I find that an immersive sound ambiance is key to helping tabletop RPG players engage. It can increase their stress and sense of urgency during a fight, galvanize them during a harrowing speech, or break their heart when they realize they've just lost something and there's no getting it back. In that article, I will walk you through the design of my fully DIY sound mixer, inspired by the Launchpad, allowing me to create a great sound ambiance at the table.
I've recently designed a 2 session long (6h) detour into the Underdark, that would feed into one of my player's character's backstory. The goal was to allow him to meet his long-disappeared father, while introducing both the players and the characters to the strange and dangerous land that is the Underdark.
I have spent quite a lot of time using Dungeondraft recently, as I've designed many homebrewed places and encounters. The more maps I created, the more assets pack I bought from CartographyAssets, to further enrich and improve them. I quickly started to realize that some of these asset packs caused the tag list to be filled with entries that weren't linked to any assets at all. This made the asset discovery process quite frustrating.
When I was preparing for Port Nyanzaru, in Tomb of Annihilation, I started reading what other Dungeons Masters had to say about the city. A lot of them would mention that the dinosaur race was a must-do, and that if done properly, it could really be a high point in the start of the adventure. The problem was, I felt that the official rules regarding this race were, well, underwhelming, to say the least. Each player rolls a dice, gets some points or not, repeatedly until the end of the race. If that race was going to be something to remember, I felt that I needed to spice it up a bit.