Author: Scott Martin


About Scott Martin

Scott is an engineer turned gnome and game store owner. He lies awake at night building intriguing worlds and plotting your character's demise.

What’s old is new again, almost magically. Back in 2009, the people around me were falling in love with Pathfinder–particularly for the slimmed down rules contained in one core book. It felt like a reset–a chance to get back to core of D&D adventure in a way that had been obscured by D&D’s extensive publishing throughout D&D 3.5. Pathfinder’s trying to capture that feeling again, with a new Core Campaign that resets player options to the core rule book. It’s a chance to create characters […]

D&D’s fifth edition has released all of its core pieces; a standalone starter set, the core three books (a Player’s Handbook, a Monster Manual, and a Dungeon Master’s Guide), a GM’s screen, and some adventures (Hoard of the Dragon Queen and its sequel, The Rise of Tiamat). Mike wrote a final Legends and Lore article about “the end of the beginning”—the core books are out, 5th edition has been fully launched. I didn’t participate in many of the playtests, so the edition was new to […]

Today I got together with friends and played a fun miniatures game, AT-43. The company that created it went into liquidation four years ago. After a brief flurry of interest brought on by fire sale prices, the game settled into its new normal–it slipped from people’s minds. We face this struggle all of the time in roleplaying. Many local fans of 4th edition D&D were disappointed by the coming of 5th Edition–and it’s growing harder to recruit for 4e campaigns starting up now, despite an […]

GMingAdvice03

Waiting can be hard, but savor it while you can. A few months ago, D&D came out with their Starter Set. For a while, my home group thought Jennifer might get a chance to run it, but she was overwhelmed by life. Finally she turned it over to me, so I spent a couple of days devouring the Lost Mine of Phandelver, built up a mental model of the adventure, figured out how long I thought it would take, and tried to project how many […]

I’m running a table of D&D Encounters on Wednesday night. Encounters is the easy, or at least low commitment, fork of D&D’s Adventurer’s League. D&D Encounters is ideal for new players and runs great with even pre-generated characters. So far, it’s going well, though the experience can be a bit odd from a story point of view. Some players show up consistently, week after week. They’ve got an idea about the storyline and are tolerant about the recap and backfilling for new players when they […]

dnd basic

I was speaking with a friend who enjoys roleplaying, but hasn’t done a lot of it until recently (he’s first a board gamer, but loves a number of geeky games). He began running the Starter Set for friends, but given the other more recent releases, he was confused about what’s necessary, what’s required, what’s optional, etc. for D&D. Joe, and anyone else who is wondering how to start off with this new edition of D&D, here’s my overview of what’s out there and what you […]

A picture of Lem's character card

Even when your group is lucky enough to have multiple GMs, sometimes you need a backup game in a hurry. Or the GM didn’t have time to prep, but everyone has gathered and is ready for an adventure. There are a lot of solutions in that circumstance–you can wing it, improvising a story on the fly, or play a different roleplaying game like Fiasco or Kingdom that doesn’t rely on a GM’s prep. A different solution is to step out of the realm of roleplaying […]