Sly Flourish

Building the better Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master.

Random Mundane Magic Item Generator

14 April 2014: This page provides a randomly generated list of one hundred single-use mundane magical items for the fantasy roleplaying game of choice. You can view or print out the list of 100 magic item list or us ...

Three Plus Infinite Choices

7 April 2014: Note: this article has been updated from the original written in February 2013 Debates rage between those who prefer sandbox games and those run "on-the-rails". In sandbox gaming, PCs explore regions ...

Let Them Be

31 March 2014: Everyone comes to the D&D game with different expectations and desires. Though divergent, none of these desires are wrong. D&D is a game that brings friends together to have fun. That is the c ...

Offer Real Choices

24 March 2014: Note: This article has been updated since the original published on 10 May 2010 "With the Kobold prince slain and his bodyguards broken across the floor, you find yourself with two choices: the left d ...

Dwarven Forge Tips

17 March 2014: Note: This article has been updated since the original September 2009 version In early 2013, Dwarven Forge ran a Kickstarter for newly designed "Dwarvenite" game tiles. These simple, beautiful, useful ...

Converting Adventures

10 March 2014: With the birth of D&D Classics, we now have access to hundreds of old-school D&D adventures published over the past thirty years. And that's just D&D adventures. There are hundreds of adve ...

The Best Paizo Flip Mats

3 March 2014: Pre-published fantasy battle maps are an indispensable aid for the Lazy Dungeon Master. While Wizards of the Coast slowed down on publishing encounter maps, Paizo continues to publish excellent high-q ...

Altars of Power

24 February 2014: If you've played any action RPG recently, like Diablo 3 or Path of Exile, you're quite familiar with the idea of altars of power. These strange bits of terrain invoke all sorts of interesting new abil ...

Mistakes Were Made

17 February 2014: DM: "A figure appears from the heatwaves of the desert ahead. He approaches, keeping his cowl across his mouth to avoid the burning sand. You recognize him as a member of the Asarat nomads, tribes who ...

Limiting 13th Age Icons for Short Campaigns

10 February 2014: The long transition between D&D 4th Edition and D&D Next has given rise to a number of independent roleplaying games such as Fate Core, Dungeon World, Numenera, and 13th Age. Many consider 13t ...

Aeon Wave

3 February 2014: Last year I ran my first successful Kickstarter for Aeon Wave. Aeon Wave is a cyberpunk themed adventure scenario for Fate Core with artwork by by Kurt Komoda, editing by Amanda Valentine, and graphic ...

Lazy Trap Generator

27 January 2014: Being creative is hard. The creative load is hard enough that, many times, our minds will trick us into spending time on anything anywhere to avoid having to really buckle down and create shit. The li ...

Experiences Running a Level 1 to 30 4th Edition D&D Campaign

20 January 2014: Note, this article was originally published on Critical Hits on 29 November 2010 and is reprinted here with permission. When reading it, consider the context of the time. D&D Next hadn't been anno ...

Playtesting Your Stories

13 January 2014: Note: This article has been updated from the original, written on 20 December 2010. When Valve software developed Portal and Portal 2, they extensively playtested everything about the game, including ...

I, Dungeon

6 January 2014: There's a lot to love in 13th Age and we've talked about it before in our interview with Rob Heinsoo our 4e Player's Guide to 13th Age, and a 13th Age review over on Critical Hits. Beyond all of the i ...

Quests for Villains

30 December 2013: Note: This article has been updated since the original published on 15 February 2010. "You sent them to their death," said Akti the Ice Lich. Arantham turned to him. "They knew it. We all know the sta ...

The Problem with Extending Critical Hits

23 December 2013: Extending critical hits may not seem like a big deal but the results can unbalance an entire game system. Extending critical hits turns a random bit of fun into a character-building strategy that ends ...

Improving Pacing

16 December 2013: The artist dungeon master has many skills he or she must constantly and continually improve. Improvisational skills, an acceptable level of knowledge of the rules, an ability to listen and balance scr ...

Dungeons of Fate

10 December 2013: Dungeons of Fate is a hack of Fate Accelerated intended for classic D&D-style dungeon delving adventures. It's intended for single-session or short-run campaigns with either a classic D&D adve ...

2013 RPG Buyer's Guide

2 December 2013: It's the perfect time of year to dig deep and give the gifts of RPGs to your friends and family. Instead, maybe you want to get something special for yourself and now's a good time. While everyone els ...

Four RPGs To Watch

25 November 2013: Here in the Sly Flourish labs we've primarily focused on 4th edition D&D over the years. With the release of the D&D Next playtest, our teams of scientists have branched out into not just Next ...

Flash Forward

18 November 2013: We've talked before, at length, about the joys and troubles of organic storytelling. For a quick summary, by focusing a story on the motivations and actions of our player characters and non-playing ch ...

13th Age with Rob Heinsoo

12 November 2013: I recently had the opportunity to spend 90 minutes talking to Rob Heinsoo about how to run 13th Age games. You can watch the entire interview on Youtube. Take a look! Here are some highlights! The Ic ...

Getting Your Players' Attention Back

4 November 2013: Note: This article updates the original written in 31 August 2009. Mobile computing brings a whole new level of distraction into our world and it's become a big debate for us game masters. Do we ban t ...

Leaving Blanks

28 October 2013: If you want to see an example of an adventure written for a new age, read the adventure "Blood and Lightning" in the 13th Age core book. Here's an adventure with no central story thread, no clear enem ...

Breaking Endings

21 October 2013: Disclaimer and Warning: This next post is part D&D article and part review of the final episode of Breaking Bad entitled "Felina". It's going to contain major spoilers about the show. If you haven ...

Running Ravenloft for Halloween

15 October 2013: Note: This article has been updated since its original version published in 13 November 2012. Published in 1983, the classic D&D adventure I6 Ravenloft, was ranked in 2004 by Dungeon magazine as t ...

Transporting 13th Age's Escalation Die

30 September 2013: We live in a renaissance for tabletop RPGs. The net, social media, and crowdfunding has birth to some fantastic systems including Dungeon World, Fate Core, and 13th Age. 13th Age, a self-proclaimed lo ...

Three Ways to use Music in your Game

23 September 2013: This article has been updated from the original published on 26 April 2010 When writing the script for his films, Quinten Tarantino likes to sit in his music room spinning 78s of his favorite yet forg ...

A New Method for NPCs

16 September 2013: In the 1940s and 50s, a new style of acting revolutionized the craft. Dubbed "the method", this new style taught actors to delve into the true emotions of their characters rather than simply focusing ...

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