Dungeon Master Tips and Tricks

Here is a collection of posts focused on my experiences as a Dungeon Master. Hopefully these Dungeon Master tips and tricks can add some additional fun and engagement to your games. Also be sure to check out my Dungeon Master Resources page for some websites/apps I actually use!

Past Posts in “Dungeon Master Tips and Tricks”

  • Dungeons and Dragons and Combat
    For as long as Dungeons and Dragons has existed, combat has been one of it’s core pillars. This makes quite a bit of sense when you remember that the D&D originates from wargaming. In the early days of D&D you basically had exploration and combat. The roleplaying and narrative side of the game was secondary.… Continue reading Dungeons and Dragons and Combat
  • Critical Hits and Skill Checks
    In Dungeons and Dragons, the concept of rolling critical hits or critical failures in relation to skill checks is fairly debated. For some reference, in the fifth edition rulebooks, these are concepts only applied to attacks. That is, rolling a 20 on a 20-sided die is a “critical hit” automatically hitting, regardless of the enemy’s… Continue reading Critical Hits and Skill Checks
  • AyOhBe’s House Rules
    Hello! Even though you haven’t asked, I thought I would share with you the House Rules for Dungeons and Dragons that I use at my table. These are rules that caught my fancy from podcasts, source books or random internet searches.  Before each campaign I share a document with my players that details each of… Continue reading AyOhBe’s House Rules
  • Monster Spotlight – Larak, the Lich
    Liches are an iconic monster. Commanding the voice of a lich in Dungeons and Dragons is to command a wealth of power, knowledge and experience. It’s easy to pass off a lich as simply another obstacle for the players to overcome, but that undersells the creature itself. Liches are dangerous. They are old, they’ve dedicated… Continue reading Monster Spotlight – Larak, the Lich
  • Easter Themed Adventure Ideas (and a one shot)!
    I really enjoy running holiday themed quests. They can be a nice way to inject a side quest into your adventure, or take a short break to run a short seasonal campaign. With Easter is just around the corner, I thought this would be a great time to share some ideas for an Easter themed… Continue reading Easter Themed Adventure Ideas (and a one shot)!
  • Player Choice and Consequences
    One of my favourite things about roleplaying games is the freedom they provide. Whether it is a video game or a tabletop roleplaying game, I love when players have the opportunity to do what they want within the game world. The reason for that love, is consequences. I enjoy seeing how the world/story is impacted… Continue reading Player Choice and Consequences
  • Anchoring Characters
    Creating characters is the backbone of D&D. You can’t play without them and making a character you don’t jive with can ruin a game. OR having a character that doesn’t mesh into the world can make a player struggle with motivations and character development. This can decrease your feeling of belonging in the adventure party.… Continue reading Anchoring Characters
  • Dungeons and Dragons Skill Spotlight: Insight
    Recently my browsing led me to a Dungeons and Dragons article by CRB.com titled “How to Use Dungeons & Dragons’ Most Controversial Skill“. The “controversial skill” in question is insight. Click-bait title aside, author Dashiell King, raises some really good points about how insight is typically used and skirts along the edge of some additional… Continue reading Dungeons and Dragons Skill Spotlight: Insight
  • Roleplaying Downtime Outside the Game
    What are players up to between missions? The adventurers in tabletop roleplaying games are often extremely busy. There are always dungeons to delve, citizens to save, monsters to slay, and devils to make deals with. In amongst all the heroics – or villainy – that characters get up to in games like Dungeons and Dragons,… Continue reading Roleplaying Downtime Outside the Game
  • Playing D&D Via Text
    So…an experiment A few weeks ago I had become curious about “play-by-post” RPGs. For those of you that don’t know, play-by-post is a way of playing an RPG where everything: narration, resolutions, descriptions, player actions, etc. is conveyed via written messages. I decided that rather than looking up how they typically work and what kinds… Continue reading Playing D&D Via Text
  • Drawing Inspiration
    Tabletop roleplaying is a realm of constant creation. Characters, conversations, strategies, situations, stories, NPCs, monsters, treasures, and much more, are created continuously. Some with much planning, some off the cuff as they occur. While human beings have a near infinite capacity for creativity and creation, it is often helpful to draw from things we’ve already… Continue reading Drawing Inspiration
  • Don’t Split the Party . . .
    Or maybe do? A common adage heard at tables, in print and online is, “don’t split the party”. It’s been a phrase among players and dungeon masters for a very long time. It exists for good reason, splitting the party can be a headache for both players and DMs. Players can lose interest or be… Continue reading Don’t Split the Party . . .
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of D&D – Part One
    Role playing games are experiences that require the cooperation of all the players at the table. This can be a lot for people to navigate, especially new players. To this end, I decided to put together a set of Do’s and Don’ts of Dungeons and Dragons for players and dungeon masters alike. I made a… Continue reading The Do’s and Don’ts of D&D – Part One
  • The Third String
    Heroes Don’t Need to be Perfect For many people, roleplaying games are about playing someone powerful and amazing. Some go out of their way to make their characters as powerful as possible, sometimes to the point of being game-breaking. This is absolutely okay, people should play these games whatever way they have the most fun… Continue reading The Third String
  • Player and Dungeon Master Resources (That I’ve actually used)
    Below are some resources for both players and game masters! I’m only including resources I have personal experience with, so if your favourite resource is missing, it is just that I haven’t used it. (Full disclosure, some links on this page are affiliate links) Other than the first entry, these are general resources that can… Continue reading Player and Dungeon Master Resources (That I’ve actually used)
  • The Egg Heist – My Shift in Storytelling
    Like many others, I started running games using premade modules. They are extremely convenient, reduce prep time, and are often a lot of fun. When I decided to make a serious attempt at being a Dungeon Master, I ran a Dungeons and Dragons 4e adventure called The Slaying Stone with a small group of friends… Continue reading The Egg Heist – My Shift in Storytelling
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