Sly Flourish

Building the better Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master.

Tools for New D&D Dungeon Masters

16 July 2018: Note: This article is reposed with permission from the original posted to D&D Beyond on March 2018. It is the third in a six-part series of articles focused on helping new D&D DMs put together ...

The Lost Temple of the Eshowdow

9 July 2018: Note, this article contains spoilers for Tomb of Annihilation. Nearly five thousand years ago many tribes followed the messengers of Ubtao to the lands of Chult. Nearly two thousand years ago a great ...

Starting Strong At Your First Dungeons & Dragons Game

2 July 2018: Note: This article is reposed with permission from the original posted to D&D Beyond on March 2018. It is the first on a six-part series of articles focused on helping new D&D DMs put together ...

Building Lazy Dungeons

25 June 2018: We've talked before about making dungeons awesome, building living dungeons, and developing fantastic locations but not yet about how to build lazy dungeons. How do the philosophies of the lazy dungeo ...

Scaling the Story to the Level of the Characters

18 June 2018: In a recent discussion on Twitter, my friend Teos Abadia (Alphastream on Twitter) and I, along with a few others, talked about one of my #dnd tip tweets I posted. The tweet said: Make sure the scope ...

Finding and Maintaining a D&D Group

11 June 2018: Note: This article is reposed with permission from the original posted to D&D Beyond on March 2018. It is the first on a six-part series of articles focused on helping new D&D DMs put together ...

DM's Deep Dive: Grant Ellis on Understanding Streaming D&D

4 June 2018: D&D is exploding. 2017 was D&D's best year for sales since Wizards of the Coast bought the brand from TSR back in 1997. The core books had all become best selling books for weeks on end. The b ...

The Urgency of the Death Curse

29 May 2018: Note: This article contains spoilers for the D&D adventure Tomb of Annihilation. The Death Curse is the main driver of the story in the Dungeons & Dragons adventure Tomb of Annihilation. It is ...

Choosing Targets

21 May 2018: Today we're going to talk about how we choose targets for our monsters when running our Dungeons & Dragons games. We'll focus on two ways in particular: Choosing targets that make sense for the m ...

The Emotional Investment of Dungeon Mastering

14 May 2018: A band of powerful adventurers explores the mausoleum of a powerful dracolich. The adventurers enter a large chamber and with sparks of unnatural energy, five slaads appear, three red and two blue. " ...

Exploring Chult

7 May 2018: The fantastic hardback adventure, Tomb of Annihilation, includes a large throwback to the hex-crawl. In this mode of play, the characters make their way through the wilderness of Chult as they seek ou ...

Going There

30 April 2018: Originally published August 2015 The older we get the harder it is for us to fall back into our imaginations and really go there. As children we're free to let our imaginations run wild. A cardboard b ...

DM's Deep Dive: D&D for the Visually Impaired

23 April 2018: This month on the DM's Deep Dive, a proud member of the Don't Split the Podcast Network, I was privileged to talk to my friend and lifelong gamer, Sharon Dudley, about her experiences as a visually im ...

Running Port Nyanzaru in Tomb of Annihilation

16 April 2018: Note, this article contains spoilers for the Tomb of Annihilation campaign adventure. Tomb of Annihilation is a campaign adventure filled with jungle explorations, buried mysteries, strange creatures, ...

The Story Focus of D&D

9 April 2018: There's a change happening in Dungeons & Dragons games. It's something that's been evolving since the release of the fifth edition of D&D and continuing its momentum over the past three years. ...

The Abstract Battlemap

26 March 2018: One of the wonderful things about D&D is how flexible the game is for the different styles of play we bring to our tables. We can see this most clearly in our options for running combat. Some DMs ...

Lost Monuments of Chult

19 March 2018: The eternal buzz of carniverous insects fills the humid air. Each step in the swamp threatens to tear the boot from your foot or expel a blast of poisonous gas. The eyes of beasts seem always upon yo ...

Random Creativity in Dungeons & Dragons

12 March 2018: When M.T. Black, the DM's Guild best-selling producer, begins to consider adventures he wishes to develop and the titles he wants to use for those adventures, he doesn't sit back in a large leather ch ...

Session Zero of Tomb of Annihilation

5 March 2018: Any time we're considering running a campaign it's worth spending some time with the group up front to scope the campaign and the characters within it. This session is often called a "Session Zero". T ...

Jeremy Crawford on Encounter Building

26 February 2018: On an episode of Dragon Talk, D&D developer and rules sage, Jeremy Crawford, spent a good deal of time digging deep into encounter building, particularly into building combat encounters. It's a wo ...

Reading Published Adventures

19 February 2018: We spend more than just our money when we buy a D&D 5e hardback adventure, we spend our time and energy on it as well. Unlike the 16 and 32 page adventures of old, these hefty tomes often include ...

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master

12 February 2018: Five years ago I wrote the book the Lazy Dungeon Master. This was in the middle of the transition between the 4th edition and 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Since then, the book has done extre ...

Encounter Building with Teos Abadia

5 February 2018: In the December 2017 episode of the DM's Deep Dive, I spoke to D&D designer Teos Abadia about encounter building for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Our goal in this show was to dig d ...

A New Dungeon Master's Guide to the Forgotten Realms

29 January 2018: The Forgotten Realms is a fantasy world developed over fifty years and in publication for thirty. There are nearly three hundred products available for the Forgotten Realms according to a quick search ...

The Lazy Approach to Stronger Encounters

22 January 2018: Most of the time we can probably run monsters right out of the Monster Manual at our 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons games without having to change anything. There's a freedom that comes from using ...

Getting the Most out of Storm King's Thunder

16 January 2018: This article may seem one year too late but I've finally completed running Storm King's Thunder not once, but twice. Only now do I feel like I can speak with some authority about how we can make the m ...

The Best of Sly Flourish 2017

8 January 2018: Whatever else was going on in the rest of the world, 2017 was a wonderful year for our wonderful hobby. We here at Sly Flourish continued to try our best to help DMs run the best D&D games they co ...

Making Awesome Dungeons

2 January 2018: Note, this article has been updated from the original written in October 2010. Dungeons are one of the staples of Dungeons & Dragons. They even make up 50% of the title of the game. Today we're go ...

Letter to a New Dungeon Master

26 December 2017: The following is a letter I gave to a co-worker's son who just began his, hopefully long, career as a Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master. I thought it might be useful for the rest of us as well. Hi ...

Three Years of D&D 5e with Mike Mearls

18 December 2017: In November 2017 on the DM's Deep Dive I had the great pleasure to talk with Mike Mearls, the senior manager for the Dungeons & Dragons team, about our experiences with three years of the fifth ed ...

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