Battle to the death between Boblin the Goblin and Ugbear the Bugbearian. Captured by Stillness InMotion on Unsplash

Pointers for structuring and running an engaging Battle Royale in Dungeons & Dragons 5e.

Suffering Breeds Innovation

I finished my costume and war paint, then logged into Zoom ready to BE Boblin the Goblin — my 10th level Arcane Archer Fighter. After two weeks of planning with the other members of my squad I was ready for a memorable night of shenanigans playing Dungeons & Dragons in the form of a 3v3 Battle Royale.

We had a variety of players — the Dungeon Master (DM) had played since the 3.5e days, some of us had played for a couple years, and one brand-spanking-new player who had joined us for the last two sessions of our regular campaign…

You can get this badass dragon wallpaper over at

How I modified the D&D 5e system to build a 1-hour adventure for 10 coworkers and how you can use it to create an exciting virtual team get-together!

Over the last 8 weeks my team has been very deliberately making sure that we all still feel connected and human during the stay-at-home order. We’ve been holding weekly virtual happy hours with rotating owners, ranging from trivia and card games to spreading kindness via post cards (which by the way if you haven’t checked out the Be Kind & Live Happy program it is seriously cool).

When my turn came to own the weekly virtual happy hour I immediately knew that I wanted to run a Dungeons & Dragons session for the team. I thought it would be something…

Using real world data from Competitive Overwatch matches to determine how Blizzard has adapted the popular Elo rating system for use in Overwatch.

When you’re trying to figure out how you got matched up against someone who is 1,300 levels higher than you.

Anyone who has played Overwatch’s Competitive game mode has encountered a number of frustrating things: “pro” Widows and Genjis, countless Hanzo mains, and that occasional matchmaking that causes you to question if Blizzard is actively punishing you for something terrible that you must have done in another life. I can’t help with the first two — but if you’ve ever wondered, “is there actually a method to this matchmaking madness?”, then this article is for you.

Turning GeoJSONs into Dashboards

Washington, DC Crash Data Dashboard built using the Open Data DC API

Many cities have a wealth of safety data — crime, moving violations, crashes, etc.— but having data in and of itself does not always equate to having information. If it did, the world wouldn’t need analysts!

After repeatedly receiving requests to perform traffic safety analytics for our clients, I undertook the task of developing an interactive tool that would enable cities to explore their own safety data in a way that would easily allow them to extract relevant safety-related information and insights.

A key component to this tool was the ability to provide the cities with crash data that was…

Lance McDiffett

Data scientist, video game enthusiast, cat lover.

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