How to use the tokens, dice and adventure in Feburary's Dungeon Crate

dungeon crate.jpg

This crate is packed.

This month, Dungeon Crate is once again bursting with awesome items including tokens, dice, miniatures and yet another badass adventure.

Let’s take a look at everything inside February’s crate and some ways you can use each item.

Carnage at the Crossroads

carnage.png

A fresh adventure from the team at Dungeon Crate, this module is a redux on the classic trope of a musician meeting a devil at the crossroads. This time, adventurers must assist a famed bard in combating hordes of demons pouring out of rifts torn in the ground by a group of archfiends.

How to use it: The adventure takes place while the adventurers are traveling, so you can insert it into your regular campaign almost any time the party is on the road from one place to another.

Sword Pin

sword.jpg

Use this thing as your very own +1 magic longsword. From our pals at 1980who, this enamel pin looks just like the swords carried by our heroes -- y’know, He-Man, Link, the Highlander, Aragorn, Conan, etc.

How to use it: Pin it on you gaming bag. Stick it on your GenCon badge. Use it as a spiritual weapon token on game night. Ask your GM (nicely) if they’ll let you get a +1 to your sword attack rolls. (Worth a shot, right?)

Bardic Inspiration Tokens

bardic.jpg

When a bard performs, they can use their words or music to stir something in their compatriots. That’s Bardic Inspiration, a nifty little mechanic in D&D 5e. Our friends at Advanced Deployment whipped these things up, and they’re great for anyone playing a bard.

How to use it: Hand over a token any time your bard character (or the bard NPC from Carnage at the Crossroads) uses Bardic Inspiration. If you’re playing Pathfinder, use it whenever you use inspire courage. If you’re playing D&D 4e, use it anytime your bard uses concerted effort, inspire competence or any other bardic boost.

d12

gamescience.JPG

We love these dice. Game Science makes precision dice with sharper corners than you’re used to. That’s because they’re more random than the other dice in your bag.

How to use it: Just like the ones in your old D&D starter boxes, Game Science dice come with un-inked numbers. So, you get to do it yourself. It’s actually really fun. We prefer a white crayon, which you can rub over each surface. Then use it to roll damage for your greataxe.

Stein shot glass

stein.jpg

Celebrate your victories in battle with this Dungeon Crate beer stein. Well, mini beer stein. It’s perfectly sized to be a shot glass, actually, so you can fire back some beverages while you’re rolling dice.

How to use it: If you’re not a drinker, use it as a dice roller. Drop your d20 in there, shake it up and pour it on the table.

Fire Giant Queen

fire giant queen.jpg

She doesn’t look happy. This big, bad fire giant from the always wonderful Reaper Miniatures is ready to throw down. Just watch out for that giant spear. You’re just a medium-sized character, and that thing looks like it would hurt.

How to use it: The massive fire giant is usable as Ostrynach, the baddie from the end of Carnage at the Crossroads. You can also use her in your playthrough of Against the Giants or Storm King’s Thunder.

We also want to see how you paint the miniature. Upload it to social media (we're on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and tag it with #DungeonCratePaint.

Bard Button

Bard-Button.png

When you love playing a bard, this button from Dungeon Doodles is the perfect way to show it.

How to use it: Pin it to your game-night bag, but if you’re not playing a bard, give it to your friend who is.

How to use random encounters in your D&D games

Art by Dungeon Doodles

Art by Dungeon Doodles

You never know what dangers you might find out in the world.

When you’re playing a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, you’re bound to run into some unexpected things.

That’s where random encounters come in. In January’s Dungeon Crate, you received a copy of Epic Encounters, a collection of 20 original random encounters for characters from level one to three. (Stay tuned… We’re making more in the series.)

In older editions, random encounters kind of fell out of favor. Combat took a ton of time, so bogging down your game with a bit of roadside combat wasn’t the best. But in 5th edition, combat can be quicker (you don’t even need to play on a map if you don’t want to) and can really add some flavor to your game.

Random encounters can enhance your campaign world. They can create a sense of danger, show the nature of various areas and introduce important NPCs, themes and plot points.

How should you use them? We have some ideas.

Drop one when the players are getting distracted. Sometimes players get distracted either by something in the game or by their phones or dice or doodles or whatever. Re-focus their attention back to the task at hand with an encounter. All the better if you can flavor the encounter with something related to your campaign.

Introduce an important character or artifact. Finding someone or something during your travels can spark a new adventure thread or lead your players to something you need them to find next. And it doesn’t have to be an old wizard with a broken wagon. They can find an NPC captured by an enemy, amid combat or perhaps even waiting to ambush them (only to find they share the same goals).

Reinforce the themes of your campaign. If you’re playing in a horror-themed campaign, roving packs of werewolves or herds of clambering skeletons would be appropriate. If you run a high magic campaign, maybe they find a spell book sitting on the side of the road. If the local orc tribes are warring against each other, they may run into a squad or two, perhaps even battling each other.

Make your campaign world feel dangerous. You can wear down players’ resources, and their hit points, too, when you throw monsters at them. It’ll make whatever lies at the end of the road even more difficult if they’ve already had a tough time on the road.

It doesn’t have to be combat. Combat encounters are fine, but sometimes they might find an important person, the entrance to an abandoned temple, a shrine to a god, the ruins of a castle, a magic sword stuck in a tree or a bridge they had meant to cross that happens to be on fire.

Don’t make them tiresome. Random encounters are supposed to add some fun and excitement to your games. If the players are tired of fighting road-side bands of bandits, maybe skip the next random. If they’re in a race against time to get a healing potion to a dying king, it might kill the excitement for them to run into a pack of 1d4 wolves.

You can make them hard. Adventurers don’t always have to face level-appropriate enemies and traps. Sometimes they stumble into situations that are way more difficult than they’re prepared for. Feel free to make them sweat a little.

A look at January's Dungeon Crate

Dungeon Crate logo

Happy New Year!

Welcome to another year of Dungeon Crate. In 2018, we’re so excited to keep bringing you the awesome loot for all your Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and other fantasy RPG games.

We’re already planning out the next year of Dungeon Crate, and we’ll be bringing you more of the same: miniatures, dice, adventures, terrain, cards, tokens, pins and all the stuff you use at your gaming table every week.

We hope all your rolls are critical hits in 2018. In the meantime, let’s dive into what arrived in January’s crate.

Epic Encounters

epic encounters.jpg

Continuing our series of adventure books, this release is a series of 20 encounters crafted for characters from levels 1 to 3. They’re useful as a random encounter table (roll a d20 and run the described encounter) or as adventure hooks. The encounters are also specifically crafted for lower levels as well as inexperienced players, and they use iconic RPG monsters. So, this four-page booklet is great for introducing new players to your favorite hobby.

D20 pin

d20.jpg

Show off your inner tabletop geek! These sweet pins from our pals at 1980Who are perfect accoutrements for your gaming bag, but they’re also a fine choice if you want to add a subtle hint of crit to your apparel without rocking a shirt covered in dice or dragons. (Since the pin shows off the die’s 20 face, we also hear they bring good luck.) We especially like the glittery, shiny red finish on these pins.

Rubble terrain

terrain.jpg

We dig maps and dungeon tiles and the like, but there’s something about tabletop terrain in three dimensions. These rubble walls from Nord Games help immerse your players in the game the next time they happen upon some ruins or rubble. The pieces are cast in an ultra-durable stone in single pieces, so they’ll hold up to abuse on the table or in your bag.

d20

blackd20plain.jpg

You want your dice to roll true, don’t you? That’s the only kind of dice Gamescience makes. Unlike most of the d20s in your dice bag, this one has hard edges. It rolls more accurately and gives a more random result every time you roll. Gamescience dice are also pretty. They practically look like cut gems. We also love the way they come with unpainted numbers, just like the dice sets in the old school D&D boxed sets. Grab a crayon and get to work!

Ogre miniature

ogre.jpg

This guy looks like he’s having a bad day. Sculpted by the inimitable Bobby Jackson, this angry ogre from Reaper Miniatures is looking for some adventurers to club over the head. And then maybe he’ll turn them into a meal. (Have a look at the Epic Encounters booklet to see how that might play out.) We can’t wait to get some paint on this bad guy and see how truly angry he looks.

Dungeon Crate patch

patch.jpg

Do you love Dungeon Crate? Sure you do. You subscribed, right? Slap this patch on your game-night backpack. Or your shirt. Or your face. (Don’t do that. It might hurt.) That way everyone can know how much you love the best RPG subscription crate around.