Author: Matthew J. Neagley


About Matthew J. Neagley

First introduced to RPGs through the DnD Red Box Set in 1990, Matt fights on ongoing battle with GMing ADD, leaving his to-do list littered with the broken wrecks of half-formed campaigns, worlds, characters, settings, and home-brewed systems. Luckily, his wife is also a GM, providing him with time on both sides of the screen.

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Today I’d like to talk about adjectives. In case English class is an old forgotten or deeply repressed memory for you, a reminder: adjectives are those words that describe other words, specifically they describe things. In some cases they describe other adjectives but that doesn’t interest us here today. Words that describe actions are another beast entirely and we’re not interested in those today either. Examples: large, burning, squashed, futuristic, repulsive… You know the drill. O.K. we’re done with the recap. I doubt anyone reading […]

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For the past six years, every January I’ve run a garage sale article. I’m loathe to give up a six year tradition, but response has been hit or miss and, to be honest, it’s gotten harder and harder to scrape a handful of campaigns out of my notebook for the article. So this year we’re trying a new twist: a set of items that your characters might find at a garage sale (or as loot or that might be brought to them by someone else […]

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We here at the stew have a complicated relationship with the big man in red. Sure, he’s a fantastic guy who selflessly brings presents to every child in the world in a single night, but on the other hand, it sure would be nice if everyone in the world’s list of their favorite fat bearded men with red hats didn’t start with Santa. I mean we’re not asking for a sweep, or even a majority, just a token presence in the number one slot. But […]

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Flea circuses are fraudulent mechanical fakes or worse yet, torture boxes built of super glue and heating coils. But that wasn’t always the case. There was one flea circus which was true to advertising. “The Czar” as he liked to be called by his children, awakened near human intelligence in a group of fleas through generations of selective breeding and perhaps a drop or two of blood magic. Your troupe claims descent from that first circus, though perhaps it is all just a legend. Circus […]

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As promised, here is an example of the method presented in the earlier article Random Mega Generation Via 5 Room Iterations. The method aims to create a large scale megadungeon in modular chunks with minimal work. Our first step is to create the main map by combining a random number of 5 room dungeons. Each room will represent a realm, a large dungeon area with an overarching theme and several smaller sub-areas. I started with a 1d4 roll for the number of 5 room chunks […]

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The new 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons has tweaked some of it’s systems somewhat. One of them is the new advantage/disadvantage system which replaces the system standard plus or minus 2. In addition, advantage and disadvantage doesn’t stack and any amount of each cancels out the other, so if I have disadvantage already, I might as well pick up as much of it as I can: it won’t hurt anything, and if I have disadvantage from five sources, I can level the playing field […]

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Mega dungeons are difficult to fully detail because of their sheer size. Here is a random dungeon generation system that helps make the process easier in two ways. First, it creates chunks all at once instead of single rooms, and second it’s modular so that you can design only as much as you need and have rough notes on the rest of what you’ve made while still allowing you to tack on additional content later and still have a coherent whole. The basic building blocks […]