The Hunter’s Mark Shibboleth


It’s no secret that Ranger is the most hotly discussed character class in 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. People love talking about its balance. This protracted conversation not only caused, but has been perpetuated by multiple attempts at rewriting the class, strong subclasses and spells in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, design streams to craft alternate class features, and most recently an Unearthed Arcana with alternate class features for all classes. Lots of people have lots of thoughts on this. We’re not getting into all that. We’re here for a shibboleth has emerged from these conversations…

It holds that Hunter’s Mark is a “must take” spell.

This is a lie.

It’s a lie people tell in good faith while trying to rationalize their stance that a Ranger’s spell selection is too limited. But, that doesn’t make it true. Rangers get the standard half-caster progression.

Hunter’s Mark is Great


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Cerge 10.0

Micki's Delirium

I’ve been playing Maidae for a while and left Cerge at cap. I figured it was time to look at Cerge’s next life/ next build. I had planned to do his past lives in sphere order, but warlock messed that up. I’m continuing my current plan, though, but will have to do warlock and later alchemist at some point to reach completionist.

For Cerge’s next life I wanted to do rogue. This is basically his arti build translated into a 17/2/1 rogue/arti/barbarian, which I figured I would do when Maidae hits cap. The plan is to do inquisitive again.

This is the lite planner, see: Character Builder Lite

Cerge 10.0 17/2/1 Rogue/Artificer/Barbarian True Neutral Shadar-kai Level Order 1. Rogue 6. Rogue 11. Rogue 16. Rogue 2. Artificer 7. Rogue 12. Rogue 17. Rogue 3. Barbarian 8. Rogue 13. Rogue 18. Rogue 4. Rogue 9. Rogue 14. Rogue 19. Rogue 5…

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The Life of a Game Designer – Part 4: The Game Makers Guild

Game Night Blog

I join a craftsman league, like the Masons except nerdier, and I meet a new hero.

I did my best to ignore all the usual self-sabotage attempts that I unleashed upon myself during my plane ride home from Philly. After another restless night at home, I was anxious and apprehensive for what the day would bring. Fortunately, I was still enthusiastic when I awoke the next morn. In the past, I usually convince myself that the whole plan is fruitless and give up before I’d even begun.

GMG Logo Every good guild needs a logo.

But this time, I sense of desperation is driving my need to succeed. I simply must have a plan in place within the next three to five years. But right now I have the start of a plan and only time will tell if it works or if it is yet another abysmal failure.

While at PAX…

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Firetha 6.0

Micki's Delirium

I generally don’t make TR builds, but most my builds are made for playing at 30 or at least in epics. Now I find myself again attempting to make a TR build for Firetha that will be played only from 1 to 20. Last life I did a vistani that turned out to be a lot  better caster than melee as I got closer to 20. I now wanted to do a similar build, but switch to caster a lot sooner. As I’m trying to pick feats I’m starting to think that this isn’t going to work. If I want my char to be a strong caster type, I can’t be any kind of good at melee. This is what I came up with, with (again) some suggestions from Hamster. The spell order might change.

Firetha Favored Soul 20 True Neutral Tiefling Stats 36pt Tome Level Up ---- ---- --------…

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Blapril 2020: Taking up the blogging pen

Bio Break

This post is part of the game community collaborative blogging project known as Blapril. Find out more about Blapril, including how you can get connected and involved, over at Tales of the Aggronaut.

As our household has been adjusting to teaching kids at home, we’ve been reorganizing our house into a semi-educational facility. Getting the kids connected to devices that they could use for distance learning was important, and so we dusted off a pair of chromebooks that have been sitting on a shelf for a couple of years. My daughter immediately took possession of one, not for internet use or gaming, but to write. She’s got the writing bug BAD, and now we find her sitting on the couch, furiously typing away at pages and pages of her first book.

It’s great to see that writing bug bite her, because I know exactly how that feels. Ever since…

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Roundtable Discussion: How Gaming Changed, 2010-2020


As we leap forth into a brand new decade that’s sure to be brimming with lots of gaming goodness, we here at Virtual Bastion thought we’d take a moment to look back on how gaming has evolved over the course of the last decade. From the bells of New Year’s Day 2010 to the final toasty beverage sips of 2019, the game industry forged multiple paths, navigated the lines between new and old, and provided players with an abundance of memorable experiences. While the 2010s in gaming were marked with stratospheric highs and divisive lows, a lot can be said for the amount of innovation and experimentation in gaming that occurred over ten years. Virtual reality became a reality, indie games became just games, and many folks pushed boundaries in attempting to answer the biggest question of all: what is a video game?

There’s lots to discuss as the three…

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Interview with a Professional DM

Boccob's Blessed Blog

Professional DM Image from

We sat down with GM Jeremy, a professional game master.

What differentiates a casual DM from a professional DM?
I would say the expectations from the players. Anytime a customer is purchasing a professional service there is the expectation of excellent customer service, a high quality product, within an inclusive and respectful environment.
What services do you offer?
I provide game mastering services for a variety of table top role-playing games including D&D 5e, AD&D, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Fate, and Apocalypse World.
Due to the massive popularity of D&D 5e I also offer workshops on learning how to play D&D online using tools like Roll20.

Professional dungeon mastering is a controversial topic in our community, why do you think that is?
I really don’t think it is very controversial. I think Social Media provides a small percentage of people to have a really…

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Bargain Bin Gaming: April, 2020

Cannibal Halfling Gaming

Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk! This month we’ll take a look at ten Kickstarter campaigns that definitely exist, that people can definitely pledge money to! 

April Fools! Now, fooling aside, there’s a very good reason that there’s no Kickstarter Wonk this month, namely that there are no Kickstarters (not *no* Kickstarters, but you know my spiel). This is not because of any peculiarity in the RPG world, but rather a peculiarity in the real world. In less euphemistic terms, a global pandemic. On one hand, creators have had to refocus their time into activities that keep food on the table. On the other, many people who would typically have a budget for things like Kickstarter projects are finding their money diverted as large chunks of the economy shut down, and jobs along with them. Because of this, many creators have determined that there’s way less money to go around for Kickstarter…

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