How-To DM: Improvisation

Dear Readers, as you may have seen, my Tuesday group has begun a new campaign, calling themselves the Inglorious Ingrates. You may have seen our Wednesday staff writer, Brandon, who does our “Player’s Perspective” post, writing about their new exploits. If you did not know, by the way, we are starting that group as aContinue reading “How-To DM: Improvisation”

How-To DM: Game Extras

Pretty much everyone knows the basics of playing D&D. You need your books, dice, character sheets, an adventure/module to run, players and a DM. That’s the basics of what one needs to be able to play. But that’s just the basics. What else can enhance your game above and beyond the basics? Electronic Campaign TrackingContinue reading “How-To DM: Game Extras”

Let’s Do Some World Building: More on the Village of Borest

Last time, we took a look at the concept of world building and applied it to a small town of Borest, specifically the inn. We fleshed out a few NPCs. Now, let’s flesh out some more. Last time, I said I’d flesh out the town mayor/selectman/elder. The reason I left him off the list isContinue reading “Let’s Do Some World Building: More on the Village of Borest”

How-To DM: Using a Random Encounter Table

So, you have a great campaign, maybe one you wrote, maybe a prewritten one. Who knows. And you have a random encounter table. The question usually comes up: what do you do with it and when do you use it… Here are some ideas: The Players Derail the Campaign So the players have gone totallyContinue reading “How-To DM: Using a Random Encounter Table”

How To DM: Fighting on the Fly

This week’s How-To post is by my good friend yourdorkmaterials… So. You’ve meticulously planned your big boss fight, carefully balanced your CR’s and come up with cool, integral roles tailored beautifully for each player. It’s going to be epic! Aaaaannnd…two players can’t show. Or the wizard goes down early. Or what was supposed to beContinue reading “How To DM: Fighting on the Fly”

How to DM: Creating Memorable Villains

What do you think of when you hear names like, Cruella DeVille, Melificent, Jafar, Scar (other than I can only seem to think of things Disney rolled out…)? They are memorable villains! Who can forget how awesome that fight between Prince Philip and Melificent was when she turned into a dragon? Who can forget theContinue reading “How to DM: Creating Memorable Villains”

DM How To: Campaign Building

Last week we talked about plot hooks. Remember that post. It becomes important. Start with building a home base. Usually it’s best to make this a small to medium village where you can flush out a number of NPCs and build out an area from there. All the characters should have a reason for beingContinue reading “DM How To: Campaign Building”

How to DM: Encounter Building

This week’s How to DM, we are looking at building encounters. Last week, we talked about Adventure Planning, where we decided what sorts of encounters the party would face while getting to their goal. I break encounters up into four categories: Monsters Role-playing/NPCs Puzzle-solving Traps Sure, there are other kinds, but in my opinion, allContinue reading “How to DM: Encounter Building”