D&D, and how I really play it

(c) Bryson

I write about FKR D&D from time to time to time, but I have never explained how I really play D&D at home. So here we go.

  1. Grab a character concept. This can be from the GLOG, or from any other fantasy game. Just the concept. Write it down.


  2. Create your character with Adventure Points. In a nutshell: Each player starts with 2 or 3 APs. Cash one in to get something, an ability, power, item that makes your character do something interesting. The more powerful that is, the more APs it costs.

  3. Your character can take a couple of hits, but what really matters is how much it makes sense in the game world. I’ll come to that in point 6.

  4. Get him/her/it some equipment, or use the standard gp method.

  5. Combat, because it’s D&D: Roll d20, try for high. I WILL NOT TELL YOU the target number. If you roll high enough, you hit and do damage. What numbers exactly do I use? To be honest, spur of the moment. So come waltzing in with your 140 lbs knave and hope to score big against that experienced 250 lbs brawler with one eye and no teeth? I tell you, “roll d20, try for high”, and rule that you need a 15 or more.

  6. Damage: I guess it, based on my honest and impartial assessment of the situation.
    For instance: A level 1 fighting-man with a knack for daggers stabbing that leather-clad troll in the gut. The troll screams out in pain, but it is still standing, and his thick apron has probably stopped a lot of the damage. That’s enough to know, for me, and for you. A few mediocre hits later, I might roll d6 and try for high to determine if the troll is still standing.

  7. Everything else: Roll d6, try for high. Again, what number you need to roll is my secret.

  8. Use Arnold’s Popcorn Leveling.

5 thoughts on “D&D, and how I really play it

  1. Hi Norbert,
    all great and new to me! Only one thing I don’t find clear, once you level up with popcorn leveling, what improves in the characters? Do they get new adventure points? What if they used a concept/class from glog or other games and didn’t use AP? Do they increase the hits they can take?
    Thanks so much!


    1. Federico, hi!
      It depends on you and the needs/desires of your group… maybe y’all would like to add hp or hits, so do that. Or maybe, you gain skills. Or maybe another template like in GLOG. You might also gain experience diegetically, i.e., your character changes not so much in points (if any), but in his/her/its understanding of the world… Does this help?


  2. Yes of course, I imagined, but you are always very comprehensive! I was just trying to imagine, since you specified that you used popcorn leveling, how you used that advancement. Thank you very much!


    1. Ah! Federico, I use a mix of different things when characters level up: Sometimes, I like to use Zak’s and Jeff’s Random Advancement (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sJo4ev56Hc91sdMBq48Vewu3gYtLBZzis2wZ3yjmF2k/edit): When a character levels up, you roll on the apporpriate table to see what happens.

      At other times, I simply ask the player to write down an improved/better version of something that’s already on his sheet: If the character used lots and lots of strength in a session, it’s possible his strength improved…

      And then, of course, there’s purely diegetic advancement: the characters get something they were looking/fighting/hoping for so long… if it fits, it fits.


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