D&D 5th Edition


it’s less of an issue with 5e, but 4E you pretty much needed the character builder. The sheets without the tool were a mess to sort out. What is nice is the tools take a lot of the hunting around. Oh, I chose this background…what skills did I get again?


Yeah, this whole double dipping and subscription blows. :(


As an aside, has anyone tried, or heard anything, about the official module support on Roll20? If my D&D group gets back up and running, I was thinking of doing this. We have used roll20 in the past and really enjoyed it.

I’m primarily just interested in how intuitive the setup is. I kinda had my own way of setting up the Rol20 stuff.


I played some Adventure’s League at a con near me this weekend. Kinda got my D&D blood flowing again.

I thought I’d try and get into a roll20 game, but almost all of them want you to pay $10 a week to pay. I’m not sure i want to pay 40-50 bucks a month to play D&D.


You can charge people to play in your Roll20 game? What the ever-loving-fuck??


Seriously? I didn’t even know that was a thing. That’s a big bag of batshit.

I think there are plenty of options for online D&D outside of pay-to-play games. Get into a relevant Facebook or G+ community, for example, and you’ll probably find plenty of pickup games and campaigns.

Or, even better, coerce some friends into playing. I know there’s even occasional talk around these parts.

I think Wizards still sponsors their “encounters” events at local gaming stores (?), which is another way to dip your toe into the D&D waters (and have it bitten off by a Sahuagin)


the reasoning is 'it pays for the module, my time to prepare, and the cost of the roll20 pro" which, yes, is bullshit.

That said, since the module can be purchased preset up on Roll20, if there was enough draw for it, I’d run a game 5 nights a week. that would pay for a lot of toys.

There is a game store near me that has events. The hardcover campaigns are always full with the same players. They have been running the same two AL modules for the past 4 months. there is a table fee of $2, which I can handle.

I was able to get a lot of the PDFs for the AL modules, so I might talk my Friday night group into running those once every month or so.


I think the only way I’d pay for a session is if it was a “celebrity” running the game, like Chris Perkins, Wesley Crusher, etc. More for the experience and the stories.


And if they wrote it.

I don’t mind a nominal fee. The $2 table fee at the LGS is fair. $10, fuck no.


I felt hella guilty for “charging” $4 to run my tables at GenCon, because events are mandated to basically collect $1/hour for their duration from every participant in Event Tickets to give back to GenCon proper. You could set a higher price than $1/hour, of course, and pocket the remainder, but I was aghast at the mere thought of it.

A lot of larger GMing outfits, however, charged beaucoup bucks for their sessions. My buddies that played in some of Baldman Games’s semi-official D&D 5th Ed adventures were paying $12 a pop, and the mini-campaign was split into three sessions! $36 for maybe 10-11 actual hours of gaming? Jesus that’s crazy pants.


Cons are pretty much exempt from this, from me.

My local con charges a fee, obviously. They used to charge $3 for each game you signed up for as well. Part of this was to help ensure people who signed up for games actually showed up.

Last year they changed it to a flat fee with signups. It worked out well, At something like GenCon, i don’t mind a per-game fee.


Yeah, I mean, I can get a minor fee for the con, but GMs taking money for it just feels icky to me, tbh :-/


It’s amazing that the adventure modules are all $50 (at least the wizards ones). I’d buy them just to read, but not at that price.


Gone are the softcover b&w official adventure modules. I do love the hardcover and color inside, but I agree - if I’m not running it, the prices are way too high just to read. :(


I would pay a $20/night table fee twice a month to go to an @ArmandoPenblade run RPG provided you also served your food.

Maybe more.


Ooooh, great point! Count me in for $25!


The more I think about this, the more I wonder if there’s a working business model there.


I generally try to cook for my players every so often. Gonna try to do something really fun for the third anniversary of my Spaceward, Ho! game in a few weeks!


So, as an aside, I was thinking of popping a couple of the AL seasons on roll20 later this year depending on how school goes. Anyone interested in playing?


I suppose paying some random person in the neighborhood to DM a game is a little like paying someone in the neighborhood for guitar lessons. The hypothetical guitar teacher needs to set up a curriculum, have a minimum level of skill and experience, and be willing to give up a chunk of time. And the hypothetical guitar teacher would need to demonstrate their bona fides and non-creepiness before you would feel comfortable playing with them. If they were a waste of money, then, hopefully, word of mouth would keep other learners away from him. If they weren’t a waste of time, by paying them, you have a bit of skin in the game. You’ll be slightly more likely to make games and not flake out. But if that teacher was your buddy, hopefully/obviously they would teach you for free, especially if that meant that by teaching you, they would have someone to jam with.

But generally, I agree with Armando. GMs taking money for it feels icky.

In other D&D goings-on, I had a nice memory pop up on Facebook. Five years ago, overcome with emotion, I wrote the following, which was a true and accurate recounting of actual events:

So my group finished the last battle and were basking in the afterglow of the module’s climax. Then my DM said he has some bad news, and he felt awful about it, but he wants some time off. We sputtered, “Is it something we did?” but he said it wasn’t us – he likes our characters – it was him. He was feeling confined by the 4th edition ruleset and needed to take a hiatus from the campaign, or maybe stop entirely. We demanded to know if he had some other group on the side, or was chasing some new game, and he admitted he had been dabbling in Warmachine with some local players.

I shouldn’t have been so naive to think that we would actually finish the adventure path, to go from level one to thirty together. But there’s plenty of other RPGs in the sea. This is just an opportunity to try systems I’ve never tried before. Maybe I should dive into one of those MMOs all the magazines are talking about…

So I reshared the memory, because I thought it was funny then and funny now, and added:

Five years later, and life went on. They say you never forget your first campaign. They’re right. I linger on many memories filled with exuberance and laughter, and rarely think about the party’s sudden end. Occasionally I’ll bump into one of those guys on the internet, and maybe we’ll talk about old encounters. But that becomes rare as time passes.

I found a great group to rebound with. It wasn’t too long after that breakup. Josh was an inventive, attentive DM, someone I could look face to face with as we sat at his table. We must have shared a year’s worth of games as my new party explored secrets to keep as shadows fell. I thought maybe this group and I would last for thirty levels. That game ended, too, eventually but much sooner than I expected – some people were walking divergent paths: we couldn’t stay together. I don’t blame anyone, I had a great time while it lasted.

A new edition came out, and I started feeling the itch to start a campaign on my own table. So, nervously, I asked some friends if they wanted to play, and we did. We’ve got a great big group (and great, and big) and we’ve been rolling together for two or three years now. We’ve made new memories and inside jokes and higher levels. Sure, working around hectic schedules can be tough, but it’s more than worth it.

So if your D&D group breaks up, and you think it’s the end of the world, take heart. Yes, it may be the end of your character and that specific world. But stay positive, check for initiative, and look for new groups, and you’ll get a new character to table sooner rather than later. If you start DMing, you might receive the most special gift of all: one of your players might start DMing her own game.

Five years later, and life goes on.