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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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!”
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 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?”
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”
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!”
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: They Came from Outer Space! You can use this map for any type of RPG,Continue reading “Free Dungeon Map!”
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.”
I said ages ago (yes, literally eons, in a time when winter frost covered the land like icing sugar. Hmmm. That’s a stupid simile) that I would review some Tabletop Role Playing Games, as I am a complete nerd nut for these things. Today, I’m going to talk about a lovely little Swedish RPG calledContinue reading “Mutant Year Zero – Gamma goings-on in the wasteland”
Time for another of my irregular Laidback DM posts, and a new free map! Map drawing for D&D adventures is my thang. I now have far too many maps, so I’m giving them away free each week. This week: Village at the Crossroads! At first this may seem like a boring little map, but imagineContinue reading “The Laidback DM #12 – Free Village Map!”
Yes, it’s that time of the week, and in the tradition of my irregular Laidback DM posts, here’s a new free map. I loooooooove drawing maps for D&D adventures, so much so that I have more maps than I know what to do with. So, I’m giving one away free on my blog each week.Continue reading “The Laidback DM #10 – Free Map!”
Yes, it’s that time of the week, and in the tradition of my irregular Laidback DM posts, here’s another free map. As you know I like to draw maps for D&D adventures. Often I have more maps then I know what to do with. So, I’m giving one away free on my blog each week.Continue reading “The Laidback DM #8 – Yet Another Free Map!”
I like to draw maps for D&D adventures. Often I have more maps then I know what to do with. So, I’m giving one away free on my blog each week. This week’s map is a Kobold and Demon lair. Whoa, you say? The game’s weakest creatures with some of the game’s toughest? If you’veContinue reading “The Laidback DM #7 – Another Free Map!”
Despite being a bit laidback when it comes to D&D Dungeon Mastering, I do like to draw time-consuming maps. Since I don’t always use the maps I draw, I thought I’d offer them for free here on my blog. The following map is a base for a bunch of pirates who have an alliance with aContinue reading “The Laidback DM #6 – Free Map!”
Film Lover Movie watching love My shared escapism Better with a friend Tabletop Gamer Playing RPGs Becoming a new person Only for a night Guitar Player Guitar strings strummed Emote in rhythm and rhyme Musicality
Trap tips for DMs of Dungeons and Dragons! Don’t let those player characters foil you again…
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”
Welcome to my occasional series on Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)* refereeing (makes it sound like a sport, doesn’t it? Well it is, my friends: a sport of the mind. Okay, that sounded better before I read it out loud…). Here’s some more time saving stuff: No random encounters – hold on a second?! Didn’t IContinue reading “The Laid Back DM #3 – Maps and random encounters?!”
I’m a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) fan from way back. I’ve learned a few things over time as a Dungeon Master (DM). Over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting irregularly about DM’ing. Here’s a few things to get the ball rolling (or should that be dice rolling? Okay, crap joke).
These haiku are about my love of tabletop role playing games (RPGs), particularly Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). I loooooove RPGs.
I guess you can tell by the title of this post that I love this game. I included it in my recent ‘Top 10 Tabletop Role Playing Games’.
I’ve been threatening to do a Fate Core review for some time now (it’s one of my Top 10 Favourite Role Playing Games), but you know how it is, so much to do and so little time… But today’s the day!
The top ten list of my current favourite tabletop RPGs…
13th Age is an interesting fantasy role playing game. It’s meat and potatoes RPG elements are very much in the vein of Dungeons and Dragons, but it differentiates with a number of interesting and innovative mechanics, some of which are transferrable to other D20 systems.
Have you ever played a game where the referee just doesn’t know what they’re doing? In D&D, it’s the type who rolls up (pun intended) to the game with no preparation, no rule books, no dice and very little clue. I experienced a game like that the other night.
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.