Laidback DM: Free Map – Big Bad Boss Castle

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Big Bad Boss Castle Yep – there’s always an endgame, and the Big Bad Boss is the dude or dudette at the end ofContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Big Bad Boss Castle”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Clifftop Temple

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Clifftop Temple After climbing all the way to the top of the cliff, the PCs must bypass the Animated Armours (MM), various traps and crazed ZombieContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Clifftop Temple”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Entombed!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Entombed! This partly collapsed tomb features magic guardian statues in the reception antechamber, a number of sarcophagi with undead occupants, treasure rooms and narrow tunnels, homeContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Entombed!”

Laidback DM: Free Maps – Four Encounter Settings

Time for some free maps! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Four Encounter Settings Here are four maps that I’d call basic encounter settings: a small mansion, a country farm, a tiny temple and a mountain pass.Continue reading “Laidback DM: Free Maps – Four Encounter Settings”

Laidback DM: New Approaches to Inspiration Rewards

D&D fifth edition (or 5e) has this lovely little bonus for players called ‘inspiration’. It’s an extra d20 that is awarded to the player for doing something cool, great role playing, etc. They can use it to re-roll a d20 roll they’ve failed. It’s a groovy concept, but it is a bit limiting (they canContinue reading “Laidback DM: New Approaches to Inspiration Rewards”

Laidback DM: The Virtues of the Mini-Campaign

I like short role playing game (RPG) campaigns. That’s not to say I don’t like the occasional long-termer, but mini-campaigns (say, around 3-4 months) are my current preference. For those not in the know, a campaign is a series of adventures linked by a common thread or goal—a bit like a season of a modernContinue reading “Laidback DM: The Virtues of the Mini-Campaign”

Laidback DM: Avoiding The TPK

As DMs, we’ve all done it at some time or other: we’ve killed the entire party and drained the fun out of the D&D session. Sometimes it’s unintentional, sometimes it’s mean spirited, sometimes it’s to punish players for being complete d$&@s. But no matter how you look at it, the Total Party Kill (TPK) isContinue reading “Laidback DM: Avoiding The TPK”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Duergar Stronghold

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Duergar Stronghold Down into the Underdark we go, to a Duergar Stronghold protecting the only bridge connecting north and south for 300 miles! What are theContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Duergar Stronghold”

Symbaroum – a tabletop fantasy RPG that reeks of deep darkness, blighted evil and drawn out death. Fun!

Originally posted on Laidback DM: SteveStillStanding.com:
(“You and your crazy role playing games,” says Alpha Girl surveying the books, sheets and dice on the kitchen table. “You’ve even got Beta Max involved.” “It’s all good fun,” says Beta Max, rolling a handful of dice and cheering at the result. “Another dead goblin, thank you…

Laidback DM: D&D 5e Rules Summaries

Hi All! I’ve been DM’ing and playing D&D 5e since the new version premiered (and AD&D – or 1e – previously), and like many people I occasionally forget rules. So, I created a few placemats your players can use as reminders. Starter Placemat – Laidback DM – stevestillstanding (just click on this link) This oneContinue reading “Laidback DM: D&D 5e Rules Summaries”

Laidback DM – Free Map! Dungeon A La Carte

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Dungeon A La Carte A simple dungeon map I drew with a 1st-level party in mind. Some easy monsters, a few traps: the north-east room fillsContinue reading “Laidback DM – Free Map! Dungeon A La Carte”

Laidback DM – Free Map! The City State of Ranisvlad

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Ranisvlad, City State of Thieves Anything goes in Ranisvlad, a murky, muddy and depraved city state in the outlands, ruled by Ranislov, so-called Lord of Thieves.Continue reading “Laidback DM – Free Map! The City State of Ranisvlad”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Demonic Prison

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Demonic Prison Ever wondered where evil wizards keep their raised demons? How about a special-built magical prison in the side of a cliff? Heck, why not?Continue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Demonic Prison”

Laidback DM: Barrow Mound – Free Map!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: The Barrow Mound of the Ghengar Urgs The Ghengar of the mightiest Orc War Band to ever plague the world was put to rest in aContinue reading “Laidback DM: Barrow Mound – Free Map!”

Laidback DM: Free Cave Map/Encounter!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: The Caves That Bleed Find the missing kid! The Caves that Bleed await! The notes are self explanatory. Above: Just right click and save. This mapContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Cave Map/Encounter!”

Laidback DM: Free City Quarter Map!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: Poorside – A city quarter map You can use this map for any overcrowded area in a walled city. It’s nestled against the ramparts and includesContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free City Quarter Map!”

Laidback DM: Free Map/Encounter – A Simple Trader

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: A Simple Trader The text on the map contains encounter information, compatible with D&D 5E! Above: Just right click and save. This map is free toContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map/Encounter – A Simple Trader”

Free Map! The Living Tower of Moka-Shul

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get. This week: The Living Tower of Moka-Shul! So, who is this Moka-Shul guy anyway? And what’s the go with his living tower? Well, I picture Moka-Shul as aContinue reading “Free Map! The Living Tower of Moka-Shul”

The Laidback DM: Big Books of Monsters – mini-reviews

I love using new monsters in D&D and other fantasy role playing games (RPGs), and players love the uncertainty and the challenge that comes with them. Like many time-poor DMs, I’m always on the lookout for new monster books so I don’t have to waste time making my own (I still do, but a lotContinue reading “The Laidback DM: Big Books of Monsters – mini-reviews”

The Laidback DM: Murder Hobos vs. Negotiators

Is your party the kind that prefers to fight their way through a role playing game encounter (known in the trade as ‘Murder Hobos’)? Or one that likes to talk to the bad guys, using their role playing ability or character’s skills to get out of a tough spot (negotiators)? I believe players that preferContinue reading “The Laidback DM: Murder Hobos vs. Negotiators”

The Laid Back DM: Flying by the Seat of Your Pants

I’ve been a Dungeon Master (DM) for many years now, ‘refereeing’ role playing games in many genres—fantasy, science fiction, horror, modern age. I’ve had experience running all sorts of adventures (an interactive story the players undertake to complete a quest or mission, sometimes as part of a larger campaign), and I’m currently writing a Dungeons andContinue reading “The Laid Back DM: Flying by the Seat of Your Pants”

Dragon’s Ahoy! Like Chips Ahoy, but with less chocolate…

Time for another of my Laidback DM posts, and a new free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I’m giving them away every chance I get. This week: Dragon’s Lair! This large cave system has a number of shelves that vary the level of the terrainContinue reading “Dragon’s Ahoy! Like Chips Ahoy, but with less chocolate…”

It’s about time for a free Dungeon Map!

Time for another of my (currently) irregular Laidback DM posts, and a new free map! Map drawing for D&D adventures is my thang. I have far too many maps, so I’m giving them away every chance I get. This week: Border Keep! Reminiscent of the original Gary Gygax classic D&D Keep on the Borderlands castle,Continue reading “It’s about time for a free Dungeon Map!”

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. A review.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is Wizard of the Coast’s (WOTC) official new rules supplement for D&D 5e. Its 192 pages contain new sub-classes, racial feats, spells, magic items and lots of tables, including expanded magic items, random encounters and character background generators. Overall, I felt a bit ripped off. All the content included is non-essentialContinue reading “Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. A review.”

The Laid Back DM #5 – Foiled again!

Trap tips for DMs of Dungeons and Dragons! Don’t let those player characters foil you again…

The Laid Back DM #4 – ‘Tales of the Yawning Portal’ Leaves me Yearning for Something Better

I received ‘Tales of the Yawning Portal’ the other day, after ordering it from the Book Depository. I’d heard that Wizards of the Coast (WoTC) were updating some of its best known modules to 5e, and was looking forward to it. Well, I’ve been reading it for a few days now. And all I canContinue reading “The Laid Back DM #4 – ‘Tales of the Yawning Portal’ Leaves me Yearning for Something Better”

The Laid Back DM #2 – New-fangled Electronic Gizmos?

Welcome to the second of my Dungeon Master (DM) columns. (Didn’t catch the first one? Click here.) Today I’m going to talk about all these new wiz-bang apps and stuff that you can use during your sessions. (“What did he say?” Says the old grognard, raising his ear trumpet. “What’s an app? Is that someContinue reading “The Laid Back DM #2 – New-fangled Electronic Gizmos?”

Real Men Play D&D (when their girlfriends aren’t looking)

Like many young nerds, I played Dungeons and Dragons, a tabletop fantasy role playing game and glowing beacon for nerdity everywhere. Now some of you reading this blog (if there are actually any of you), may be wondering just what this D&D thing is.