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We’ve got a new article looking at what GMs can learn from the very fine Friends at the Table podcast! Only a little bit specifically about D&D here, but I think that a lot is still applicable to DMing here.
Actual play recordings are a burgeoning new niche of podcasts, places where you can go to hear people play through new systems, or just go on grand adventures. But many actual plays are boring, with hours of rules lawyering or explanations, nobody talking…

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Probably the DM version of "let me tell you about my character". This is how random tables and player choices influence the course of the nonsense that is the game I run.

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DwD&D#126 – Rudy & Satine:For most shows of Down with D&D I like to hear +Christopher Sniezak and +Shawn Merwin pontificate. With +Rudy Rutenburg and +Satine Phoenix joining them as guests I am glad they just asked a few questions to prime the couple to start talking and telling their stories. We get to hear how Rudy and Satine met at meltdown and why they blame Chris Lindsey for them getting together. How they collaborate on vidocasts and their charity work and their PTSD. They filled the time with much rich content. You get to know them well.

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This show is named because Kat is taking cold and flu medication while doing the show. The full crew is here and it is a fairly serious podcast with less jovality than normal. In spots they return to their normal silliness and joviality. First, The World We Live In section is about the location the Drakin Ridge made from a dragon named Gildesh who plumited and crashed into the earth to become part of it making the Drakin Ridge. Then, in the Fireside Chat segment the discussion is about the rules the Evil DM uses from 1E including system shock rules. This will cause the player to be unconscious for one die six rounds if they take a large amount of damage on a hit. Then, in the summoning circle portion they are preparing for writing a new module. Therefore, they talked about genre to write a module in. Also, they talk about the integration of the three pillars of adventuring. They talk about the reason why they would avoid role playing. Kat attempts to get the group to think out of the box using alternatives to combat. The conversation wonders into how to begin and not begin an adventure. They nix starting in a tavern to avoid all the cliches. They talk about asking the party to kill a monster because it one they have never killed and they are monster killers at large. One other idea floated is endearing the group to an NPC and then being asked by the NPC friend to do a mission. Yet another idea is indirectly introduce the party to a mission is to asked to do a simple favor for someone and it gets complicated. An example they give is to take crazy grandpa to a relative or friend which leads to an adventure when complications ensue in the trip or at the point of delivery.They wrap up with answering email questions.

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Been thinking a lot about genies for Subari lately. Decided I didn't like 5E genies, which are basically advanced elementals. Wanted something closer to their routes, and something further away too. So, here we go.
First, research. Learned a lot about genies in Islam lately and wanted to apply them to Subari.
So. Genies.
Genies, or Djinn if spoken of in the older dialects, and sometimes gen for short, are servants of the Tabjil God Concepts. So the divine symbols of Tests, Swarms, Destiny, Arts, and Cycles, found in every culture in some way, shape or form, have messengers in the forms of Genie. These messengers are sometimes soldiers, other times emissaries and ambassadors, advisers and sages, and sometimes just there to be there.
Genie heavily interact with everything in Subari. Every Sultan or Sultana court has a Genie or three in it. The Caliphate in the Great Mirage is known to have many Genie attending to it. Even in the great Basin of Youm, where the god Lugals rule, there are Genies that advise them. They come from the realm of Qaafkuh, or the night sky, and each type of Genie embodies another of the God concepts--or at least the Idolaters and Sages say they do. The Genie themselves never confirm that they serve Gods, but they do pray as we do, and thus are as enlightened as we mortals are.
Genies can grant wishes. All wishes made by a specific type of genie are corrupted by that Genie's worldview, but the wish is still granted all the same. This divine power is said to be proof of their connection to the divine. It is not.
There are five types of Genie, again each corresponding to a God Concept.
The Odei are Genies that personify thunderstorms. They appear in great rushes of thunder and lightning, their ethereal stormbeards filling entire rooms. They bring with them great destruction through tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and lightning strikes, and then they raise from the ground great meadows to feed the reimbursed world. Their wishes usually are corrupted to bring great conflict to the wisher, and then to give them great reward. It is said they serve the God Concepts of Cycles because they are both life and death in one.
The Qarin is a Genie that possesses or manifests inside of us all--few are sure of the truth. Qarin appear when a man commits a great sin or is on the verge of doing so. The Qarin will either persuade him to commit the sin if he has not, or advise him to instead do great deeds as retribution for his punishment. Manifesting as a ethereal copy of the person they are confronting, but grander, taller, and more elegantly dressed, the Qarin will take a Wish made of it and give you the complete opposite. It is said that because of this, they serve the God Concepts of Swarms, are they are warnings that something wrong has happened or will happen soon.
The Marid/Ifrit (Or Efreet) are two sides of the same coin. They inhabit places of "flow," such as rivers or great fires. They are either made out of smoke and flame or out of mist and rain, are giants compared to men, and are playful and extreme. They manifest only for true Royalty, or so the sages say, and they grant wishes earnestly--but literally too. The reason they share two names is because many theorize that both Marid and Ifrit, despite elemental differences, are one in the same, and that their appearance depends on who, where, and why they manifest. It is said they represent the God Concept of Destiny, because they only appear before the great and mighty, and their wishes usually indicate great change in the world.
The Peri are small, sprite-like Genie, usually the size of one's hand and fair to look at. They are spirits of Inspiration, appearing with fair bird wings and instruments or poems that they use to serve as muses for those they touch. Though not Muses in true, for those are different divine spirits, they are special all the same. They are said to serve the God Concepts of Arts, because many believe that unless a Peri visits you, you can never become a truly legendary artist.
Finally, we have the Sila. Sila are shapeshifting Genie that can take on any form of any creature, no matter how supernatural or mundane. They do so in order to watch people they find interesting and then, suddenly, spring on them. This usually manifests in the Sila pretending to be someone or something needing help, or asking for a favor of some form. It is said that if you accept the favor from or help the Stranger, a Sila will reveal their true form and grant you any wish. Because of this, it is said that they serve the God Concepts of Tests, for they test others before rewarding them.
Thoughts on Subarian Genie?

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It's week 2 of our Christmas Countdown, and we're taking a visit to Scrivener Street, a wintery high street with offices, shops and houses, spread across two levels (each level is a 20x30 battlemap).

As part of Christmas Countdown Scrivener Street is 50% for this week, and will be discounted until next Sunday (when we release our next Christmas map!)

You can get it here:
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Is a spell focus, bard instrument or holy symbol required to cast spells?
Seems like it would be pointless if a cleric didn't have their holy symbol. How would they get their diety to give them soells?

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