Friday, October 28, 2016

Deathgrind D&D Preview - Extra Life 2016


Way back in June, I had the idea of Deathgrind D&D, after playing hours of Dungeon Robber, and thought it would work well for a birthday D&D game. Well... my birthday came and went and I didn't run Deathgrind D&D, but in the last few weeks I've buckled down and gotten it written out to a point where I can run it for Extra Life 2016. So, without further ado, here is a re-written pitch and rules and what-not...

But actually, before that, please consider donating to my Extra Life. Thanks for your support!


Semi-Competi-Comic-Death Grind D&D


5th Edition D&D at a frantic and farcical pace, a less than serious game where the stakes are low, but also high, and investment in your PC is low until they start surviving—A celebration of the absurdity of rolling dice and marking sheets of paper. Bring a roster of 1st level characters or choose from the many pre-made options to toss into the abattoir, or just watch and giggle and try to get a bingo. 

Compete for awards like “Fastest PC Death”, “Most Humorous Monster Kill” and “Most Natural 1’s by a Player” as we throw PC after PC into the death machine of a whimsical mega-dungeon, complete with room names like “The Deadly Catacombs of Cursed Mesmerizing Lights” and “The Forgotten Harem of Ghostly Mildewed Ladies”. 

Players will tag in and out as they come and go, or as their PCs die and new PCs enter the dungeon. Fun will be emphasized over plot, rules or continuity of any kind as we drink. Spectators and players not currently playing will be able to participate in Death Grind D&D Bingo.

Each PC will get a “DOOOM!,” like “Goblin Bait: Goblinoids attack you if they are able” and a “Glimmer” (as in glimmer of hope) like “Bone-Breaker: Once per encounter you can declare an attack against an Undead to be a Critical Hit, before or after the roll is made” and loot (magical and not) will be plentiful. 

Each player will get a chance to bring back a PC as a Zombie or a Ghost for a small donation in support of the Extra-Life campaign and other fun rewards will be offered for donations as well.

Full Deathgrind D&D pitch and rules

Additional samples...


  • DOOOMS!
    • Mage Slayer
      • You have an unreasonable hatred of Spellcasters and are unable to target any other creatures or take any action aside from making an attack whose target includes at least one enemy Spellcaster unless you use a bonus action to focus. This affiliction does not cause you to have any enmity towards PC Spellcasters. Gain 1 XP for surviving any encounter where this Dooom! comes into play.
    • Afraid of the Dark
      • You are afraid of the Dark and suffer from the Frightened condition in any encounter where you can see an area of Darkness larger than a 5' square until you make a DC 12 WIS saving throw or until the Darkness has been illuminated. Gain 1 XP for surviving any encounter where this Dooom! comes into play.
    • Thin-Skinned
      • You are vulnerable (take 2x damage) from Slashing damage. Gain 1 XP for surviving any encounter where this Dooom! comes into play.
  • Glimmers
    • Gear Smasher
      • Once per encounter you can declare an attack against a Construct to be a Critical Hit, before or after the roll is made.
    • Ghost Flub
      • Once an encounter you can declare any attack made by an Undead that targets or includes you as a target as a Critical Miss.
    • Blessed Entropy
      • Once an encounter you tell the DM that any single non-construct, non-trap inanimate object breaks. You can suggest how this happens, but the final call is the DM's, but as long as the object is not a trap or a construct it will break by the start of your next turn.
  • Luck Deck
    • You are turned into a Gelatinous Cube
    • Your armor become a suit of Plate Mail
    • You are under the "Reduce" effect of an Enlarge/Reduce spell for the remainder of the combat.
  • Room Names
    • The Fiery Maze of Crystal Bone Hands
    • The Green and Purple Pit of Souls Inscrutable
    • The Deadly Prison of Ancient Copper Eyes
  • Awards
    • Fastest PC Death
    • Most Humorous Monster Kill
    • Most Natural 1's by a Player
    • Most Natural 20's by a Player
    • Most Dead PCs
    • Most XP earned by a Player
    • PC with most Encounters Survived
    • PC with the most Loot

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Party Time - Voltron as Inspiration and other recent Party Building & Character Creation

Or how can a GM trick his players into forming a party that is both this
 and occasionally this...


Thomas insisted that I give the new Netflix reboot of Voltron, Voltron: Legendary Defender, a try, and I'm incredibly glad I did. I have very few memories of the Voltron TV series that aired on American TV in the 80s. I'm certain I saw re-runs in syndication and I had the Voltron figure that combined all 5 lions, though I lost the sword and paladin figures before I started elementary school. Which is to say, I knew Voltron, but didn't have many definite and concrete memories and went into Voltron: Legendary Defender with only hazy memories of what came before.

Now, I won't try to claim that V:LD is high art or ground-breaking for a 'kids show' in the way that I might for Adventure Time, Steven Universe or Over the Garden Wall, but I did find it enjoyable and I'm looking forward to the second season. There's a slow bit in the middle of the series with some rock people and a friend remarked to me that there's a lot of it that revolves around them not being able to or wanting to form Voltron, but what I keep going back too as I think about the show is how it could be an excellent model for a D&D style adventuring party.



A Bang & then a Whimper - The Final Dispatch from Parcher's

When we left our rag-tag band of PCs and their 50-60 hangers on (in addition to Pinky's gang, Man also decided to take the 'hav...