Laidback DM – Free Old School Map!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my old school hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Bandit Ruin The Bandits of the Murkmire prey on small villages on the periphery of the swamp. Your party hasContinue reading “Laidback DM – Free Old School Map!”

Laidback DM: Free Map!

It’s been a while since I gave away a free map. So, without further ado! Okay, just a little… I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Descending Caves! Okay, it needs a better nameContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map!”

Laidback DM – Pathfinder 2e Product Reviews

I went a bit crazy and bought all of the Pathfinder 2e products currently available. Here’s a short review of some of them. Pathfinder 2e Gamemaster’s Screen A strong, 4-panel GM screen with great art and useful tables and reminders: conditions, actions, DCs, death and dying, monster types, etc. P2 is a rules-heavy system, andContinue reading “Laidback DM – Pathfinder 2e Product Reviews”

Laidback DM – Descent into Avernus review

I was sooooooo looking forward to getting this adventure. But like so many things in life, the experience didn’t quite live up to the expectation. I’m not going to explain the storyline—by now you would have read the advertising blurb. Descent into Avernus is a campaign adventure for characters levels 1-13. It has great art,Continue reading “Laidback DM – Descent into Avernus review”

Laidback DM: Weapon and Armor Durability

I know what you’re going to say—in D&D it’s so much easier not to have to worry about weapons getting damaged. But what happens when they do? And how do you have a simple (or laidback, as I prefer to call it) system that doesn’t bog down the game? Here’s my personal take on weaponContinue reading “Laidback DM: Weapon and Armor Durability”

Laidback DM – One-Page Dungeon Competition 2019 Winner

Hi all I was one of the winners of the 2019 One Page Dungeon competition at https://www.dungeoncontest.com. I used one of my old adventures from Shotglass Adventures volume 1, which is available in print and PDF from DrivethruRPG (see the link below). Here’s a copy of the adventure I submitted, which you can download byContinue reading “Laidback DM – One-Page Dungeon Competition 2019 Winner”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review

I bought copies of the Pathfinder 2nd edition Core Rulebook and Bestiary the other week, and after a solid read (they are over 600 and 200 pages respectively) here are my thoughts on the game. Pros: Great layout and design – tabs and index make it easier to find stuff. The PDF is also fullyContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review”

Laidback DM: Easier Encumbrance

Do you use the encumbrance rules as written in 5e? I don’t. I find them…cumbersome, if you’ll excuse the pun. Of all the rules brought across from the various old editions, counting weight in pounds and applying it to a factor multiplied by strength is just tedious. There’s enough math in the game without thatContinue reading “Laidback DM: Easier Encumbrance”

Laidback DM: Alignments in Games

Alignments are a leftover from the days of old school role playing. Originally there were three—Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Then Mr. Gygax decided in AD&D that he’d spice it up a little by adding Good, Neutral and Evil suffixes to provide a bit more clarity. But are alignments necessary in a D&D game? Players andContinue reading “Laidback DM: Alignments in Games”

Laidback DM: Shotglass Adventures II available in print!

The products from my last Kickstarter, including Shotglass Adventures II, are now available in PDF/print on DrivethruRPG. Here’s a look at the printed version of the book: SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES II For D&D 5e and other OSR fantasy role playing games. • 10 one-shot adventures for characters of 6th-10th level, including murder, dungeon crawl, gauntlet, planar,Continue reading “Laidback DM: Shotglass Adventures II available in print!”

Laidback DM: Playing in the Sandbox

So what exactly is a sandbox? And how does it relate to RPGs? ‘Sandboxing’ is where you let your players loose in the world to do whatever they want. Give them a map and they decide where they go and what they do. Consequently, the world is built around their actions. It’s a bit likeContinue reading “Laidback DM: Playing in the Sandbox”

Laidback DM: Saving Throws – the Nat 20 Bonus

So you scored a natural 20 on that saving throw? Awesome. You passed. Doesn’t sound as great when you think about it, now does it. But what if you got something a little extra to celebrate with? Here’s some ideas that won’t break the rule bank. Obviously you only get to choose one of theseContinue reading “Laidback DM: Saving Throws – the Nat 20 Bonus”

Splitting the Party: strength in numbers? Nah!!

Every time I GM an RPG, whether it be D&D, Stars Without Number, Numenera, Kids On Bikes or another genre, the players take it upon themselves to split their party because some want to do one thing and others want to do another (usually because strong personalities compete). And every time they do it, theContinue reading “Splitting the Party: strength in numbers? Nah!!”

Fantasy Maps – hand drawn vs. digital

I’m a huge fan of maps. I draw lots of them, and occasionally give them away free on this site. But I’m a bit old school when it comes to my preferences. I love hand drawn maps, but I’m not a fan of digital maps. Why don’t I like fully digitally created maps? They takeContinue reading “Fantasy Maps – hand drawn vs. digital”

Flanking: Good Team Work or Unbalancing the Game?

Flanking is an optional rule in D&D 5e, generally used with miniatures (although you can also use it in theater-of-the-mind combat if you want—I do). Flanking is where two or more miniatures ‘surround’ another (which we’ll call the 3rd), on directly opposite sides. The theory is that the 2nd miniature is distracting the 3rd whileContinue reading “Flanking: Good Team Work or Unbalancing the Game?”

Shotglass Adventures 2 Preview

Hi all, Here’s a little preview of the adventures and contents of SA2, currently on Kickstarter! The adventures are for D&D Fifth Edition (the current version of the game) and Old School Revival (OSR) games like Swords and Wizardry, OSRIC, White Box and Dungeon Crawl Classics (to name a few). Here’s a taste: I’ve uppedContinue reading “Shotglass Adventures 2 Preview”

Shotglass Adventures II is Coming!

SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES II is the sequel to the successful Shotglass Adventures Volume 1 Kickstarter in March! Published under the OGL and compatible with 5e and other OSR fantasy role playing games, SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES II  is currently 52 pages long, but will be longer once stretch goals are included. Inside you’ll find: · 10 ‘adventure-on-a-page (orContinue reading “Shotglass Adventures II is Coming!”

Connectable Town Maps Volumes 1 & 2 and Maps for Fantasy RPGs available now!

Connectable Town Maps Volumes 1 & 2 Ever had your players wander into one of those random towns along the road and start raising a ruckus, just because they could? I have. Players are nothing if not unpredictable. In fact, they’re predictably unpredictable. That’s why I put together these little maps packages – Connectable TownContinue reading “Connectable Town Maps Volumes 1 & 2 and Maps for Fantasy RPGs available now!”

Shotglass Adventures available now in Print and PDF!

Hi All! SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES, my first D&D 5e/Old School Revolution (OSR) role playing game book, is now available at DrivethruRPG, the world’s largest online role playing game store. SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES is published under the OGL and compatible with 5e and other OSR fantasy role playing games. Inside this 52-page book you’ll find: 10 ‘adventure-on-a-page’ one-shotContinue reading “Shotglass Adventures available now in Print and PDF!”

Laidback DM: Condition Cards, Initiative Cards and Critical Fumble Cards

Hi All I’ve started selling some products on DriveThruRPG.com, the biggest seller of online role playing game PDFs in the world! My intention is to release more products onto the site for 5e and OSR gamers, including Shotglass Adventures, once the Kickstarter is completed. My handy Initiative Cards are a no-fuss turn order tracker, whetherContinue reading “Laidback DM: Condition Cards, Initiative Cards and Critical Fumble Cards”

Laidback DM: Trading Places

During long campaigns, some players might not turn up for sessions, some might retire, new players will join. There are good reasons for changes in your ongoing cast—work and family commitments, sports, meetings and significant events in peoples’ lives. And some players just move on because your game might not be what they’re looking for.Continue reading “Laidback DM: Trading Places”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Sewer Neighbours

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Sewer Neighbours There’s nothing like neighbours who don’t get along. Four lairs, all next to each other, all causing a problem forContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Sewer Neighbours”

Laidback DM: Have Merc(er)y on Me

Matt Mercer hosts Critical Role on YouTube, one of the many D&D online channels that have helped propel the game’s popularity into the stratosphere, and is arguably one of the best DMs around. A trained voice actor, he has a wonderful storytelling ability and excels at immersive and engaging story telling. And for the restContinue reading “Laidback DM: Have Merc(er)y on Me”

Laidback DM: Villains – upping the ante

Role playing games enable players to take part in their own ongoing TV show—a soap opera of sorts, with a growing number of support characters, a fantastic and evolving environment, and ongoing stories linked to the players’ backgrounds and adventures. As with any melodrama, what can make or break a long form story is theContinue reading “Laidback DM: Villains – upping the ante”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Tinsen’s Bluff

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Tinsen’s Bluff From a recent adventure I ran for my 13th-level players. Tinsen’s Bluff was a quiet backwater until the people startedContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Tinsen’s Bluff”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Elemental Cruxis

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Elemental Cruxis The party have to recover elemental seeds from each part of the cruxis, teleporting from the column room to eachContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Elemental Cruxis”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Ruined Tower and Crypts

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Ruined Tower and Crypts Here’s a map you can spring on your players. The labels may be misleading – after all, theContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Ruined Tower and Crypts”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Mountain Monastery

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Mountain Monastery Nothing like a remote mountain monastery and temple full of crazed monks for the player characters to discover. Not onlyContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Mountain Monastery”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Serial Killer Inn

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Serial Killer Inn The party stops overnight on the road between adventures. It just so happens this roadside inn is run byContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Serial Killer Inn”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Above and Below

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Above and Below An interdimensional nexus created by a mad wizard, ‘Above and Below’ features moving corridors and rooms that rise upContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Above and Below”

Laidback DM: Free Map! Giant Mound

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give away my hand-drawn maps any chance I get. This week: Giant Mound You can use this map for any kind of giant insect or burrowing animal you like: Giant Ants (KTOB), BurrowlingsContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map! Giant Mound”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Tower and Undertemple

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: Tower and Undertemple Local villagers have been going crazy after visiting a ruined tower on a peak not far from town. Something has beenContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Tower and Undertemple”

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: 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”

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! 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”