September 12, 2019

Meet the Rift Rats!

Comments from the Finger: I finally caught up on Rift Rats! 

I love this season of Hero Club. It's always great seeing such a well-produced campaign using a book that's occupied such a massive part of my life, but George and Nick really get what makes Dark Matter great: it doesn't take itself too seriously. This season is hysterical (though it takes an episode before it descends into full-on farce) and you should absolutely listen in.

Meet the Rats!
The cast of Rift Rats, the titular Rats, is phenomenal. It’s just only three characters (plus some recurring side characters), but they manage to be funny, clever, and downright dangerous. So, I’m going to build the rats as NPCs for use in your Dark Matter game, and let you know how I’d write them as characters using Dark Matter rules. My versions are going to be a little different to the versions presented in the podcast, so if you want to spot all the differences, go listen in!

September 7, 2019

Smash Cuts

Comments from the Finger: I've found I use this TV-inspired framework a lot in my games, so it's time to write an article!

Today, I want to chat about a technique I've used more and more as I grow as a DM: cuts. A cut, as borrowed from cinema, is when one shot ends and another shot just begins -- in D&D terms, this signifies a switch from one perspective to another in the narration. We all (at least subconsciously) understand how these are used in film, and what these uses signify, but it might be useful to talk about how to use them when narrating the game, when to use them, and what feeling each conveys.

September 5, 2019


Sorcerous Origin
Comments from the Finger: This has been on my todo list for a super, super long time, and with the help from Grand Moff, I finally got it done!


All adventurers are warned of a beholder’s eye rays, but few are warned of their dreams. A beholder’s intellect is so alien and so keen it warps reality, shaping the world to appease its alien madness. But when a beholder dreams, this intellect wanders, spontaneously creating horrific things from the beholder’s imagination. On occasion, this summons into being other beholders, or similar shades of beholderkin. However, in one peculiar dream, a beholder made you.
     Though you might look humanoid in most respects, you hold in yourself the alien power and unending animosity of a beholder. You might have always known of your impossible parentage, but if you were unaware, it was revealed with the awakening of your eye magic, the sinister rays and the floating, disembodied eyes which follow you.

August 30, 2019

Dark Matter | Off the Record 2

Comments from the Finger: The dead ends we came to while designing the world of Dark Matter are perhaps more interesting than the setting itself.

     Remember, you can get the Final PDF of Dark Matter on the Mage Hand Press store or on DriveThruRPG!

Dark Matter | Off the Record 2

When we wrote Dark Matter, we had to abide by the OGL -- a set of guidelines which limits which parts of 5th edition we're allowed to use, in exchange for using the system without fear of legal backlash from Wizards of the Coast. This means we weren't able to include all of our craziest, most bonkers ideas in the book, and had to come up with some creative solutions instead. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't use them (off the record, of course.)

August 28, 2019

Matter and Void

Comments from the Finger: Let's talk about Dark Matter!

The book is currently at the printers and we're working on getting a proof. This means, for all intents and purposes, the book is set in stone, not to be changed. But there was one final change -- a long overdue change -- we made before finalizing it:

We removed the Shugenja from the book and replaced it with a ranger subclass. Why? Mostly because we don't think we'll be supporting the shugenja much in the future. There's several reasons for this: it tends to confuse new players, often gets read as "a wizard, but vaguely asian", and it doesn't contribute much to our settings. Instead, we'll just leave the subclass here for posterity, a page from a Dark Matter that might have been.

And of course, if you like D&D in space, you'd be crazy not to listen to Hero Club's new sci-fi D&D podcast series, Rift Rats, which uses Dark Matter as a groundwork for George's customarily fantastic storytelling and top-notch editing. If you want to get a copy of Dark Matter, use the code RIFTRATS at checkout on the MHP store for 15% off!

Matter and Void

The most fundamental dichotomy in the universe is not the diametrically opposed elemental pairs, but matter itself, or a lack thereof. All physical things are composed of matter, as are a number of non-physical things, and it is tempting to believe that the universe consists only of matter and its interactions, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The empty space—and the Void, its purest essence—is just as important as matter itself, for it causes a number of bizarre, barely understood properties which define the universe.
     Shugenja who embrace the duality of Matter and Void explore the details of how the universe is defined and learn how to manipulate the fundamental forces that underly it. Whether it's warping space to create bridges or transforming matter into strange, quantum states, these shugenja push the boundaries of understanding and the very laws of physics.

August 23, 2019

Keeping Score | Physical Ability Score Names

Comments from the Finger: Another article kindly written by Grand Moff

Here is the follow up to the previous iteration where we assigned names to the various levels of mental ability scores. This article will detail some options for the three physical abilities, Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.