Characterising NPCs: D&D Tips with James Gifford

James Gifford, author and illustrator of Dungeon Diaries, returns to improve your Dungeons and Dragons encounters… Perhaps more than any other part of the game, Non-Playable Clones (NPC)s are especially challenging to bring to life: Testing your skills in improvisation, voices, characterization and acting. Often, it’s difficult to create memorable ones and they seem to all bleed into one generic …

Magical Loopholes – D&D Tips with James Gifford

Magical Loopholes – the Dungeon Master’s Dilemma Magic, by its very definition, is mysterious. And yet in many fantasy tabletop games (including Dungeons & Dragons), it is defined quite clearly in the rulebook – spell duration, components, targets, spell resistance, saving rolls…  Game designer gods do this for our own character safety, for every foolish apprentice and player will, WILL, …

Music and Sound Effects – D&D Tips with James Gifford

  My players had finally found the flooded Crypt. They inch down into the dank stone entranceway, fear gripping them as they watch out for the ghost of a blind witch Morvane. As they emerge into the main catacomb, all is still… then they see her, manifesting above the alter, her hair splayed out like white tendrils, milky eyes wide …