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”

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”

Vantage Point. A haiku.

From this vantage point Worlds beyond reality Call to adventure For more Poetry, click here. For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats. Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM – Free D&D 5e Adventure

Hi all, Here’s a free copy of one of my adventures from Shotglass Adventures volume 1. It was a winner in the 2019 One-Page Dungeon Contest. This image is 1200 dpi so you can view it easily on tablets and PCs. Just right click on laptop/PC or hold your finger on the image on yourContinue reading “Laidback DM – Free D&D 5e Adventure”

Laidback DM – Running Big Parties

Nope – this isn’t a post about hosting huge drunkfests the whole street will remember. But nerdfests? Bring it on… There’s a reason most modules are written for four players. Over time this was considered the average number of players most DMs could get together for one game session. Times have changed though, and withContinue reading “Laidback DM – Running Big Parties”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Lost Omens Character Guide

I’ve been buying most of the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Paizo has a monthly release schedule for their products, which is great for those of us with collector mentalities that like to have everything (but terrible for our erstwhile budgets). I was pretty impressed with the Lost Omens WorldContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Lost Omens Character Guide”

Laidback DM: Products Available Now!

Hi all! Far be it for me to spruik for a living, but hey – it’s how I make a living now. So, here are some of my products available on DrivethruRPG in print/PDF/digital. You can buy any or all of these fine products by visiting this nifty little link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM?term=laidback​ Game on! Steve 🙂Continue reading “Laidback DM: Products Available Now!”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Tomorrow Must Burn

I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy. Limited Spoilers! Tomorrow Must Burn is the third part of the epic Pathfinder 2e adventure path Age of Ashes, containing three adventures for charactersContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Tomorrow Must Burn”

‘Maps Your Party Will Die For’ available now in Print and PDF

Hi all, My latest project – Maps Your Party Will Die For – is now available from DrivethruRPG at the following link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM?term=laidback​ Game On! Steve 🙂    

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review – Cult of Cinders

I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy. Spoilers!! Cult of Cinders is the second part of the Age of Ashes adventure path. It contains four adventures taking PCs from 5th-8th level,Continue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review – Cult of Cinders”

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Hellknight Hill

(I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy.) Hellknight Hill is the first in the Age of Ashes Adventure Path for P2e, taking PCs from 1st-4th level. The first mini-adventure sees theContinue reading “Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Hellknight Hill”

Laidback DM – Lost Omens World Guide (Pathfinder 2e) Review

I’ve been buying everything Pathfinder 2e related over the past few months, so I thought I’d do a few reviews. Lost Omens World Guide is exactly what you think it is – a gazetteer of the world of Golarion, Pathfinder’s official setting. Okay, it’s actually the Inner Sea region, Golarion’s analogue of Europe, Africa andContinue reading “Laidback DM – Lost Omens World Guide (Pathfinder 2e) Review”

Laidback DM – The Quiet Player

I’m willing to bet money you have a group that has at least one quiet, introspective player, who tends to not speak up much (I’ll refrain from calling them an introvert as sometimes introverts can be outgoing, too). I’m also willing to bet that you’ve DM’ed a game with an unfamiliar group with subdued playersContinue reading “Laidback DM – The Quiet Player”

Laidback DM: Designing Dungeons

So, you have a map of a dungeon / building / ruin / chasm / extra-planar setting / landscape, etc. Now, you just have to stock it with some monsters and traps. Here’s some hints for designing cool dungeons: Who’s the Boss? Decide who your big bad is going to be from the beginning. SelectContinue reading “Laidback DM: Designing Dungeons”

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: Anatomy of a (not quite) break up

So, I’m taking a break from DMing to hone my ‘player’ chops. Part of the reason was my increasing work and study loads and part of it was burn out. I just needed a break from all the work involved in preparing and running a game each week, from my brain constantly thinking about D&DContinue reading “Laidback DM: Anatomy of a (not quite) break up”

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: World Building

Have you ever spent far too much time drawing a map of your world, developing and designing societies, cultures and religions to fill it, creating reasons for its existence, only to find you didn’t need all that for your campaign or the players didn’t care anyway? I guess all burgeoning DMs have at some pointContinue reading “Laidback DM: World Building”

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: Treasure Alternatives

All too often, treasure seems to be the major incentive for PCs to complete missions and quests in fantasy role playing games. So what about something else just as beneficial? Here’s some ideas for things that are just as useful as mo money, that could be offered as alternative rewards for jobs: An ongoing discountContinue reading “Laidback DM: Treasure Alternatives”

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: Keeping Secrets

Are you one of those DMs who finds it hard keeping secrets from your players? This may be the case if you see your players regularly, through work, school or at the pub, and enjoy talking about your game. You may find it’s hard not to blurt out some spoilers. But think about it. SpoilersContinue reading “Laidback DM: Keeping Secrets”

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”