About the show

Father and son team, Jay and Jack Oatway, bring together two generations of Dungeons and Dragons experience. They discuss fun, offbeat ways to bring more to the table. From how to create characters that challenge expectations, to building a more well-rounded campaign: tune in for fresh perspectives for players and DMs, whether you are new to the game, or are a seasoned veteran.

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Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Finding You Own Feywild

    Episode  |  September 17th, 2021  |  40 mins 43 secs
    feywild, ranger, the wild beyond the witchlight, unearthed arcana, warlock

    With the new Feywild camapign setting just around the corner, we look at some of the existing mythology of the Feywild, of the Seelie Court and the Gloaming Court, of the Archfey who make up each court, and of the popular culture (and folklore) you can draw upon to make this your own setting -- and how easily the stories of such a place can be told.

  • Character Origins: Which D&D Race is Best?

    Episode  |  September 10th, 2021  |  40 mins 40 secs

    So, you've decided to make a new character. Though you might be tempted by the simplicity and comfort of human, we encourage you to take a look at all of the possibilities out there in the Forgotten Realms (and beyond!). This week, we discuss which race gives you the best setup for early game mechainics and long-term roleplay. From Tortles to Yuan-Ti, we lay out each D&D race, picking apart what their best for (and not so great at).

  • The Best Way For Characters To Gain Levels

    Episode  |  August 27th, 2021  |  41 mins 20 secs
    encounters per day, experience points, levelling up, milestone, story, xp values

    The age old question: is it better to award XP, or to gain levels at set milestones? Is there a way to do it so that it doesn't go too fast? Or too slow? To encourage richer style of play, or encourage better attendance at the table? These are the carrots of progress the DM must weigh, and distribute to the worthy. This week we talk about our experiences with experience,.

  • Role Play vs Roll to Play

    Episode  |  August 20th, 2021  |  25 mins 1 sec
    adding flavor, three pillars, tips, traps, weirdness

    In a game where players obsess over optimization, and DMs call for skill checks around every corner, it's important to remember that the dice aren't everything (sorry to all you who have crippling dice addictions). Sometimes the rules in D&D just don't make sense, but instead of just arbitrating some sort of ability check -- we recommend you call for a narration check. This week, we look at how this plays out against magical traps.

  • I Need a Healer!

    Episode  |  August 13th, 2021  |  47 mins 2 secs

    This week we discuss the implications of healing potions as the main source of 'non-magical' healing in a campaign, discussing rules-as-written all the ways you can heal your party and introducing experimental new rules for diversified healing in your setting, including bandages, salves, and surgical operations.

  • Making RP Campfire Time Part of the Long Rest

    Episode  |  August 6th, 2021  |  55 mins 35 secs

    As a DM looking for ways to encourage more RP between players, you might want to consider our table rules for campfire interactions and downtime activities.

  • How to Play An Amazing Goblinoid Character

    Episode  |  July 30th, 2021  |  53 mins 39 secs
    adding flavor, bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins, steal this character, subverting tropes, tips, weirdness

    Dare to live the wild life of a goblin, bugbear or hobgoblin! Join us this week as we delve deep into what we love about these interconnected races, and some of our favourite ideas for building PCs with them that break free of tired old stereotypes

  • Travel & Exploration: The Journey is Half the Fun

    Episode  |  July 23rd, 2021  |  57 mins 25 secs
    exploration, survival, three pillars, tips, travel, wilderness hazards

    We take a long walk into the woods of travel and exploration. This key pillar of adventure is often skipped over, but with a little bit of forethought it can provide your players with a more immersive world, and you as a DM the shared excitement of discovering the unknown.

  • Fantasy Robot Wars: Warforged vs Reborn

    Episode  |  July 16th, 2021  |  31 mins 28 secs
    adding flavor, races, reborn, steal this character, subverting tropes, tips, warforged, weirdness

    This week father and son face off in a showdown to decide which is better: making a robot character using the Warforged race from Eberron, or building one using the Reborn race from Van Richten's Guide. Two robots enter, but only one can prevail!

  • How To Make Boss Fights Properly Tough

    Episode  |  July 13th, 2021  |  48 mins 7 secs
    adding flavor, boss fight, combat, three pillars, tips, weirdness

    Are your players chewing up and spitting out your tough monsters? Does a deadly level CR seem like a walk in the park? Are you regretting letting everyone have magic items? Fear not, we are here to help you fix that. We look at ways to go beyond simply turning your big boss into a big bag of hit points -- and instead turn it into a fight that makes everyone feel like a hero.

  • How To Use Traps in Your Game

    Episode  |  July 1st, 2021  |  55 mins 53 secs
    adding flavor, dms workshop, investigation, three pillars, tips, traps

    Traps have been a part of the D&D experience since its earliest days. But a lot has changed over the years. Join us as we poke at some traps with a 10' pole, and learn how today's best uses of traps can enhance your next adventure

  • Raising the Banneret: Workshopping a Revised Purple Dragon Knight

    Episode  |  June 25th, 2021  |  58 mins 21 secs
    adding flavor, fighter, point buy, revised, steal this character, subverting tropes, support role, tips, weirdness

    There are some subclasses which no one plays because, well, they kind of suck. We often ask what it would take to make them suck less -- but also not to get too overpowered that they make the DM want to pull out their hair. This week both Jay and Jack bring some ideas together on what the Banneret subclass (aka Purple Dragon Knight) is all about (leadership), and how to bring out the best of that theme.

  • The Holy Con Man

    Episode  |  June 18th, 2021  |  43 mins 26 secs
    adding flavor, background occupation, bard, cleric, college of eloquence, steal this character, subverting tropes, tips, weirdness

    Once again we offer a look at how to break out of tired tropes: this time with the Bard. Internet memes would have you believe that these characters only reason to exist is to seduce everything they come in contact with. So we want to go a different direction with this build, what if our bard is really very good at preaching and has found a home within religion -- and not just one religion. In fact, he's talked his way into every religion in town.

  • The Price is Right: Taking the Guessing Out of Magic Item Costs

    Episode  |  June 12th, 2021  |  55 mins 44 secs
    magic items, shopping

    This week we look at how much you should charge for that magic item in the window. We all know that pricing items within the fantasy economy of a D&D campaign can be tricky. As a DM, you are trying to provide a balance between retail realism and just keeping the story moving. And it helps to have some sort of accurate guide for whenever a PC might decide to haggle, which is whenever they go into a shop.

  • Let's Build: Creating a Darklord Using Random Tables

    Episode  |  June 4th, 2021  |  1 hr 4 mins
    background occupation, darklord, personality traits, random build, steal this character, tips, weirdness

    We dive into a different type of build this week. Instead of making a character, we are building a nemesis for our players -- someone truly evil, someone beyond redemption. Join us as we dig into Chapter 2 of Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft and build a Darklord of our own.

  • Two Generations of Dread

    Episode  |  May 28th, 2021  |  1 hr 3 mins
    dm only zone, domains of dread

    We compare some of the Domains of Dread from the recently released Van Richten's Guide to the Domains originally published in Ravenloft: Realm of Terror box set published in 1990, and talk about some ideas for how we might run these as part of a campaign.