Sly Flourish

Building the better Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master.

Waterdeep Dragon Heist Chapter 5: The Heist

22 July 2019: This article contains spoilers for Waterdeep Dragon Heist. This is one of a series of articles covering the hardback Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep Dragon Heist. You can read all of the ar ...

Letters to New and Veteran Dungeon Masters

15 July 2019: We're in an amazing time for our hobby. The number of people playing D&D appears to be roughly doubling every two years. That's a lot of new Dungeons & Dragons dungeon masters coming into the ...

Running Waterdeep Dragon Heist Chapter 4: Dragon Season

8 July 2019: Note, this article contains spoilers for Waterdeep Dragon Heist This is one of a series of articles covering the hardback Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep Dragon Heist. You can read all of t ...

Lazy Dungeon Master Adventure Prep Template

1 July 2019: One of the nice things about the eight steps for preparing a session of D&D from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is that it works with just about any tool you already like to use. If you're a pe ...

Running Waterdeep Dragon Heist Chapter 3: Fireball

24 June 2019: Note, this article contains spoilers for Waterdeep Dragon Heist This is one of a series of articles covering the hardback Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep Dragon Heist. You can read all of t ...

On Writing Adventures

17 June 2019: I've recently been doing a lot of adventure writing, the results of which you can find in the Fantastic Adventures: Ruins of the Grendleroot Kickstarter. As part of this project, I wanted to dig deep ...

Fantastic Adventures: Ruins of the Grendleroot Kickstarter

10 June 2019: Last week I launched the Kickstarter for Fantastic Adventures: Ruins of the Grendleroot. You can learn all about it on the Kickstarter's page, of course, but for those of you who frequent Sly Flourish ...

The Old Man and the Bowl

3 June 2019: Leavold Goldenfingers worked his magic. Across the icy rocks of his home, high up in the Spine of the World, the sound of his tiny hammer clinking on the golden bowl echoed across the mountains. His ...

D&D Tips from the 2018 D&D Open: Gangs of Waterdeep

28 May 2019: In the summer of 2018 at Origins, Wizards of the Coast and the D&D Adventurer's League ran the D&D Open, a multi-table competition-based D&D adventure called "Gangs of Waterdeep" as a prev ...

Choosing the Right Steps from the Lazy DM Checklist

20 May 2019: Chapter 12 of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master describes ways to reduce the eight steps of RPG preparation down to the ones that matter the most for your game. This list changes depending on the type ...

Running Waterdeep Dragon Heist Chapter 2: Trollskull Alley

13 May 2019: Note, this article contains spoilers for Waterdeep Dragon Heist This is one of a series of articles covering the hardback Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep Dragon Heist. You can read all of t ...

Handling Missing Players

6 May 2019: Of all of the things required to run a great Dungeons & Dragons game none is harder than getting a group together regularly to play. Finding and maintaining a group is the biggest hurtle for Dunge ...

Wolfgang Baur on Worldbuilding

29 April 2019: In the March 2019 episode of the DM's Deep Dive I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Dungeons & Dragons and RPG luminary Wolfgang Baur who is currently the Kobold-in-Chief at Kobold Press th ...

Thoughts on the Finale of Tomb of Annihilation

22 April 2019: Warning, this article contains spoilers for Tomb of Annihilation. This is the final article of a number of articles discussing the Dungeons & Dragons hardback campaign adventure Tomb of Annihilati ...

How to Read Your D&D Books

15 April 2019: "A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone." - Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones Over the past year, this topic has shown up in lots of other articles here at Sly Flourish and many of my DM ...

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master Video Series

8 April 2019: Over the past year I've been recording my own game preparation using the eight steps from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. I broadcast these these shows live on Twitch Sundays at 10am EST and then p ...

Building for the Three Pillars

1 April 2019: If you read deeply into Tomb of Annihilation and Dungeon of the Mad Mage, you'll notice that Wizards of the Coast has avoided a common problem in older adventures. Older adventures often focused on ro ...

Gaining Confidence to Run D&D Games

25 March 2019: A while back I asked newer DMs on Twitter to describe the hard parts they encountered when running running D&D games. I got back a lot of interesting responses many of which focused on learning th ...

Running Waterdeep Dragon Heist Chapter 1, A Friend In Need

18 March 2019: Note, this article contains spoilers for Waterdeep Dragon Heist This is one of a series of articles covering the hardback Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep Dragon Heist. You can read all of t ...

DM Deep Dive with Adam Koebel on Dungeon World

11 March 2019: Back in November 2018 I had the great pleasure to talk with Adam Koebel, a co-creator of the mind-blowing RPG Dungeon World, to talk about his game and what it meant for D&D. You can watch the who ...

Revealing Secrets

4 March 2019: Chapter 6 of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master focuses on defining secrets and clues in our D&D games. In many ways secrets and clues are the anchor of the 8-step game preparation process in Retur ...

Revised 5e D&D Cheat Sheet

25 February 2019: Back when Fantastic Locations came out we released a one-page campaign worksheet intended to help DMs focus on the characters and have a bit of a cheat sheet at the same time. It's served well but it ...

Session Zero of Waterdeep Dragon Heist

18 February 2019: Note, this article contains spoilers for Waterdeep Dragon Heist. This is one of a series of articles covering the hardback Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep Dragon Heist. You can read all of ...

Always Be Learning

11 February 2019: Great DMs are always refining their craft. We are not static beings. We learn. We adapt. We don't throw away our decades of past experiences when a new idea comes along. We use those experiences as ou ...

Throwing Away Secrets

4 February 2019: I often receive questions both from readers of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master and those watching my Lazy DM Prep videos regarding throwing away secrets from session to session. For many people, thi ...

Converting Vault of the Dracolich to Fifth Edition D&D

28 January 2019: This article has been updated since the original published in April 2014. Back in 2013, Teos Abadia, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, and I all worked on the adventure Vault of the Dracolich. This adventure was ...

The Deadly Shift of Tomb of Annihilation

22 January 2019: Warning, this article contains spoilers for Tomb of Annihilation. This article is one in a series of artices I wrote for running the D&D hardcover adventure Tomb of Annihilation. You can find link ...

Facing Insurmountable Foes

14 January 2019: In the beginning of Hoard of the Dragon Queen the characters face off against Lennithon, an adult blue dragon, when the characters are likely level 1. It doesn't take any powerful encounter building t ...

Storytelling with Spells: Fireball

7 January 2019: This is the first in a new series of articles that focuses on how particular spells in D&D can tell stories all by themselves. The core D&D books are full of fantastic ideas for stories but so ...

Playing Dungeons & Dragons On A Budget

31 December 2018: One of the interesting things about Dungeons & Dragons is the incredibly wide range for its potential costs. The cost to play D&D can go anywhere from free to potentially thousands of dollars ...

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