Culture Quest: On the Essays of Montaigne

When I got my first set of books from the library, the Complete Essays of Michel de Montaigne caught my eye, mainly because if it had any more pages, it’d be classified as a ball, not a book. This thing is huge. So I started reading a bit every night, thinking to just jump on the largest guy and get it knocked down, right?

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Matt’s Alchemy Rules v2: Alchemy in Eberron

I gave out a bit of loot to a player and they asked about my alchemy rules. Near a week after that, here they are. Long time viewers may recall an older version of the rules, that was 6 pages long. I cut it down to 3, mainly by simplifying how a few parts of it work, easing some of the wording, and, in general, by being more awesome.

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Campaign Framework: How to Run a Monster Hunt

Monster hunting seems like it should be a core part of D&D. They have monsters a-plenty, PCs are accustomed to doing things for money, it should just work, right? Well, it should. And it can. But I haven’t been able to find anything in my books that describes the process. I’m sure various adventures have one off stories here and there that have a monster hunt, but there’s nothing as describing the framework for making monster hunting the entirety of your campaign.

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Culture Quest: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

I found a quote by C. S. Lewis that I’m going to misuse. He said “It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” Now, my misuse of this quote will be in the definition of “new” and “old” books. For him, a “new” book is one that was contemporary with him, and an old book is a classic. Interestingly, if I was to apply that same rubric to books now, his books have moved from new to old, which is probably something he never imagined.

But I’m taking it in a different angle. And “Old” book to me is a book you’ve read before. And this Culture Quest article is about my third most purchased book, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.

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Have you Ever or Never as a DM

I had a not great week this week and need to do something quick for content today. I have like 4 or 5 articles half written that need a bit more time to percolate, so instead of forcing one of them out early, we’re going to play a game.

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Mad Matt’s CultureQuest Ep 1: Regeneration, by Pat Barker

It’s probably a good omen that my first foray into this grand endeavor is one of success. I probably wouldn’t have predicted it, but I really enjoyed this book, and I can see why it was double recommended to my lists.

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Subskill Thoughts, Question, and such

I haven’t heard a lot back about my subskill system, which is a shame because the piece I intended for today had a bunch of stalled research. So today, I’m struggling to write a sufficiently long filler piece, as I wonder how committed I am to twice a week updating.

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Subskills: Expanding 5e’s skill system

It’s no secret that I kind of hate skills. 5e is the best system so far, but that doesn’t mean I like it. My distaste for the skill system led me to create the Specialty system, which I just realized isn’t posted anywhere since the site refresh. Sigh. 

Anyway, I had a breakthrough last week of a way skills SHOULD work but don’t (or rather, how the lack of skills should work). 

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