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Keelie dies a lot I guess

Starfall, Page 9


Opportunity Attacks revisited

Opportunity attacks in 5e, in my humble opinion, make combat boring. Disengaging to avoid an Attack of Opportunity (AoO) sacrifices your own action but leaves the enemy’s in-tact, making it one of the worst trades in the game. While the mechanic can create tense...

Starfall Part 2, Page 7

Super Quick Combat Rules

Quick preamble: this is probably system agnostic on some level, but I designed it for 5e. 5e’s design assumes you’re having probably way, way more combat encounters than you actually are, and that you’re playing long enough and quickly enough to resolve those...

Free VTT Tokens

I have created a repository of about 1200 VTT tokens that you guys can use for free. If you don't want to read more, you can just go to this link and grab them: https://www.patreon.com/posts/54992126 Why Tokens? I like them. During 2020, all of my D&D came to a...

Pathfinder 2e on Foundry vtt

I am a huge fan of Foundry VTT. For my purposes, it is the perfect virtual tabletop system. It supports a ton of systems, including the two that I love the best, namely Dungeons & Dragons 5e (DD5E) and Pathfinder 2e (PF2E). A massive part of the appeal of a VTT...

Starfall Part 2, Page 6

oversized weapons

Okay, so we did an info-graphic this week. We like the idea of building a 5e character around over-sized weapons, but the oversized weapons rules in this edition of D&D are helter-skelter at best.This is not about game balance. At all. This is about throwing...

A One Shot

Hey guys, I am working on a major website overhaul, and then it'll be back into Starfall. In the meantime, have a golden oldie from the Patreon archive.

Better Know a Monster: The Mimic

I love the idea that mimics are cryptids to the rest of the world. Adventurers, at least with the players I've known, would be almost universally unpopular -- even when they save the world, they do it out of eyeshot of everyone else, and burn a lot of bridges to get...

The Hobgoblin (and you!)

It's been a hot minute since our last update because I've been dealing with a very sick pet rabbit, and it's leaving me absolutely drained. - This comic arose somewhat naturally out of my Red Hand of Doom group (retooled for 5e). Hobgoblins in 3.5 are just kind of...

The Trade – Page 5 (End)

To celebrate the release of Ricky's Guide to Spooptopia, we did a mini-arc about that setting's most infamous villain. We had fun making this, and it's based on, perhaps, the most dramatic character death I've ever had at a table. I always sub Candor and the gang out...

The Trade – Page 4

The Trade – Page 3

The Trade – Page 2

The Trade – Page 1


Starfall Part 2 – Murderlude

We cut quickly to Keelie, doin' her thing.

Get you that Fauci Ouchie

Seriously, y'all, I miss real dice. Get the vaccine. I got super lucky; I am on my first shot and get my second one in a few days. I'm working at the geological survey right now, and someone basically dropped from the rafters and jabbed my arm. (Well, it was more like...

Starfall #37

by | Oct 13, 2020 | Comics, Starfall | 0 comments

I started teaching again, so this post is very short!


In my COS game, I had a poll during zero session asking whether players wanted a gritty, difficult game where they’d likely burn through a couple of characters each, or a game that was character-centric and where, even if things were difficult, character death was less likely. Mostly everyone wanted the gritty hard version, but a few people in the (…large…) group wanted character death to be less likely. They also both ended up creating Fey (a sprite and an eladrin), so I told them that they’d play by the same death rules as everyone else, except that if they died, they’d respawn in the feywild. (Not knowing that the campaign takes place in Ravenloft, and no one can leave – so in effect, they just respawn at the gates of Barovia.)

Then, in my IWD game, one of my players told me that she has a ton of anxiety wrapped up in character creation. As in, it gives her panic attacks, and the character she made took her a long time to get through. So in that campaign, people have the option of, instead of dying, getting tossed out of sight like in films (for example, Black Panther going over the water fall). The player will get a small healing montage and join up later.

I was worried that this would cheapen the game. That without the threat of character death, my players would take amazingly stupid risks whenever they wanted and ultimately find some way to abuse the mechanics (like ‘teleporting’ an important object, for instance).

None of this happened. They’re playing the game the same as they were before – except that they’re not as anxious. They still avoid things that might be traps, try to think strategically about fights and avoiding fights, and they’re just as invested – if not more so – than in other games I’ve played with them (where they’re not new players to my group all-together.)

I think the lesson here is that zero sessions and listening to your players are a critical part of the game – but also that fundamentally removing the risk of permanently losing a character doesn’t change the game as much as you might fear, if your players are especially attached to their characters.