Sly Flourish

Building the better Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master.

Why I Love Madness

13 November 2018: As part of the work we did on the Lazy Dungeon Master's Workbook, I surveyed the Kickstarter backers of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master and asked them which references, charts, and tables they found ...

Our Ability Check Toolbox

5 November 2018: The more we focus on the story of D&D, the more ability checks become the main mechanic as characters interact with the world around them. Asking for checks and getting the results sounds easy. A ...

The Hunger: A Level 1 to 20 Gnoll Campaign

29 October 2018: Reading Volo's Guide to Monsters, along with the Monster Manual is a fantastic way to fill our head with D&D lore that helps us plan our games and improvise while we're running them. If you get no ...

Handling Tag-Along NPCs

22 October 2018: In the Dungeons & Dragons adventure Out of the Abyss, the party has the potential of grouping with a number of NPCs as they all attempt to escape from their captors in the depths of the underdark. ...

Running Ravenloft

12 October 2018: Note: This article has been updated since its original version published in November 2012. Published in 1983, the classic D&D adventure I6 Ravenloft, was ranked in 2004 by Dungeon magazine as the ...

A New Dungeon Master's Guide For Building Encounters

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

Giving Characters Hard Choices

1 October 2018: Dungeons & Dragons is a game full of choices. From running campaigns to running characters, from steering world-shaking events to choosing an approach while having a conversation with a merchant, ...

A New DM's Guide to Miniatures

24 September 2018: Note: This article is reposed with permission from the original posted to D&D Beyond on March 2018. It is the fifth of a series of articles focused on helping new D&D DMs put together and run ...

Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Running Phandelver

17 September 2018: The Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Starter Set includes an adventure that exemplifies the pace and feeling of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. As the introductory adventure to the fifth ...

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master

10 September 2018: Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, the spiritual successor to the Lazy Dungeon Master is now available for purchase! Currently you can buy the ebook package which includes the PDF and ePub version of ...

Running Hags

4 September 2018: Hags may be the perfect low-level boss monster and they run best when we focus less on their stat block and more on how they'll make the lives of the characters miserable over the course of a low-leve ...

Managing Mysteries and Plot Twists

27 August 2018: Running mysteries in D&D is exceedingly difficult. Unlike great mystery stories, we have no idea how the characters will navigate the situation. On top of this, it's likely our players may uncover ...

DM's Deep Dive with Paige Leitman on D&D Streaming and Organized Play

20 August 2018: On June 2018 episode of the DM's Deep Dive, I had the great pleasure to talk with Paige Leitman, organizer for Dragon Con D&D games, writers of con-created content for the Adventurers League, and ...

Improvisation for New D&D Dungeon Masters

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

The Hard Parts of Running D&D

6 August 2018: For many of us, running D&D games is a great joy in our lives. We get together with friends, share laughs, tell stories, and have a great time together. Running D&D games, however, isn't easy, ...

A Dwarven Forge Caverns Deep Kickstarter Guide

30 July 2018: Updated 15 August Note: This Kickstarter is now over but I'm keeping this article around for those who backed it and will soon use the pledge manager to choose their final selections. Switched to che ...

Making the Most of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

23 July 2018: Wizards of the Coast recently released their third monster-focused sourcebook, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Like Volo's Guide to Monsters, Mordenkainen ...

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 second in a six-part series of articles focused on helping new D&D DMs put togethe ...

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 ...

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