Secret & Safe: A Look At Codes and Spies For Fantasy Games

The history of espionage, even in the Classical or Medieval or Renaissance periods that so frequently inspire elements of fantasy settings, is enormous and deep. It's also probably filled with holes in information, because so many resources were probably destroyed or lost due to their covert nature. So, if you plan to use spies and coded messages in your game, how can you turn those story elements into challenges or hooks for player characters? Below are a few brief thoughts on the form that spies might take, along with notes on how they might be treated, and a few example methods for passing secret information that could be slipped into any game.

Liner Notes: The Role of Bards In A Setting

Medieval fantasy settings have bards. It's something that many players or Dungeon Masters might not even note anymore, especially as the class has been a staple of Dungeons & Dragons for so long now. It's been my experience, in fact, that the class really only comes up – in regards to how it fits the game – when the subject is "How do the various classes balance against eachother?" Like any other class, however, there is a ton of potential there for character backgrounds and conflict to be found if you just go digging around enough.

Playing Paladins: Knights, Gods, and Broken Promises

This is the second in a two-part feature on Paladins. This part is meant to cover character options, adventure hooks, and roleplaying advice. The first part, Swear to God, covered the class’s origins, potential role in relation to other classes, and how they might fit into a setting. Playing a Paladin says something not only about the character you are playing,... Continue Reading →

Worship Gone Wild: Nature Clerics & Reverent Druids

THIS IS PART OF A COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS ON FLESHING OUT THE USE OF GODS AND DIVINE POWER IN GAMES, SO YOU CAN PROVIDE MORE FLAVOR AND HOOKS FOR COMMON OR DEVOUT WORSHIPPERS. Druids revere and protect nature. Clerics worship and are the servants of the gods. You think this would be a simple distinction,... Continue Reading →

How I Learned to Digest Druids

I have tended to hate most druid concepts and yet have a Druid in my game. The truth is, most of my problem with Druids came out of a narrow slice of players that favored them in previous editions. First, they were players that picked it for optimization purposes (and I tend to dislike optimization as... Continue Reading →

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