Free Map – The Red Temple

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This map is conveniently sized for virtual tabletops. The Red Temple Why’s it called the Red Temple? Because the entire place is tiledContinue reading “Free Map – The Red Temple”

MAPS YOUR PARTY WILL DIE FOR 2: MEGA-DUNGEON in Digital and Print!

As a DM, I like to have dungeon and cavern system maps on hand just in case my players like to…wander. Come on, you know they do. One minute they’re traveling overland to the next adventure you meticulously planned and wrote and the next they’re checking out the caves on the low lying ridge youContinue reading “MAPS YOUR PARTY WILL DIE FOR 2: MEGA-DUNGEON in Digital and Print!”

Advice for the Young at Heart…Stuff for Beginner DMs

I see a lot of Tweets asking about advice for new Dungeon Masters (DMs) or Games Masters (GMs) – which I will henceforth refer to as DMs. Rather than answer the plethora of questions there, I thought I’d do one consolidated response here. A caveat before I begin: even though I am what you wouldContinue reading “Advice for the Young at Heart…Stuff for Beginner DMs”

Pathfinder 2e Review: Bestiary 2 Battle Cards and NPC Battle Cards

I know I say this all the time, to the point where I’m probably a bit like a droning LP (“What’s an LP?,” say Millenials almost everywhere), but Paizo continually puts out great products, and on such a regular basis they really put WOTC’s D&D schedule to shame. I am, I’m sad to say, somewhatContinue reading “Pathfinder 2e Review: Bestiary 2 Battle Cards and NPC Battle Cards”

NEW Shotglass Rounds Adventures available on DrivethruRPG!

Need a One-shot Adventure for your next D&D 5e session? SHOTGLASS ROUNDS are one-and-done, no fuss, no prep adventures for the busy DM. Lights, camera, maps, ACTION! From Laidback DM, winner of the 2019 and 2020 One Page Dungeon Contests. And for more Laidback DM products, visit Drivethrurpg by clicking the link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989

Free Fantasy Map – Mesa Bridges

This map comes in grid and grid-less versions ideal for tabletop or Roll20/Fantasy Grounds! Mesa Bridges A valley between mountains and within: a number of high mesas connected by rope bridges. Someone lives on one of the mesas at the center, high above a number of deep, chasm-like tunnels below. What lurks on the valleyContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Mesa Bridges”

Free Fantasy Map – Field Hospital

You can use this cool map for your tabletop or Roll20/Fantasy Grounds. Field Hospital War is hell! But you need to patch your troops up somewhere and this ramshackle M.A.S.H-style Field Hospital includes trenches, tents and an underground bunker. Maybe the bunker has been sealed off because the officers there were killed in a magicalContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Field Hospital”

Free Fantasy Map – Multi-Level Caves

Time for a free hand-drawn map! There’s two versions of this one – one with a grid and the other without (perfect for online platforms like Roll20/Fantasy Grounds). Multi-Level Caves This cave has four levels, with connecting chimneys accessing each level (I’ve included labels as it might get a bit confusing as to what connectsContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Multi-Level Caves”

Free Fantasy Map – Fettered Tomb

Time for another free map! This one is grid-less for use with Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, but the tiles are conveniently 5 ft. squares, so you can use it for face-to-face games as well. Fettered Tomb The Fettered Tomb is bound by ancient magics, trapped and haunted by the fettered souls within. It’s very small,Continue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Fettered Tomb”

Free Fantasy Map – Overgrown Castle Ruins

This map is grid-less, perfect for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Overgrown Ruined Castle The party stumbles across an overgrown ruin in a forest clearing: the remains of a castle, crumbling and dilapidated. Of the inner keep and walls, there is nothing but weed-infested rubble; only the atrophied remnants of a gatehouse and two outbuildings remain.Continue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Overgrown Castle Ruins”

Free Fantasy Map – Super-Fortress

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This is one I made for a friend a while ago. Super-Fortress! The PCs are at war, invading a towering super-fortress to unseatContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Super-Fortress”

Free Map – Forest Cliff

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This map is 1750×1750 (25×25 squares), in grid and non-grid versions, perfect for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Forest Cliff The party makes itsContinue reading “Free Map – Forest Cliff”

Laidback DM: Dragon Warriors Review

I don’t have a lot of free time nowadays, but I ordered this game from DrivethruRPG and thought I’d (finally) post a review of it. Dragon Warriors is an English TTRPG first published as a series of paperbacks back in the mid-80s. Serpent King Games has reprinted the 2006 revival of that original game, whichContinue reading “Laidback DM: Dragon Warriors Review”

Free Map – Dwarven Mine Camp!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This Week: Dwarven Mine Camp You know how it is, the party sees that interesting cave entrance just off to the side ofContinue reading “Free Map – Dwarven Mine Camp!”

Shotglass Adventures: Mined Games Now in Print!

Shotglass Adventures – Kal-Zar’s Bane 2: Mined Games is now available in print, PDF and as a Digital Maps Package from DrivethruRPG. Gravis Town is locked down as the Kal-Zar’s Bane virus runs rampant. A journal found in a lost shipyard provides the location of the long-hidden library of Kal-Zar Ro. The party must travelContinue reading “Shotglass Adventures: Mined Games Now in Print!”

Murder on the Dance Floor – Dealing with Dissent in TRPG Games

What do you do when players cause dissent in your game? (And believe me, even if it hasn’t happened in one of your games yet, it WILL happen.) Here’s a few suggestions: Establishing Ground Rules Make sure you set ground rules about behaviour in your session zero, such as being respectful of others, allowing everyoneContinue reading “Murder on the Dance Floor – Dealing with Dissent in TRPG Games”

Brutal Damage in DnD 5e

Some people (oldies and grognards, like me) remember when D&D was a lot more lethal for player characters (PCs). 5e changed all that. Now players have a suitably comfortable time with only a few chances of actually dying in a campaign (players don’t really like their characters dying unless its part of a game-changing eventContinue reading “Brutal Damage in DnD 5e”

Free Map – Desert Outpost Ruin

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. Select you preferred version below: with a grid for home games, or grid-less for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Desert Outpost Ruin This desertContinue reading “Free Map – Desert Outpost Ruin”

Free Map – Wasteland Ruins

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This map is grid-less, perfect for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Wasteland Ruins I created this map for the final showdown between Demogorgon andContinue reading “Free Map – Wasteland Ruins”

Curse of Strahd: Weeks 21-24

Hi all, Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Some of the summaries may be dull,Continue reading “Curse of Strahd: Weeks 21-24”

Free Map: Wizard’s Manor

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This map is grid-less, perfect for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Wizard’s Manor This single-story manor was built on a clifftop overlooking the seaContinue reading “Free Map: Wizard’s Manor”

Free Map: Lava Rift!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This week: Lava Rift! Gotta love lava! I made this map for an Out of the Abyss campaign I finished not long ago, but youContinue reading “Free Map: Lava Rift!”

Review – Pathfinder 2e Gamemastery Guide & Advanced Players Guide

I’ve really fallen behind in reviews of the excellent Pathfinder 2e (P2e) products I’ve been buying. Here’s two brief reviews to make up for it: Anyone who has bought the P2e Core Rulebook will know it’s a hefty tome, both in size and price. I know Paizo (the company that makes the game) was tryingContinue reading “Review – Pathfinder 2e Gamemastery Guide & Advanced Players Guide”

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 like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This week: Old School Walled Town! I drew this map many years ago and I think it still holds up. This frontier walledContinue reading “Free Old School Map!”

Laidback DM: OP Characters and the Players Who Love Them

Every DM knows one. Some know many. What am I talking about? Players who spend their lives working out the best options to make themselves the most powerful (or “optimised”) characters in the game. But is there anything wrong with that? Here’s some pros and cons you might want to think about, followed by someContinue reading “Laidback DM: OP Characters and the Players Who Love Them”

Laidback DM: Free Map – Labyrinth Tunnels

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This week: Labyrinth Tunnels I drew this map for a recent Out of the Abyss campaign I ran. It’s a section of theContinue reading “Laidback DM: Free Map – Labyrinth Tunnels”

Laidback DM – Theater vs. Grid

As a DM I like to run combat different ways. Sometimes it’s with miniatures and pawns on a 1-inch square grid. Sometimes it’s all in the imagination, what we like to call ‘Theater of the Mind’ (TOTM). Here’s the pros and cons for both: Grid/Battle Mat Pros: * Precise – allows players and DM toContinue reading “Laidback DM – Theater vs. Grid”

Laidback DM: Pawns vs. Miniatures

When I run face-to-face (IRL for all you young whippersnappers) role playing games, I like using a grid and pawns for combat (that’s not to say I don’t like using Theater of the Mind – I do, I just prefer using grids for larger scale battles). In some games I’ve used combinations of pawns andContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pawns vs. Miniatures”

SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES now in print!

Published under the OGL and compatible with 5e and OSR fantasy role playing games, SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES – Kal-Zar’s Bane: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES is a 68-page book with adventures for characters of 1st-4th level, that can be played as One-Shots or as the first module in a four-part campaign.  So, what’s in SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES – Kal-Zar’s Bane: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES? · 6 adventures, complete with full color maps! Varied adventuresContinue reading “SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES now in print!”

RPG. A poem.

My game is never done Or lost or won Even when the final die is cast And the last Player upon this infinite stage Writes their page Another memorable tale It’s safe to say That lives on in mind and soul The final The ultimate And ever-lasting Goal. For more Poetry, click here. For moreContinue reading “RPG. A poem.”

Laidback DM: Virtual Tabletops and The FTF gamer.

So, you’ve never played D&D or your preferred role playing game online before? Now’s the perfect time to do it. I was a virtual tabletop virgin. All my games were face-to-face (FTF) and the idea of playing a game specifically designed for FTF social contact on a computer didn’t appeal to me at all. IContinue reading “Laidback DM: Virtual Tabletops and The FTF gamer.”

Laidback DM: Raw Dice and Partying on the Edge

I know you’ve been there, no doubt many times: a planned encounter, meticulously balanced to allow the party a measure of challenge, but one that you know they should get through reasonably well. And then: amazingly bad dice rolls; the astoundingly poor use of abilities; the splitting of the party at the worst of times;Continue reading “Laidback DM: Raw Dice and Partying on the Edge”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Bestiary Battle Cards

The Pathfinder 2e Bestiary Battle Cards are a heavy box of 450 large-sized monster cards for GMs who run live games. Every monster in the P2e Bestiary book is included, the more powerful ones sometimes spanning two cards. Each card is 4 x 6 inches and has great artwork from the Bestiary. As a DMContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Bestiary Battle Cards”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – The Show Must Go On

Right on the heels of the Age of Ashes Adventure Path comes Extinction Curse. I’m very impressed at the way Paizo churns out adventures for their products every month, especially when they are all of such excellent quality. Each one is packed full of new monsters, spells, feats, magic items and lore, and the packagingContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – The Show Must Go On”

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Bestiary Pawn Box

I love combat on a grid, but minis are too costly and take up too much space. I prefer to use pawns for this reason and Paizo makes some of the best. I recently bought the new Pathfinder 2e Bestiary Pawn Box, which is absolutely huge. It contains 378 pawns featuring every single monster fromContinue reading “Laidback DM: P2e Review – Bestiary Pawn Box”

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Broken Promises

Time I got back to reviewing some Pathfinder stuff! I’ve been buying literally everything, so here’s my opinion. All good things come to an end, and this final adventure in the Age of Ashes Adventure Path pulls no punches. It’s for 18th-20th level characters and features some pretty hard challenges. An assault on the PC’sContinue reading “Laidback DM: P2e Review – Broken Promises”

Laidback DM: Taking the Roll20 Plunge…

I’ve always played tabletop role playing games (TTRPGs) face-to-face, ever since I was knee-high to a tadpole, a loooooooooong time ago. Yes, I have a background in information technology; yes, at one point I could program…stuff; yes, everyone always came to me at work to fix their computer issues (“Have you tried switching it onContinue reading “Laidback DM: Taking the Roll20 Plunge…”

Laidback DM: SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES 3: BLACK MERIDIAN HEART in Print/Digital

SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES 3: BLACK MERIDIAN HEART is now available in digital PDF and print from DrivethruRPG! 136 pages of awesome, mind bending adventures and campaign materials for 5e and OSR role playing games! Published under the OGL, inside you’ll find: · 10 one-shot adventures of all varieties – investigation, dungeon crawl, planar, puzzle, quest, roleContinue reading “Laidback DM: SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES 3: BLACK MERIDIAN HEART in Print/Digital”

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Against the Scarlet Triad

Time I got back to reviewing some Pathfinder stuff! I’ve been buying literally everything, so here’s my opinion. The 5th adventure in the Age of Ashes Adventure Path progresses characters from 15th-17th level. It’s time to face the Scarlet Triad in their home town of Katapesh, battling a Wendigo in the town of Flinderplain andContinue reading “Laidback DM: P2e Review – Against the Scarlet Triad”

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Fires of the Haunted City

Time I got back to reviewing some Pathfinder stuff! I’ve been buying literally everything, so here’s my (short) opinion. The Age of Ashes Adventure Path continues with this adventure for 12th-14th level characters. The PCs use one of their portals to get to the underground Dwarven city of Kovlar and the nearby haunted city ofContinue reading “Laidback DM: P2e Review – Fires of the Haunted City”