Posts Tagged ‘ENnie Awards’

Last week was pretty amazing. I went to my third and best yet Gen Con. I was busy as ever and I’ve got some great news to share. This very site took home the Gold ENnie award for Best Blog! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for World Builder Blog. I am still over the moon with this win and honored to have such an award on my wall.

While the win is exhilarating and a great recognition of the work done on this blog (not just by me, but also by Geoff Winn and Greg Blair), that was not actually the high point of Gen Con.

For many creators, working on RPGs can actually be a solo business. Adventure writing, mechanic design, worldbuilding, blogging, podcast/video editing, research, and story writing are generally done alone. This is true if you’re working on something professional or for your casual homebrew game. Even projects done with other collaborators are often completed by emailing a draft created by an individual with the message, “Let me know what you think. Thanks!”

Don’t get me wrong. All of that work is fun, but for most of us, it’s not the reason we play roleplaying games.

The Beauty of Gen Con

Gen Con is Nerdvana. Games everywhere and plenty of people eager to sit down and play. Every person you meet knows what Dungeons and Dragons is, understands how to roll initiative, can tell you which edition of the Star Wars RPG is their favorite, and is ready to debate the finer points of story verses mechanics in almost any game. You can buy nearly any gaming product desired, meet your favorite authors, designers, artists, podcasters, bloggers, and streamers, eat nerd-themed food, drink nerd-themed drinks, and sit in panels where big names announce new products or wax poetic about the philosophies of Lovecraft. Throw in a little deep cut cosplay, a few old-school arcade cabinets, and the chance to play exclusive alphas and betas and you can understand why more than 60,000 people flood Indianapolis every year. Holy crap do the people who organize this thing deserve HUGE ups, thanks, and high fives!

While all those things are heavenly, none are the main reason many of us head to Gen Con. The reason we go to Gen Con is the same reason we game. It’s the same reason we go to smaller gaming conventions and sometimes organize our own private weekends with our best friends.

Why We Game

I’ve had a great year in this industry. The blog won an ENnie, Rudy Basso and I launched a new podcast, I got to interview some amazing folks for the Tome Show, got paid to work on at least four published or soon-to-be published adventures, created and sold multiple best-sellers on the DMs Guild, and DMed two games for awesome people at Roll20CON. At Gen Con I got to record a live Round Table Podcast with an audience, moderate a panel about the digital future of Dungeons, record panels with people like Ken Hite, Rob Bowes, Ben Loomes, throw a party for Tome Show fans, and co-run a three-table epic written by Rudy Basso and me.

I’m going to pat myself on the back and say I’ve put in a lot of work these last two-and-a-half years. I am a better designer, writer, podcaster, and worker than I was long ago. I am proud of the accomplishments I’ve made and the person I’ve become in the industry. Without all that I would still play tabletop RPGs. I have since I was nine, and I have no plans of stopping.

Now you can say it’s all about story, which is partly true. It’s fun to play pretend. Or you could say it’s mechanics, which is also true (clearly it plays into our choices of Pathfinder vs D&D vs 13th Age vs Dungeon World). You could say it’s the perfect combination of both. But really, that’s not it either.

We play these games because it brings us closer to our friends. It gives us a reason to get together every week and interact. We can be silly and play pretend together like we’re kids again. Is there anything better?

Think about it. How many times have you sat down with a stranger to play an RPG and by the end of the game you are more comfortable talking to that person than you are some of the folks you see at work everyday? How many of those people go on to become your friends that you see or talk to outside of gaming? How many of those people introduce you to new friends through games?

It’s not just new friends. We stay in touch with our old compadres through gaming. How many people have a gaming group that’s run for years? How many old friends have you re-connected with thanks to virtual tabletops or forum games? How many people have something new to talk about with their friends because they want to praise or tear down the latest supplement for their favorite game? How many people have friends who actually listen when we talk about our character or our campaigns?

These games make our lives better. The people we meet make us better people. The memories we make are good and stay with us forever. The stories we tell together entertain us and ignite our creativity. The mechanics we encounter make us better teachers and students. As a community we build and create something we could never make individually. More importantly, we have a blast doing it.

These games are a communal experience. Never forget that. A horror game only works if everyone agrees to embrace the scary. A gritty game only works, if everyone agrees to think of hit point loss as more than just numbers. In other words the games only work if we all play. If we all pretend.

Thank you all for playing with me over these last few years. I look forward to all the imagining, pretending, and worldbuilding to come.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Quick note here: WORLD BUILDER BLOG IS NOMINATED FOR AN ENNIE AWARD! You can vote for it right now along with a bunch of other awesome RPG products. The booth closes on July 21st so go vote right now. Good luck to all the awesome nominees.

My players are always looking to buy potions. I’m not sure what drives them go into town and ask the local apothecary to list every single item in stock, but it inevitably happens with both of my regular groups whenever they get back to town. Here’s the thing: I let them buy these things.

Why? For one thing it seems the default assumption of fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons is that player characters should at least be able to buy healing potions in many places. They are in the Player’s Handbook. In my own game I’ve taken this further and all (four) common rarity consumable magic items in the Dungeon Master’s Guide are available for sale in most of Exploration Age’s major settlements. (I even allow my players to often buy rarer consumables, but that’s another blog post).

Another reason I let my players buy potions and scrolls: they have a lot of gold. So much that it’s difficult for them to find ways to spend it (though here are some suggested purchases). One way to get them to spend that money is to buy potions. They earned that gold and they deserve to spend it. It makes the gold they find in the game after traveling hundreds of miles to dive into a cramped space full of monsters worth something

With these points in mind I’m present to you a bunch of new common rarity consumables for your game based on the idea that they should be about as powerful as the potion of climbing or potion of healing (the two common rarity potions in the Dungeon Master’s Guide) and less powerful than the oil of slipperiness, philter of love, potion of animal friendship, potion of greater healing, potion of growth, and potion of resistance (the uncommon rarity potions in the Dungeon Master’s Guide).

Common Rarity Potions

All the following items are available for purchase at the DM’s discretion and normally cost 50 gp.

Oil of Buoyancy

Potion, common

This murky oil reeks of the sea and can be poured over the body of one Medium or smaller creature. Applying the oil takes 1 minute. Once applied, the creature gains a swimming speed equal to its walking speed for 1 hour. During this time, the creature has advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks made to swim.

Oil of Elements

Potion, common

This oil can be used to coat one melee weapon or up to 5 pieces of ammunition. Applying the oil takes 1 minute. For 1 hour, the coated item has a +1 bonus to damage rolls. The GM chooses this damage type or determines it randomly from the options below.

d6 Damage Type
1 Acid
2 Cold
3 Fire
4 Lightning
5 Poison
6 Thunder
Oil of Phasing

Potion, common

This clear oil reeks of vanilla and can be poured over the body of one Medium or smaller creature. Applying the oil takes 1 minute. Once applied, the creature can phase through one wall or object up to 5 feet thick provided it does so within 1 hour of applying the oil. If the creature ends its turn in an object, it takes 5 (1d10) force damage and is pushed out of the object in a direction of the GMs choosing. Once the creature phases through one object, the oil has no further effect.

Potion of Beige Cow

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, you remove one level of exhaustion for 1 hour. At the end of that hour, your exhaustion level increases by two. This potion is yellow-green and tastes like citrus and sugar.

Potion of Bless

Potion, common

When you drink this potion you gain the effect of the bless spell for 1 minute (no concentration required, only targets you). This potion is a dark blue liquid with floating flecks of gold inside.

Potion of Bolstering

Potion, common

For 1 minute after drinking it, you gain 10 temporary hit points that last for 1 minute. This brown potion tastes and smells like a hard whiskey.

Potion of Drunk Muscles

Potion, common

When you drink this potion and are poisoned, you gain a +2 bonus to your Strength score to a maximum of 20. This increase lasts for 1 hour or until the poisoned condition ends, whichever comes first. When the effect wears off, you gain one level of exhaustion. This potion is a pure yellow liquid that tastes like raw eggs.

Potion of Half Invisibility

Potion, common

This potion’s container looks half empty (of half full if you’re optimistic) but feels as though it is full of the purple liquid within. When you drink it, roll any die. If you roll an even number, you become invisible above the waist. If you roll an odd number, you become invisible below the waist for 1 hour. Anything you wear or carry on that part of your body is invisible also invisible. While half invisible like this, you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide. The effect ends early if you attack or cast a spell.

Potion of Keen Ears

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, your ears turn blue for 1 hour. During this time you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing. Ear wax sits at the bottom of this light blue liquid that tastes like mud.

Potion of Keen Eyes

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, your eyes turn orange for 1 hour. During this time you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight. Eye lashes float in this orange liquid that tastes like salty water.

Potion of Keen Nostrils

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, your nose turns green for 1 hour. During this time you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) and (Survival) checks that rely on smell. Nose hairs float in this thick, green liquid that tastes like mucus.

Potion of Liar’s Tongue

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, you have advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made to tell lies for the next hour. During this time you cannot speak or write any truths. This black liquid tastes like anise.

Potion of Minute Resistance

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, you gain resistance to one type of damage for 1 minute. The GM chooses the type or determines it randomly from the options below.

d10 Damage Type
1 Acid
2 Cold
3 Fire
4 Force
5 Lightning
6 Necrotic
7 Poison
8 Psychic
9 Radiant
10 Thunder
Potion of Sniper’s Brew

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, you have advantage on the next ranged weapon attack you make as long as it is made within 1 minute of drinking the potion. The liquid in this vial is clear and tastes like peppermint and ginger.

Potion of Sustaining Stuff

Potion, common

When you drink this potion, you do not need to eat or drink water for 48 hours. A floating bean sits inside a thick, green mush.

While Supplies Last!

These are fun potions, but you (probably) don’t want your level 17 party with tons of gold to buy an unlimited supply of potions of keen ears and never fail a Wisdom (Perception) check again. As a rule I roll a d10 for each type of potion available and that’s all the store has in stock when the characters come to visit.


Want this potions in a handy PDF? It’s below!


Want some more? Check out the PDFs below…

50 New Magic Items (DMs Guild – Pay What You Want… includes 50 new magic items plus 100 common weapon properties, 100 common wondrous items, and 100 cursed item properties)

Bioarcane Items

Magic Firearms and Bombs

Wubba Wubba, The

The Blades of Findalay

Artifact – Crown of Bewitching Enchantment

Artifact – Tools of Order

All of these items live on the Free Game Resources section of this site, so come grab them anytime!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Hey there! Just a quick update to let you know it’s time to vote for the ENnie Awards. This very site is nominated for Best Blog! You can only vote until July 21st so click this link to vote! It takes only five minutes of your time.

I’m wishing all the blogs and other category nominees out there good luck. It’s honestly an honor and surprise to be in such talented, hardworking company. I also have to thank Greg Blair for proofreading this blog all the time. He is amazing! Most of all a huge thanks to readers like you who make this blog a success.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Just a quick update here to let you know that this very blog is a 2016 ENnie Nominee for Best Blog! This is a real honor to have World Builder Blog placed among the others nominated.

Voting begins on July 11th and goes until the 21st. It probably goes without saying, but I would grateful for your vote and helping to spread the word once everything is live. Until then thank you for making this blog a success!

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!