blog to make it easier to read.

This is the “zBench” wordpress theme. I hope you like it.


An excellent post. Some good information here.



In addition to magic items created with spells, some substances have innate special properties.  If you make a suit of armor or weapon out of more than one special material, you get the benefit of only the most prevalent material. However, you can build a double weapon with each head made of a different special material.

Each of the special materials described below has a definite game effect. Some creatures have damage reduction based on their creature type or core concept. Some are resistant to all but a special type of damage, such as that dealt by evil-aligned weapons or bludgeoning weapons. Others are vulnerable to weapons of a particular material. Characters may choose to carry several different types of weapons, depending upon the campaign and types of creatures they most commonly encounter.

Gold Dwarf Knight Gold Dwarf Knight


This iron, mined deep underground, known for its effectiveness against fey creatures…

View original post 504 more words

5th Edition D&D – For Free


I am very pleased, and presently surprised, at Wizards of the Coast releasing the core rules for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons as a free PDF download. They are calling this “Basic Rules for D&D” and it is scheduled for release on July 3, the same day as the release of the Starter Set.

Mike Mearls said on “Legends & Lore” today, “For the D&D basic rules, our initial release will include character creation. It features the human, elf, dwarf, and halfling for races, along with the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard classes, all from 1st level to 20th level. As the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide near completion, we’ll add to the basic rules with more material to grow it into a complete game. Our goal is to continue to make updates to the basic rules for D&D until the end of the year, at which point it will be feature complete.” (Read “A Bit More on the Basic Rules for D&D” here.)

So we will have to wait until the end of the year for the full version that will include more monsters and more information on running your own campaign.  I can hardly wait to download this.


New ‘D&D’ Dates, Info, and Pics

Starter Set_MDFind out all about it here: icv2

New Module – “Fires of Hell” for D&D Next

Download a free copy of this adventure here [Fires_of_Hell-Nextl].

This is a complete re-write of the module I posted last year. I updated the entire module to work with D&D Next rules. It also includes converted monster specs – on new color reference sheets.

This  adventure (like the 3.5 version) takes place after a Total Party Kill (TPK).  I modified an old AD&D adventure (The Fires of Dis) to accommodate a group of DEAD PCs to earn a second chance by fighting their way through the first layer of Hell to retrieve a stolen artifact.


Animal Companion / Familiar Character Sheets – Fillable


Here is a fillable version of my Animal Companion / Familiar Sheet.

The original version (here) has been my most popular post. I have received request for a fillable version and I recently got the software to make that possible. I even included a modest amount of math, so it calculates the bonuses based on the ability scores you enter..


There is now a version available for Pathfinder (here).

There is a version for D%D 5e (here).


Comparing D&D Lite to D&D Next


D&D Next is the play test version of the next (v5) version of D&D. It addresses many of the issues I have with v3.5 (I never cared for v4).

D&D Lite is a set of “House Rules” that I have published here, that are intended to simplify and speed up play of v3.5 D&D.

D&D Lite was designed to meet the following criteria:

1. “Character creation and promotion should be simple, fast and easy.” – D&D Next does this, and also provides a lot of customization options at character creation for those who want it.

2. “The rule set should be fully compatible with other v3.5 stuff (adventures, sourcebooks, etc).” – D&D Next is not fully compatible. It feels a lot like a streamlined and improved version of v3.5. It should be very easy to convert adventures or other game materials from 3rd edition D&D to D&D Next.

3. “Complicated rules should be simplified to the point where you can play 90% of the time without having to look up a rule.” – D&D Next nails this. The rules are much simpler than 3rd edition D&D.

Below are some D&D Lite rules followed by comments on how D&D Next addresses these issues.

D&D Lite: No Multiclass characters.

D&D Next: Multiclass characters are optional. By frontloading the character creation you can get pretty much any type of character you want to play without multiclassing.

My thoughts: I had to restrict multiclassing in order to eliminate feats. D&D Next accomplishes what I was after without restricting character development. I like it.


D&D Lite: No Feats.

D&D Next: Feats are optional. If you do use them, you get to choose one feat at level 1, 3, 6, and 9 for a total of 4 feats.

My thoughts: My problem with feats is that there were too many of them and they over complicated the game. I can live with characters having 4 feats.


D&D Lite: No selection and distribution of Skill Points.

D&D Next: No skill points. Your character starts with four skills of your choice, from a much shorter list of skills. At levels 7, 12 and 17 you can add one more skill or improve one you already have. All skill checks are ability checks. If you happen to have the skill involved, you add 1d6 to your d20 die roll.

My thoughts: I wanted to get rid of skill points, but I couldn’t do it and still use 3.5 rules. This new way of dealing with skills addresses all of the issues I had with them. I like it.


D&D Lite: No Armor or Weapon Proficiencies.

D&D Next: Your character is proficient with certain weapons and armor depending on his class. Using weapons he is not proficient with is done at a disadvantage.

My thoughts: While not as simple as my system, it is much simpler than the 3.5 system, and the weapons are either simple or martial. This is very workable, fast and easy. I like it.


D&D Lite: No separate rules for Bull rush, Disarm, Overrun, Sunder, Grapple or Trip. To accomplish any of these you use a “heroic action”.

D&D Next: You can attempt any of these as an improvised action. Some classes are especially good at Bull rush, Disarm, and Trip. The rules for grapple have been greatly simplified.

My thoughts: D&D Next “improvised actions” are almost identical to D&D Lite’s “heroic actions”. How could I complain about that? I like it.


D&D Lite: No Attacks of Opportunity.

D&D Next: Attacks of Opportunity are almost eliminated. D&D Next reduces them to only be used if a hostile creature that you can see moves out of our reach.

Mt thoughts: To get rid of attacks of opportunity I had to require a heroic action to do anything that would provoke one. Dropping them altogether and still not allowing you to simply run past the guards with impunity is a good move. I like it.


D&D Lite: Simplified the rules for Turn Undead.

D&D Next: Simplified the rules for Turn Undead.

Mt thoughts: I tried to keep the results about the same as standard 3.5 rules. D&D Next just came up with a much simpler solution. I like it.


D&D Lite: Dropped the rules for nonlethal damage and implemented a simpler solution.

D&D Next: Dropped the rules for nonlethal damage and implemented a simpler solution.

My thoughts: D&D Next’s solution is simpler than D&D Lite’s solution. I like it.


D&D Lite: Character alignment is optional. There are no alignment related game rules or effects.

D&D Next: Character alignment is an important aspect of the game.

My thoughts: This was one of the hardest changes to implement in D&D Lite. I made this change primarily because of some unbalanced spells, such as “detect evil”, but the concept of good vs. evil and chaotic vs. lawful is so ingrained into D&D I was considering changing this. D&D Next corrects this at the source, by re-writing the spells so “detect evil”, for example, becomes “detect good or evil” and instead of allowing you to “sense the presence of evil”  you “perceive a strong concentration of good or evil as well as creatures formed by them”.  This is a subtle but important difference. I like it.


D&D Lite: Each of the classes has specific abilities (like feats) that they receive at pre-determined class levels, thus eliminating the need for feats.

D&D Next: Does the same thing, but offers more options in the form of backgrounds and sub-classes.

My thoughts: Thisallows the player to customize his character more than allowed in D&D Lite. I like it.


Conclusion: If they don’t mess it up, D&D v5 should be the game that I was hoping v4 would have been. I will quit using D&D Lite and whole heartedly endorse v5.