Tag: Dungeons and Flagons

Playing Your D&D Character – 201

Playing Your D&D Character – 201

We’ve started going down the route of playing your D&D character, in 101, we talked primarily about how much you should stay in character, and the expectations of being in character and differentiating in and out of character should work at the table. In 201, […]

Building a D&D Player Character – 301

Building a D&D Player Character – 301

Back into building a D&D character. We’ve talked previously about the simplest ways to make a character that doesn’t step on other players toes, that fits into the game, and one that is fun to play. Next we’ve talked about how you can use the […]

RPG – Epic or Small

RPG – Epic or Small

As I’ve been thinking about finding people to run a new D&D game with, I started thinking, what sort of scope do I want for my D&D game?

Image Source: Wizards

Do I want to do another epic story like the first season of Dungeons and Flagons where things are going crazy in the world and there are plenty of plane hopping and epic travels around the world and seeing new places?

Or, do I want to do a tighter more defined story that takes place in a single location over a shorter period of time?

That’s somewhat what the second season of Dungeons and Flagons was going to be, though I was adding scope to it to tie it into the previous season.

Now, I’m not going to say that there are either of them better than the other in terms of gaming, but they are both two very different things. And I would say that you should check with your group or give some game ideas, but I’ve been liking the idea of running that tighter more defined single location or small area story.

Why might you want to do one or the other of them?

Image Source: D&D Beyond

For the smaller story it’s easier for the DM and the players to keep track of what is going on. There are fewer crazy things happening, and fewer places to really track. There are also going to be fewer NPC’s. In a larger game you are going to have NPC’s from each city and town that they visit. With that though you are going to see a greater variety of characters for the players to interact with and are going to have to plan the story less, in my opinion, because you can always create a new location for what you need.

The advantage of a bigger game is that you can play the fantasy that people think of. People think of Lord of the Rings and Kingkiller Chronicles when they think Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy. They aren’t really thinking about a game that might be more similar to a Dresden Files book where it’s a more tightly contained story. However, if you think about it, Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor and getting rid of the ring would make a pretty boring D&D game, what Legolas and Gimli are up to would make a better game, so there’s a balancing aspect so you don’t have to rush through everything to make your characters the main story of the game.

So what do I want to do in my next game?

I think that I want to do a smaller scope game. I liked parts of what I was doing in Season 2 of Dungeons and Flagons, but parts I didn’t too well. The part that I didn’t love too well was the fact that I wasn’t always prepared enough for a small story game. I think that a small location game, I guess I should say over story, requires more planning and focus as I’ve mentioned above. And I was very used to winging it as I had some general beats through the first season I knew I wanted to hit, but beyond that, they could do whatever. The tighter game is a bit more focused and some might call it a bit more rail road, I would disagree with that assessment, but some people might say that. There’s a difference on limiting the location for the story and making the players doing certain things in certain order so the story progresses as expected.

What sort of game do you enjoy? Do you like the big epic game or the smaller game?

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Minis or the Mind?

Minis or the Mind?

There are two main ways that you can play Dungeons and Dragons, and they primarily resolve around combat. Do you do combat in theater of the mind or do you have a battle map with minis? There are some people that are going to prefer […]

City Building in D&D

City Building in D&D

Building a city as a home base or where your adventure is taking place can be a cool thing to do, it can also be a daunting thing to do, because putting together a whole city can be a lot of work. I rarely go […]

The Death of a Bard

The Death of a Bard

The party rushes into a cavern. Red glowing eyes stare at them from the blackness and they stop quickly. The bard opens her mouth and begins to speak but is quickly cut off as the dragon reaches it’s long neck out and chomps down, swallowing the bard whole.

Image Source: Wizards

What do you do? What happens in your game?

It doesn’t have to be D&D, it could be a Sith cutting a character in a Star Wars game in half, or anything like that. I’ll just mainly be talking about it in a D&D sense.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Before you get to the point described above, as a group, you need to decide if there is going to be character death in your games. It is a part of every system, but just because it’s part of every system doesn’t mean that you have to use it. You can choose that you are going to have a more epic party or have some sort of resurrection option always available for the players. Or, you can decide that resurrections are extremely expensive in your games and that if a character dies, they are most likely going to be dead for all time. Maybe in the case of the dragon, if the rest of the party can kill the dragon or drive them off, they can steal enough from the dragon’s horde that they could get a spell done, but that would be about the only time they’d have enough money. But this is something to think about as a group or something to adjust accordingly in the game.

Now we’re at the point where the dragon has chomped down on the bard, in our scenario, how are you going to deal with this death exactly?

To me there are a couple of things that will influence this. First, is the player done with the bard, it’s possible, without knowing context, that the player fully knew that their character was going to die, because they wanted to play a different character. That’s totally fine to do in a game and totally acceptable for a player to want to do. However, I would limit it some so that a player who wants to play everything wouldn’t be able to play anything and everything that they wanted as that would hurt party cohesion (I’ll likely write a post about this later).

Otherwise, the other thing to think about would be, what sort of arc has led up to this? Maybe it was obvious what was going to happen, there were hints that they couldn’t try and talk to the dragon and the bard needed to do it anyways because they are a pacifist. So maybe it is a fitting end to a bard who was having troubles accepting the world and life style that she had joined. But if the story built up to this point, not just for telling the story to the players but also the characters own journey directed by the player, it might be a fitting end for the bard, even if she wasn’t completely ready to retire as a character. The story impact can sometimes be that important. This works especially well if you’re planning on going into a combat quickly and have an NPC would the party that the player can control for the battle. Or if you’ve warned the players ahead of time to have back-up characters who can join the game quickly. You don’t want a player sitting there too long, or if it’s a player who doesn’t like combat for some reason, try and keep them engaged somehow though, they may just be engaged in the story.

For example, in the first season of Dungeons and Flagons Finja was killed in the final battle before the end of that battle. Now, Kristen, who was playing Finja, isn’t someone who loves combat, and because the action and emotions that were going on in the scene and in the story were compelling at that point, it made a lot of sense in game for her to drop out of action and Kristen still enjoyed what was going on. I don’t know if it’s on the podcast, but we all agreed it was a fitting end for Finja who would definitely have sacrificed herself to stop a great evil from being fully realized. If we had continued with those same characters, I’m not sure that Finja would have wanted to be brought back or that Kristen would have wanted Finja to be brought it. It was a fitting end to Finja’s arc in the game.

Image Source: Wizards

Now, that isn’t always the case, maybe that comes out of no where in your game and it’s a character that the player is very attached to. If that’s the case, find a way, storyline wise to bring the character back from the dead. It could be that someone owes her a debt and will pay for the resurrection for her. It could be in place of a reward that is what the quest giver offers. It could be that a deity says that it isn’t the time or place for the bard to die. If I were to do that last one with the deity, I’d probably hint or give a prophecy about the time, place, or way the bard will die as that would be an interesting character development. Or you could also just end up making it a quest for the players to get back the bards soul. That would work well if you know you’re going to have that player missing for a couple of sessions, you could then have her bard be an NPC spirit in your control and play through that quest without advancing the main plot.

With all of these suggestions and ideas, you’re going to have to read the table. Depending on what has happened in your game, how the players are reacting, and how it was set-up, you’re going to have to judge it for yourself. Hopefully these are some tips that might give you a basis for handling character death at your table.

When you’ve had this happen to you in a game or caused it to happen in a game, a character dying that is, what have you done?


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Dungeons and Flagons Episode 14: The Lie and The Cheat

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 14: The Lie and The Cheat

Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons.   Von’thre and Nori find out that what they think is happening isn’t quite what it seems. Syldi on the other hand has to spend some time with the enemy. If you have questions for Nerdologists: […]

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 13: Sideways

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 13: Sideways

Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons.   The best laid plans of Nori, Von’thre, and Syldi go sideways pretty quickly on them. What is the next twist and turn? If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com […]

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 10: So Where are We Again?

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 10: So Where are We Again?

Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons.

Image Source: Wizards

After making some shocking discoveries deep in the underground, our adventurers begin to wonder if they actually know there way back out of there.


If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be doing a recap and Q&A every twenty-five episodes.


Our players are:

Ashley – Nori the Mountain Dwarf Champion Fighter

Kristen (@Kefka73) – Syldi the Half-Elf Rogue Thief

Clint – Von’thre the High Elf Divination Wizard

The DM:

Peder (@TheScando)


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Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 9: Under the City

Dungeons and Flagons Season 2 Episode 9: Under the City

Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons. Resting after their nearly fatal encounter with the drow, Von’thre, Nori, and Syldi decide to use the tunnels that Von’thre had found out about to see if they could track down the drow and their way […]