Even More Tips for Beginning Dungeon Masters

The Nerdd

The past 3 years, after each month of Dungeons & Dragons articles (this years theme was Realism and Verisimilitude) I went through some tips for new Dungeon Masters. Let’s do it again!

Year 1, Year 2

Keep an Open Mind

D&D is a very expansive game. There are a million different ways to play, between the adventures, characters, and even rules that you can choose to use or not use. Every time there is a new campaign beginning, the game is a little different, even if you are playing with the same people you’ve always played with, what they want out of the game might have changed. Perhaps you just finished an Underdark dungeoncrawl, and now they want to go into the Abyss to do a dungeoncrawl, that slight change could still be enough for you to consider changing how you play. If a player, whether or not…

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Reviewing & Not Reviewing Games


This is a new rule I came up with recently. Over the last year, maybe a little bit longer I have been receiving video game codes for review from different studios and publishers. I have a Google Sheet with all of the games I need to play, their release and embargo dates and other information I may need.

Many times, I have received multiple game codes with the same embargo or release date. It’s hard as a one person team to play all of these games and write or post about them. I sometimes get truly excited for a game and will start playing it right away. Other times I may realize that the embargo is up the next morning so I have to quickly play one game all night and write about it as I play it.

I enjoy playing all of these games. I especially get excited when…

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GAMES WITH GOLD: February’s Lineup of Free Games on Xbox

Microsoft has officially announced their Games With Gold for February 2022. Included with your Xbox Live Gold subscription or Xbox GamePass Ultimate subscription are the Xbox One games Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse and Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield, while the Xbox 360 offerings include Hydrophobia and Band of Bugs. Remember all of these games are backwards compatible on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. Even if you don’t plan on playing them now, add them to your library for later. Free is free.

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse | Available February 1 – February 28

Play as American George Stobbart and sassy French journalist Nico Collard, on the trail of a stolen painting and a murderous conspiracy. A conspiracy with roots older than the written word, leading to the start of another epic Broken Sword adventure.

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield – February 16 – March 15

Take on…

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Games I should make time for…


December and January have been very busy times for me for the last four years. As well as IT, I am also responsible for reporting at the company I’ve been working for that long and the annual report is due in February so I spend far too much time in the preceeding months badgering colleagues for narrative and statistics updates to get that document together. There’s also that small thing called the ‘Holidays’ (a k a Christmas & New Year). This year I’ve also been actively searching for Masters courses to apply to and in the process of interviewing and then starting a new job as well.

There are plenty of MMOs being talked about on my Feedly that I would like to play actively, but at present I’m too busy or tired to play online gaming. I do make time for a little Fallen Order on PS4, Gloomhaven (coop)…

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The Kobold Tombs

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Tombs of the Kobolds
The Kobold Tombs (300 dpi promo)

There’s bound to be some level of miscommunication when dealing with the Kobold Tombs. After all, why would anyone have reason to try to raid the tombs of some lowly kobolds? But these are not kobold tombs, they are ancient tombs that now belong to the Great Shark kobold clan since they moved in and no one could be bothered to pry them back out.

Tombs of the Kobolds
The Kobold Tombs (1200 dpi)

But when a low level party blows a research roll and finds an old book about the Ghezzek Tombs that indicates the tombs include a secret treasure chamber with untold riches hidden away within it, who could reasonably resist the temptation?

Tombs of the Kobolds
The Kobold Tombs (1200 dpi, no grid)

For, sure enough, the kobolds found that treasure room generations ago and have since lost the vast majority of the treasure on bribes, buying steel weapons…

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Played This Week

Retro Arcadia

Time for our regular quick-fire reviews and impressions of what’s been on the go this week, old and new and a bit of both…

I’ve been continuing my schmup for beginners journey with YouTube’s Schmup Junkie, and if you remember, last week I said I wouldn’t be finishing lesson two, PC-Engine vertical shooter Blazing Lazers, any time soon, but guess what! What I think I’m deducing here is that with these conventional shoot ‘em ups, you need to learn what’s coming well enough that you can get powered-up and stay powered-up. If you do, you can brute force your way through a lot of danger before it’s even on the screen. And I’ve also learnt that continues are fine in early levels, but unless you’re some kind of expert, once you lose those power-ups you’re more often than not screwed no matter how many times you try! Anyway, this…

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Boss Rush Banter: Should the Next 3D Mario Game Be a Sequel to Super Mario Odyssey or Bowser’s Fury?

After the huge success of Super Mario Odyssey, many fans and journalists speculated that Nintendo might make a direct follow-up. Sequels are rare for 3D Mario games, but it’s not entirely without precedent. Super Mario Galaxy was given a sequel, which suggests it’s possible that Super Mario Odyssey could receive the same treatment. However, in early 2021, Nintendo released an updated port of Super Mario 3D World that included a brand new 3D Mario experience, Bowser’s Fury. Bowser’s Fury took 3D Mario in a new direction, away from Cappy, by bringing back Shines and utilizing elements of Super Mario 3D World. This suggests Nintendo may instead be aiming for Mario’s next 3D adventure to be more similar to this newest iteration of the formula. Where will 3D Mario go next? Do you hope that a new game will be a follow-up to Super Mario Odyssey, Bowser’s…

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Roleplaying the Monstrous Ancestries in D&D

The Nerdd

So many Dungeons & Dragons campaigns are about Human(oid) heroes, going from town to town, slaying monsters, and saving the people. What if this time, we play the monsters? That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to be evil, killing innocent people, but I want to see the story of what happens when a monster wants to be a mercenary.

I think this idea gained a lot of popularity with 5e players when, in Critical Role, Sam played a goblin rogue named Nott the Brave, however the idea has gone back to early editions of the game, with the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide saying the following:

On occasion one player or another will evidence a strong desire to operate as a monster, conceiving a playable character as a strong demon, a devil, a dragon, or one of the most powerful sort of undead creatures. This is done principally because the…

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Ranking Every Mainline Halo Game from Worst to Best

The Game Campaign

The Halo series holds a special place in my heart, and with the release of Halo Infinite finally here, I think it’s time that I open up and say definitively what my favorite games in the series are. I will be ranking these entries exclusively on their single-player content. Though I enjoy many of these entries online modes, I don’t play nearly enough of any of them to give a concise idea of their nuances online.

For instance, I really enjoyed Halo 5 online, but that was in 2016, and I have no idea what’s changed since then. I will judge them based on how fun their campaigns are, their story beats, and the musical accompaniment.

I will also take the remakes into consideration, but they will only be bonus points and will not have their own ranking. Here is my Halo ranking ranked from worst to best so let’s…

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Have Nintendo Switch Sales Exceeded That of the PlayStation?

According to VGChartz, recent numbers indicate that the Nintendo Switch has now surpassed 1994’s PS1 in lifetime sales. Let’s take a look at the figures:

  • Total Lifetime Sales for PlayStation: 102.5 million units
  • Total Lifetime Sales for the Nintendo Switch: 102.81 million units

The scales finally tipped during the week of 1/15/2022, where the Switch sold 341,662 units. It is also important to note that these numbers encompass all forms of the Switch, including the Lite and the new OLED model. The top three countries for sales are no surprise with the Unites States at 34.67 million units, 27.22 in Europe, and 23.43 in Japan.

Many know that Nintendo first-party games help sell the console. So, what are some money makers for the Switch? As of September 30th, 2021, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still the top selling game with 38.74 million units, followed by Animal Crossing:…

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