Tag: Homebrew

Introducing Spellcraft Sessions

Magic in D&D: it’s a topic that’s sparked more debates at the table than I care to count. We’ve all been there—arguing about how a spell should work, getting bogged down in the minutiae of its mechanics, or just wishing it was more… intuitive. Rules as written are one thing, but what about rules as they should be?

That’s where Spellcraft Sessions comes into play.

This new segment on Pen & Paper Tavern is all about dissecting those spells that have us scratching our heads or, let’s be honest, throwing our Player’s Handbooks across the room. We’ll delve into what makes these spells tick, pinpoint where they fall short, and brainstorm ways to streamline them without turning our games into a convoluted mess.

Because here’s the thing: I’m not interested in getting lost in the weeds of arcane jargon. I want my games to flow. I want clarity without sacrificing depth. And I’m willing to bet many of you do too.

So, as we embark on this journey of magical refinement, I invite you to join the conversation. Let’s challenge the status quo, question the sacred cows, and maybe—just maybe—craft some spells that make sense.

Our first target? The ever-controversial Counterspell. But more on that later.

Until then, have fun and roll some dice!

Monster Compendium

Welcome to the Pen & Paper Tavern Monster Compendium, a collection of handcrafted horrors and extraordinary creatures to ignite your tabletop adventures. Unleash these bespoke monstrosities upon your players and witness unforgettable tales of triumph and terror.

Name CR Type
Voidskulker 1/2 Humanoid (Goblinoid)


Size: Small | Type: Humanoid (Goblinoid) | Alignment: Neutral Evil

Armor Class: 15 (leather armor, shield)

Hit Points: 9 (2d6+2)

Speed: 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR: 8 (-1) | DEX: 16 (+3) | CON: 12 (+1) | INT: 10 (0) | WIS: 8 (-1) | CHA: 10 (0)

Skills: Stealth +6

Senses: Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9

Languages: Goblin

Challenge: 1/2 (100 XP)


Scimitar: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) slashing damage.

Shortbow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage.

Special Ability (1/day)

As an action, the voidskulker taps into the chaotic energies of the void, infusing its weapon with unstable astral energy. The next successful melee weapon attack made by the voidskulker within the next minute deals an additional 3d6 force damage. Additionally, the target must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be pushed 10 feet away from the voidskulker and knocked prone. Once the void infusion ability is used, the voidskulker cannot use it again until it completes a long rest.

Space Tactics: Voidskulkers are skilled at hit-and-run tactics, taking advantage of their small size and nimbleness to outmaneuver foes. They favor ambushes and coordinate attacks from multiple angles, using their mobility to quickly retreat or reposition in zero gravity environments. They often employ crude jetpacks or grappling hooks to gain the upper hand in space combat.

Tenebrous Wisp 3 Aberration

Tenebrous Wisp

Size: Small | Type: Aberration | Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Armor Class: 13

Hit Points: 22 (5d6+5)

Speed: 0 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover)

STR: 3 (-4) | DEX: 16 (+3) | CON: 12 (+1) | INT: 10 (0) | WIS: 14 (+2) | CHA: 8 (-1)

Saving Throws: DEX +5, WIS +4

Skills: Stealth +5

Damage Resistances: Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks


Incorporeal Movement: The Tenebrous Wisp can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.


Whispers of Insanity: The Tenebrous Wisp targets one creature it can see within 60 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be affected by short-term madness (roll on the Short-Term Madness table in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 259).

Special Ability (1/day)

Shriek of Despair: All creatures within a 30-foot radius of the Tenebrous Wisp must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, a creature is frightened for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Eldritch Amalgamation 9 Aberration

Eldritch Amalgamation

Size: Medium | Type: Aberration | Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Armor Class: 15

Hit Points: 97 (13d8 + 39)

Speed: 30 ft.

STR: 16 (+3) | DEX: 14 (+2) | CON: 16 (+3) | INT: 10 (0) | WIS: 12 (+1) | CHA: 8 (-1)

Saving Throws: Wis +4

Skills: Perception +4

Damage Resistances: Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks


Amorphous: The Eldritch Amalgamation can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

Darkvision: The Eldritch Amalgamation can see in dim light within 60 feet of it as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light.


Multiattack: The Eldritch Amalgamation makes two tentacle attacks.

Tentacle: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

Special Ability (1/day)

Dark Eruption: The Eldritch Amalgamation releases a burst of eldritch energy in a 20-foot radius. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Voidborn Leviathan 20 Aberration

Voidborn Leviathan

Size: Gargantuan | Type: Aberration | Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Armor Class: 18 (natural armor)

Hit Points: 312 (25d20+100)

Speed: 20 ft., swim 60 ft.

STR: 26 (+8) | DEX: 14 (+2) | CON: 21 (+5) | INT: 18 (+4) | WIS: 16 (+3) | CHA: 10 (0)

Saving Throws: STR +15, CON +12, INT +11

Skills: Arcana +11, Perception +10, Insight +10

Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities: psychic

Senses: blindsight 120 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 20

Languages: Deep Speech, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge: 20 (25,000 XP)


Legendary Resistance (3/Day): If the Voidborn Leviathan fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.


Multiattack: The Voidborn Leviathan makes three attacks: two with its tentacles and one with its bite.

Tentacle: Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 26 (4d8+8) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 23). The Voidborn Leviathan has four tentacles, each of which can grapple one target.

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10+8) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) psychic damage.

Legendary Actions

The Voidborn Leviathan can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Voidborn Leviathan regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Tentacle Attack: The Voidborn Leviathan makes a tentacle attack.
  • Break Free (Costs 2 Actions): The Voidborn Leviathan ends one grapple, restraint, or immobilizing effect on itself.
  • Warp Reality (Costs 3 Actions): The Voidborn Leviathan releases a pulse of otherworldly energy, causing the terrain in a 30-foot radius around it to become difficult terrain. Creatures within that area must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or be confused (as the confusion spell) until the end of their next turn.

Special Ability (1/day)

Cosmic Devourer: The Voidborn Leviathan opens a tear in reality, creating a 30-foot-radius sphere of darkness centered on a point it can see within 120 feet. The area is considered magical darkness, and even creatures with darkvision cannot see through it. At the start of the Voidborn Leviathan’s next turn, all creatures within the area must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw, taking 56 (16d6) force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The darkness then dissipates.

10 Exciting D&D 5e House Rules to Boost Fun and Player Engagement in Your Campaigns

Tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) 5th Edition are all about having fun and engaging with your friends in exciting adventures. While the core rules provide a solid foundation for gameplay, sometimes adding custom rules can enhance the experience and make it even more memorable. Here are ten custom rules that you can introduce to your D&D 5e games to increase fun and engagement without breaking the game balance.

Shared Inspiration

Inspiration points are a great way to reward players for excellent role-playing or creative thinking. To promote teamwork and camaraderie, allow players to give their Inspiration points to other players during the game. This encourages players to pay attention to each other’s actions and acknowledge great role-playing moments.

Environmental Interactions

Spice up combat encounters by encouraging players to use the environment creatively. Offer minor mechanical benefits, such as advantage on certain rolls or small damage boosts, when players describe their actions in a cinematic way. This will lead to more exciting battles and foster creative thinking.

Dynamic Critical Hits

Add variety and excitement to critical hits by allowing players to choose a bonus effect from a list, such as knocking the target prone, disarming them, or pushing them back. This change makes critical hits feel more impactful and allows players to tailor their attacks based on the situation.

Flashback Scenes

Enhance narrative depth and character development by introducing flashback scenes. Allow players to use a flashback during gameplay, where they describe a past event or interaction that helps them in the current situation. This encourages role-playing and can lead to interesting revelations about characters’ backstories.

Mini Skill Challenges

Integrate mini skill challenges during gameplay to highlight individual character strengths and promote teamwork. These challenges require players to use their abilities creatively to overcome obstacles or solve problems, rewarding teamwork and inventive thinking.

Catch Your Breath

Give players more options for survival by allowing them to regain a small amount of hit points during combat by using their action to “catch their breath.” This encourages tactical decision-making and helps keep the action going even when healing magic is scarce.

Descriptive Spellcasting

Reward players with minor bonuses, such as a slight damage boost or a small increase in duration, when they describe their spells in a particularly creative or engaging way. This incentivizes vivid descriptions and makes spellcasting feel more immersive.

Signature Moves

Let each player create a signature move for their character that provides a small mechanical benefit or unique effect. This adds flavor and personalization to characters while encouraging players to think about their character’s fighting style and background.

Heroic Sacrifice

Empower players to make heroic sacrifices during dire moments, such as taking damage meant for an ally or using their action to save another character from a fatal blow. In exchange, they gain a temporary bonus, like advantage on all rolls for a short time. This rule adds drama and excitement to gameplay while fostering a sense of camaraderie among the players.

Session Goals

Encourage role-playing and character growth by asking players to set a personal goal for their character at the beginning of each session. If they achieve the goal during the session, reward them with experience points, Inspiration, or other benefits. This motivates players to think about their characters’ motivations and development.

Introducing custom rules to your D&D 5e games can breathe new life into your sessions and create memorable experiences for your players. Always discuss these changes with your group to ensure everyone is on board and excited about the new rules. Tailor these suggestions to fit your group’s preferences and playstyle, and watch as your games become even more enjoyable and engaging. Happy adventuring!

Random NPC Generator

The Goblin’s Gambit: A One-Page Dungeon for Your Next D&D Session

Looking for a one-shot adventure to run for your D&D group? The Goblin’s Gambit is a short and exciting dungeon crawl that can be completed in a single session. Perfect for players new to the game, this adventure provides a balanced mix of combat, puzzles, and roleplaying challenges.

Adventure Overview

The adventure starts with the party being tasked with investigating the mysterious disappearances of several miners in a nearby abandoned mine. Upon entering the mine, they quickly discover that it has been taken over by a tribe of goblins who are using it as a base of operations for their nefarious schemes. The party must navigate through traps, puzzles, and combat to save the missing miners and put an end to the goblins’ plans.

If you’re looking for a one-shot adventure that is both exciting and accessible, be sure to check out The Goblin’s Gambit. You can download the PDF for free at the end of this post, and start playing with your group today. So gather your party, sharpen your swords, roll some dice and have fun!

10 Intriguing Rumors & Plot Hooks to Spice Up Your D&D Campaign

Every Dungeons & Dragons campaign thrives on engaging and creative storylines. As a Dungeon Master, it’s your responsibility to keep the players immersed in your world with captivating adventures and unexpected twists. Rumors and plot hooks can be a fantastic way to introduce new challenges, quests, or mysteries for the characters to explore. To help you keep your campaign fresh and exciting, I’ve put together a rollable table featuring 10 thought-provoking rumors and plot hooks that can be easily integrated into your game.

The Rollable Table: 10 Rumors & Plot Hooks

Roll 1d10 to determine the rumor or plot hook the characters come across:

Roll Rumor/Plot Hook
1 A riddle-obsessed creature guards an enchanted sword deep within an ancient, overgrown forest.
2 Strange lights and eerie sounds emanate from an abandoned tower on a remote island.
3 Cursed bandits hide in nearby hills, hoarding a stolen, valuable artifact in their lair.
4 A ghostly ship appears every full moon, rumored to hold a long-dead pirate king’s treasure.
5 A notorious thief has been stealing magical items, with a large reward offered for their capture.
6 Bizarre crop patterns and agitated livestock fuel local beliefs in malevolent spirits.
7 A child’s invisible friend shares knowledge of a hidden, underground city filled with wonders and dangers.
8 An old journal hints at the location of a mysterious fountain that grants eternal youth.
9 An ancient religious relic lies hidden within a well-guarded fortress in a treacherous mountain pass.
10 Gruesome, blood-drained murders lead to whispers of a vampire residing in an abandoned manor.

The rollable table provides a great starting point for Dungeon Masters to build engaging quests and storylines. Here are some recommendations on how to expand on these ideas and adapt them to your campaign:

Incorporate player backstories: Tie the rumors and plot hooks to the characters’ personal histories, goals, or relationships to create a deeper connection between the players and the story, and encourage role-playing and character development.

Customize the adventure to your setting: Adapt the rumors and plot hooks to fit the unique aspects of your campaign world, such as the geography, history, politics, and culture. This creates a more immersive and cohesive experience for the players.

Combine multiple hooks: Merge two or more rumors or plot hooks from the table to create a more intricate and layered storyline. This can lead to a richer narrative experience and keep the players engaged for a longer period.

And most importantly – have fun and roll some dice!

Create Memorable NPCs with Our Rollable Table of 20 Quirks

If you’re a game master or dungeon master, you know how important it is to create compelling non-player characters (NPCs) to populate your game world. But sometimes it can be tough to come up with interesting quirks and traits that make your NPCs stand out. That’s where a rollable table can come in handy!

I’ve created a rollable table of 20 NPC quirks that you can use to add some personality and flavor to your game world. Simply roll a d20 (a 20-sided die) to determine which quirk your NPC possesses.

I hope this rollable table of NPC quirks will spark your creativity and add some fun to your next adventure!

10 Magic items you can give to low level characters | D&D 5e

Disclamer: Your players will figure out how to abuse these. Use at your own risk.

These ten low-level magic items are designed to add some fun and excitement to early levels of D&D 5e gameplay. By providing unique and useful abilities, these items can help players feel more invested in their characters and can enhance their combat or exploration capabilities.

Many low-level characters may not have access to high-level spells or powerful weapons, but these items can level the playing field and give them an edge in battles or other challenges. For example, the Flame Kiss Dagger adds fire damage to an otherwise basic weapon, making it a more powerful tool for combat. The Boots of Spider Climb allow characters to traverse difficult terrain with ease, while the Boots of Leaping help them make daring acrobatic maneuvers.

In addition to being useful in combat, many of these items provide interesting role-playing opportunities. The Soul Shard allows players to trap the souls of defeated enemies, giving them a unique way to gain information or extract revenge. The Vial of Enchanted Water provides a temporary boost to one skill or ability, which can be useful in social situations or other non-combat encounters.

Overall, these low-level magic items are a great addition to any D&D campaign. They provide unique and useful abilities without overpowering characters, and can add some much-needed excitement to the early stages of the game.

Roll Quirk
1 Speaks in an overly formal or archaic manner.
2 Has a nervous tic or habit, such as tapping their foot or twirling their hair.
3 Obsessed with cleanliness and is constantly wiping down surfaces.
4 Forgetful and frequently loses or forgets important items.
5 Has an unusual hobby or interest, such as collecting stamps or studying obscure historical events.
6 Extremely superstitious and believes in all sorts of omens and signs.
7 Talks to themselves or has imaginary conversations with people who aren’t there.
8 Is always humming or singing a particular tune.
9 Has a distinctive physical trait, such as a scar or a birthmark.
10 Extremely indecisive and has trouble making even minor choices.
11 Is a hypochondriac and is constantly convinced they have some sort of ailment or illness.
12 Overly competitive and always has to be the best at everything.
13 Is a compulsive liar and frequently exaggerates or outright fabricates stories.
14 Is incredibly gullible and will believe just about anything they’re told.
15 Is fiercely independent and refuses to ask for help or accept assistance from others.
16 Has a particular fear or phobia, such as heights or spiders.
17 Is a chatterbox and loves to talk, often rambling on and on about nothing in particular.
18 Is always on the lookout for a bargain and will haggle over even the smallest amounts of money.
19 Has a strange or unusual pet that they dote on and talk about constantly.
20 Is a hopeless romantic and is always seeking out their perfect match, even if it means going to great lengths to find them.
D10 Result Description
1 Flame Kiss Dagger This +1 dagger deals an additional 1d6 fire damage on a hit. The blade is hot to the touch, but the wielder is immune to the heat
2 Boots of Leaping These boots grant the wearer advantage on Acrobatics checks and allow them to make standing jumps up to twice their normal distance
3 Gloves of Spider Climb These gloves allow the wearer to climb vertical surfaces or ceilings as if under the effects of the Spider Climb spell for up to 10 minutes per day
4 Crystal of Elemental Binding This small crystal can be used to summon a tiny elemental creature of the corresponding element (air, earth, fire, or water) for 1 minute per day. The creature is friendly to the user, but will not obey complex commands
5 Soul Shard This small shard of obsidian can be used to trap the soul of a defeated enemy. If the enemy is of equal or lower level than the user, the user can choose to summon the trapped soul to aid them in battle for up to 1 minute per day
6 Wand of the Magi This wand has 3 charges, and regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. The user can spend 1 charge to cast the Magic Missile spell, 2 charges to cast Scorching Ray, or 3 charges to cast Fireball
7 Vial of Enchanted Water This vial of water is infused with powerful enchantments. When the user drinks the water, they gain advantage on their next attack roll, saving throw, or ability check within the next hour.
8 Cape of the Bat This magical cape allows the user to transform into a bat for up to 10 minutes per day. While in bat form, the user gains the ability to fly and can squeeze through tight spaces
9 Mask of Invisibility This mask allows the user to become invisible for up to 1 minute per day. While invisible, the user gains advantage on Stealth checks
0 Staff of Thunderbolts This +1 quarterstaff has 3 charges and regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. The user can spend 1 charge to cast Thunderwave, 2 charges to cast Shatter, or 3 charges to cast Lightning Bolt

Have fun and roll some dice!

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