Increasing Immersion 2: The Inspiration Dice

The dice giveth and the dice taketh away.

The Inspiration Dice & It’s Rules

Now, this tool is one I began using early last year as a way to get the players in the group I DM for more involved in their characters. An extremely simple system that is flexible and easily modifiable. However, I will explain the 3 ground rules before I explain what it ideally does for the players and the game.

  1. This dice can be used on any attack or damage roll, any ability or skill check or even for hitpoints however only 1/2 the roll is added if used for a saving throw.
  2. Only one of these is handed out at one time, and if not used by the end of the session are lost. Multiple can be given out per session, just not more than 1 active one at a time.
  3. The dice are transferable between players if they wish, they work as rule 1 for other players.

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Anytime NPC 1: Doran Drake

What’s behind that door?

Anytime NPC is so I make your game easier, need an NPC with a story real quick with hooks and beliefs? These guys are all pretty plug and play; so without further ado.

As you walk into the local garrison you see standing behind a mahogany desk a figure towering above you and the other guards. Standing almost at 7 feet this man seems more myth than reality, scars adorn his face and an entire bear pelt makes up his cloak the head of which hangs off his back. In a deep gravelly voice like a resonant bass note that lingers in the air, he greets your party. “My name is Captain Drake, what is your business in Frostburn.” Behind his muscled frame, you see an iron door with an intricate locking system shining with some pale winter sun.

So that’s the description for Doran, one of the first NPC’s I created, now Doran isn’t all that seems on the surface. A retired arena champion and fighter he used his savageness until one day something awoke in his blood… his birthright. Now some would call it a gift, but most a curse for when Doran truly needed his form would shift in combat from one of a grizzled fighter to a savage wolf.

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Increasing Immersion 1: How Do They?

We have the DM’s Toolbox, now let’s get some tools.

“As you raise your shield the frost giant collects it with his hammer, the force of which puts him on his back foot. He looks to be readying a second strike almost as if retribution for making missing the first.”  This simple technique paints a picture for the players and increases the verisimilitude. Whereas an easy habit to form whilst DMing is:

DM: Uhh 17 to hit?    Player: Nah, misses.

And that can be the end of it. Every action in the game should have weight and so it should feel it, adding flavor to actions also increases variance and creativity on the players part. Giving them simple hooks at the end of an enemy turn like “He raises his hammer a menacing glint in his eyes.” allows the players to be creative in how what they wish to do “I raise my shield to block the blow.” or “I 5ft step away, look him in the eyes and use command to make him drop the hammer.” This rule is getting your players to role-play simply and easily, whether describing their actions in 1st or 3rd person they have decided how to react to stimulus in character.

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The DM Screen

cropped-the-dm-screen-4.pngThe DM Screen has launched! I’ve thrown around the idea of starting a blog now for quite a time and wanted to write about D&D, Pathfinder and other TableTop RPG’s. Of course I didn’t want it to be nonsensical rambling about these topics and after plenty of reading in places like R/Pathfinder, R/DnD, Paizo Forums and GITP I realized that there is plenty of need in aiding new and old Dungeon Masters alike.

And so here it is! The DM Screen is here to make not only your DMing easier and more fruitful but also has resources for players to increase their enjoyment in the game.