Gamemastering Tip: Forged in Fire

I’m making an effort to post on this blog once a day. It doesn’t need to be big, long, or heavy on details, but I’m trying to write down and publish one musing, idea, theme, topic, or something each day as a daily warm-up for my writing and creative work.


Anyone who knows me moderately well knows that I love history. I especially love Antiquity, Classical and Viking Age history. One of my recent relaxing activates has been watching the History Channel show Forged in Fire, a blacksmithing competition, where the final two competitors have to recreate a weapon from history.

This has been really great for me, as I’ve learned a lot about new-to-me historical weapons, and I’ve been able to integrate them into my campaigns. As a bonus, I’ve been able to use my new knowledge to create new weapons inspired by how culture and environment influence weapon design.

Additionally, my increased knowledge of how blacksmithing unfolds has made my ability to create interesting downtime or side quests far stronger. Something that’s paid off for me, as a run a lot of games that have meta-mechanics around downtime or non-adventuring phases.

In the US, I watch Forged in Fire on Netflix and on Discovery+. If you think it sounds interesting, I certainly think watching it with an eye towards some nice narrative detail for your campaigns can be a big boost.