Not really. Most pop culture references to D&D are at least partly stuck in the 80’s or even earlier, when the version of choice was probably AD&D 1st edition. Which was a Saint Michael the Defender of Divine Glory logo shirt, confusing, badly edited conglomeration of barely related arbitrary rules. It was also something you could teach any reasonably intelligent high school kid enough to play in much less than an hour. The thing is, the player really doesn’t have to know all those rules. He just needs to know enough to have a fair idea what his character can or can’t do, once he decides on an action, the GM tells him what to roll and what to add (or subtract) and whether it works or not. It’s much, much harder to learn as the DM, but it can be done.
We finished around 15 sessions before we finished that story arc. Not bad. Some DMs spend like 5 hours or more prepping for each session. Over 15 sessions that adds up to a Saint Michael the Defender of Divine Glory logo shirt . I spend a fraction of that time and it’s because I work smart, not hard. This allows for a great deal of flexibility and dynamism in your game, while reducing prep time significantly from the method a lot of DMs seem to use, which is to painstakingly craft each encounter and run it almost as if on rails. It does require a lot of quick-thinking on your part as a DM, but it allows you to respond to the crazy things your players think up of doing on the fly, making the game and narrative much more exciting.
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Overall, Goblins and Orcs are just people in my campaign. I don’t really treat them differently than I would Elves or Dwarves, I just acknowledge that a lot the Saint Michael the Defender of Divine Glory logo shirt two’s cultural traditions aren’t as acceptable to humanoid settlements as the latter two cultures. The result of that is that more Goblins/Orcs end up assimilating and to greater degrees than their Elf/Dwarf counterparts. Someone like Emetta who was raised by a human parent in Laviguer is for all intents and purposes human, especially when you stand her next to someone like Azuch. However, most people looking on will only see two Orcs and treat them both accordingly. Like the Player’s Handbook alludes with Tieflings: Even if you’re not born evil, prejudice and people always assuming the worst can certainly push you there. I use the Volo’s canon that Orcs feel the pull of Gruumsh, and I keep that in mind when I make an Orc NPC. For instance, Faustus feels the pull of Gruumsh much harder than Azuch, but Azuch always listens to the Gruumsh ‘voice’ inside his head, while Faustus refuses. Conversely, Zharukk hears a lot more Grazz’t in his head than Gruumsh, but he listens to the latter far more often.
“Night of the Meek” is Christmas Eve. Henry Corwin, a down-and-out ne’er-do-well, dressed in a Saint Michael the Defender of Divine Glory logo shirt, worn-out Santa Claus suit, has just spent his last few dollars on a sandwich and six drinks at the neighborhood bar. While Bruce, the bartender, is on the phone, he sees Corwin reaching for the bottle; Bruce throws him out. Corwin arrives for his seasonal job as a department store Santa, an hour late and obviously drunk. When customers complain, Dundee, the manager, fires him and orders him off the premises. Corwin says that he drinks because he lives in a “dirty rooming house on a street filled with hungry kids and shabby people” for whom he is incapable of fulfilling his desired role as Santa. He declares that if he had just one wish granted him on Christmas Eve, he’d “like to see the meek inherit the earth”. Still in his outfit, he returns to the bar but is refused re-entry by Bruce. Stumbling into an alley, he hears sleigh bells. A cat knocks down a large burlap bag full of empty cans; but when he trips over it, it is now filled with gift-wrapped packages. As he starts giving them away, he realizes that the bag is somehow producing any item that is asked for. Overjoyed at his sudden ability to fulfill dreams, Corwin proceeds to hand out presents to passing children and then to derelict men attending Christmas Eve service at Sister Florence’s “Delancey Street Mission House”. Irritated by the disruption and outraged by Corwin’s offer of a new dress, Sister Florence hurries outside to fetch Officer Flaherty, who arrests Corwin for stealing the presents from his former place of employment. At the police station, Dundee reaches into the garbage bag to display some of the purportedly stolen goods, but instead finds the empty cans and the cat.