by Mike Shea on 03 March 2012
Below is an archive of all of the Sly Flourish DM Tip Twitter posts for February 2012. Get daily DM tips at http://twitter.com/slyflourish!
#dnd tip: Remember that being a DM is being a showman. Work on your dynamic voice and performance to keep the pace of the game right.
After my #dnd game last night, I'm pondering the importance of detail balanced with the importance of moving things forward.
Check out @theweem's excellent remastered Caves of Chaos maps: http://t.co/2Rp6300c #dnd
#dnd tip: For a good personality template, think of a movie character and watch a film of theirs on Netflix to get the personality right.
@Wizards_DnD I pick a character archetype from fiction, decide what their goals are, come up with some interesting seeds for PCs.
How about certain ground rules for narrative play (non-map). Cover is easy to get, superior cover is hard. CA requires skill checks,etc #dnd
.@DaveTheGame makes some awesome suggestions for using themes as a driver in a sandbox #dnd game: http://t.co/hc9dzoeh
#dnd tip: Follow the advice of @theiddm and always keep an eye on the body-language of your players and yourself. Get into "the arena"!
Your Friday morning read from yours-truly: Initial Impressions of the New D&D: http://t.co/gCm21Do4 #dndnext
Pretty epic pic of me with @MonteJCook and @geeksdreamgirl at #ddxp playing #dndnext. What a great opportunity. http://t.co/qyTpxY4j
#dnd tip: Boss rooms should often contain some sort of damage resistance penetration so your boss's elemental damage isn't nullified.
After running my game sans Dwarven Forge, people in and outside my game are beginning to complain. That will stop this Wednesday. #dnd
"I have done a thousand dreadful things as willingly as one would kill a fly and nothing grieves me, but that I cannot do ten thousand more"
Your villainous quote of this Friday eve, given to you from Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Use it as the seed of your villain.
"If one good deed in my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul". - Aaron; Titus Andronicus.
Another benefit of playing tons of #dnd. I can properly spell "mausoleum" without needing a spell checker.
I think inherent bonuses should always be on. I see no reason not to run with it all the time. #dnd
I can't wait to run this #dnd battle: https://t.co/4dosSfzl
Looks like the character builder still doesn't properly calculate masterwork armor with inherent bonuses. Have to add magic armor. #dnd
Dungeon tiles with a toolbox liner and an acrylic sheet. #dnd http://t.co/PXOKnnjn
Thanks very much to @DelayedSession for his review of Running Epic Tier #dnd Games: http://t.co/xQ1vTRzM
Some excellent #dnd accessory ideas on the cheap from @theweem: http://t.co/wfIbFkjk
Still your best source for the latest #dndnext info: http://t.co/8WIcQxgb well maintained by @Morrus
Getting my next #dnd game ready. The Heroes of Shadow head into the Gloomwrought graveyard to battle the Charnal Fangs!
The more I look at them, the more I think 4e #dnd is defined by the two Essential Hero books and the Monster Vault. I love those books.
Your @trollandtoad mini of the week: The Lich! Though a tad expensive, everyone needs a good lich: http://t.co/KdARZXwZ #dnd
#dnd tip: Think through the eyes of your NPCs instead of plotting out your story.
My latest #dnd Insider article just got published - two of the most powerful epic-tier monsters published I believe:http://t.co/Wx8VCs2D
I think "epic recovery" may rub some the wrong way but these ARE Elemental Princes after all. http://t.co/L17NIVUn #dnd
#dnd tip: Use simple puzzles as potential mini-games instead of just rolling skill checks. http://t.co/RsAeG8WY
@SarahDarkmagic I've never wanted to kill PCs, but I definitely want to hang the threat of it out for challenging encounters at any level.
Excellent #dnd map tricks from Chris Perkins: http://t.co/phAgHd8l
#dnd tip: Don't be afraid to talk about your hobby with your coworkers. You never know who used to play and dreams of playing again.
Great and powerful epic ghost dragon from @theiddm: http://t.co/JF5Uvrif #dnd
My group destroyed the Charnel Fangs last night. Next week they face Feria, Prince Rolan's consort, in her own Dreams! #dnd
Look whose arm and Moleskine made it into the pic for this article on #dndnext: http://t.co/RhGhHcw2
Awesome list of medieval occupations: http://t.co/t1VMhsPI Thanks @theshedm! #dnd
#dnd tip: Always ask for honest feedback on your game after it's done. Force them to come up with one thing you can make better.
Excellent article touching on the exploration aspect of #dnd by @shawnmerwin: http://t.co/lAoXf8Ur
Made some big changes to http://t.co/wG75bpnD It now displays the top 100 tweets and doesn't parse links anymore. #dnd
I definitely need to get better at #dnd exploration as discussed in @shawnmerwin's article: http://t.co/8ziDEIxR
#dnd tip: Feedback from your players can tell you a lot about your game. Body language can tell you a lot more. Watch them both.
Apologies to @loganbonner for not mentioning Dragon Slayers in my Fiasco Relationships #dnd article. It's remedied: http://t.co/9rH9NT8A
#dnd Troll and Toad Tuesday Mini: The Gargoyle. Great for statues as well as beasts. A couple will go a long way. http://t.co/mH6rfsSI
David Jaffe says games shouldn't focus on telling the creator's story, instead letting players create their own: http://t.co/Dr9ufZgl #dnd
#dnd tip: Romance in a game can be weird or fun. Keep it light hearted and funny most of time time and powerful once or twice.
Updated my Fiasco Relationships article to reference @loganbonner's excellent Dragon Slayers for Fiasco. http://t.co/4Ss5bW0T #dnd
Most excellent use of the portal prop for an adventure called Keep on the Nine Hells. #dnd http://t.co/y1n8eR8A
#dnd tip: Just because things got more complicated doesn't mean they have to. A single skill check or single-use trap is a fine way to go.
Tonight the Heroes of Shadow fall, inception style, into the dreams of Feria, consort of Prince Rolan, in Gloomwrought. #dnd
In my #dnd game last night, the Heroes of Shadow spent 2d6 years lost in the dreamscape of Feria.
#dnd tip: Consider running 6 to 8 session mini-campaigns focused on a particular theme and source material.
#dnd tip: When limiting source material, have players build their characters using the physical books and then put it in the CB after.
Hey @TheIdDM and others, what are the top five most important skills and attributes for a good #dnd DM?
Some potential good #dnd DM traits: Storytelling, judgement, patience, organization, empathy. I suck at patience.
There is much gloom and quite a bit of wrought in my Gloomwrought mini-campaign. Feria, consort of Rolan, just killed herself. #dnd
I'm definitely going to write a future Sly Flourish article on the importance of patience for DMing #dnd. It comes up a lot.
Wonderful to watch the creation of Penny Arcades erotically charged sexventure: http://t.co/089XlOWh #dnd
Might try four-hit minions at my next #dnd game. First hit - yellow ring, second - red, third - both rings, last hit - dead. Thoughts?
.@loganbonner exactly! They count as a normal monster but simpler and easier to run. #dnd
Example #dnd: Deathless Guard, lvl 13, 4 hits, AC 28, Def 25; +18 vs AC; 21 dam. Simple and easy.
A two-hit minion or three-hit minion might work better on second thought. #dnd
Pretty awesome Pathfinder Rise of the Runelords minis: http://t.co/cXpXxlHV #dnd Great to have a good new source of preprinted minis.
Not sure I agree with @MonteJCook on high-level play. It breaks down when I can't challenge PCs without cheating: http://t.co/ZpuWFlnb #dnd
#dnd tip: Pay special attention to environmental effects in your encounters. They are often the thing that makes encounters unique.
Sounds like many agee that we love high-level play but feel the mechanics broke down in 3.5 and 4e. #dnd Hope @MonteJCook is listening!
This week's #dnd Troll and Toad mini, the Zhent Soldier, a great generic bad-guy soldier mini: http://t.co/7ENHGGLX
#dnd tip: Players spending a lot of time on cellphones? What can you do to draw their interest back to the game?
can't decide if I want to run the Deathless Watch out of the book or run them completely differently using the Cheat Sheet. #dnd
Considering using an ultra-simple stat block: Lvl 14 Deathless Knight: AC 29, Def 27, HP 140, +19 vs. AC; 2d10+11 dam; defender aura. #dnd
To Dedrek Harskell: "Hide the women, hide the kids. Shit is going down in Gloomwrought tonight." - the Heroes of Shadow #dnd
#dnd tip: Don't assume your players care as much for the story as you do. Your high nterest is probably why you're the DM.
@gregbilsland I think epic-level danger should at least be as dangerous as it is at low levels. 4e epic is much less threatening. #dnd
@gregbilsland I agree with your criteria completely. High level play shouldn't simply get slower and longer to run. Nor easier.
@BruceCordell @trevor_wotc @montejcook My desire is for a game that runs fast and keeps a consistent challenge at all levels.
@BruceCordell @trevor_wotc @montejcook right now, in 4e, PCs are much less challenged at high levels and battles take longer to run.
@SarahDarkmagic I think the fundamentals of #dnd should play the same from low to high. I don't want it turning into Risk
BTW, on #dnd epic ranting; I still loved every one of the 60+ epic games I've run. It has warts but its better than any previous system.
The Heroes of Shadow killed Prince Rolan and established a new council of noble houses before joining the Tenebrous Cabal. #dnd
#dnd tip: Delegate things like initiative and monster damage tracking to other players when you get overwhelmed.
The top #dnd search feature on Twitter is actually very useful. More useful than my own stupid twitter parsing site: https://t.co/Ro2m5Rtf
Preparing to run the #dnd Tile Trek: Knight in Shadowghast Manor this weekend: http://t.co/PpSYF1gt
I always forget the wealth of great #dnd 4e adventures from LFR: http://t.co/ouA2FGyE Thanks @bandofmisfits
#dnd tip: Up and down-level monsters by adding a -X level sticky note in your monster book to remind you to do the math.
Really enjoying watching this elemental is sorcerer in action at my #dnd game today http://t.co/PLfbIsKm
One-line #dnd monsters by @ObsidianCrane: http://t.co/ZbevteA8 Great idea and one I used in my Gloomwrought game.
In response to @MonteJCook's article; I'm fine with vancian magic as long as it doesn't result in 40 page character sheets like #dnd 3.5.
For the lunch crowd, is it me or is the Elementalist's two-target 1d12+1d10+1d6+12 vs. two targets at level 6 pretty high damage? #dnd
Here's stats for the 6th level #dnd Elementalist that hits for 1d12+1d10+1d6+13 vs. two targets twice per battle. http://t.co/zvZwPXU9
#dnd tip: Keep solos and elites simple and powerful by letting them ignore daze, stuns, and dominates during their turns.
#dnd tip: Keep elites and solos simple and powerful by letting them ignore daze, stuns, and dominates during their turn.
Can't decide if I want to run Twisting Halls > Harkenhold > Winter King > Gardmore Abbey or just go straight to Gardmore. #dnd
@matt_james_rpg @newbiedm I'm fine with marks as long as the penalty doesn't increase over the level-span. Why would it be worse later?
This week's Troll and Toad Tuesday mini, the Huge Fire Elemental! Great as both a monster and a set-piece: http://t.co/Tg1zv4sR
My big question: How will #dndnext deal with the huge amount of battlefield control 4e PCs had without making PCs feel much weaker?
Example: 4e fighter marks did all sorts of controller-style things. Remove them and fighters turn back into just blade swingers. #dndnext
#dnd tip: Want an old-school feel with your existing 4e game? Try playing low level games with just Heroes of the Fallen Lands.
#dnd 4e suffers from a great deal of status-effect glut but remove them and everything just feels like damage. How should that be handled?
@ve4grm I'm fine with a -2 to attack mark. Not fine with all sorts of weakens, knock prone, slide 3, teleport, free heals, and extra damage.
#dnd tip: Want the feeling of a simple old-school #dnd game? Try running low level adventures with just Heroes of the Fallen Lands.
@gregbilsland I agree. I love drop to 0 effects as a shock-and-awe effect without true slaying.
The problem with marks is that they tended to escalate in range, power, effectiveness which scales too well against monsters. #dndnext
Sometimes I felt like 4e #dnd evolved into PCs dancing around and hitting inanimate blobs of inanimate hit points we called "monsters".
I don't know how you take that sort of control away from players and have them still feel good about their PCs. #dndnext
Tomorrow the Shieldbashers, mutated (Essentialized) by the Far Realm, returns to the Demonweb Pits to recover the Shard of the Abyss! #dnd
#dnd tip: Keep your game ultra simple by only using the DM Cheat Sheet and coming up with everything on the fly: http://t.co/Y7tIe0qb
If you enjoyed these tips, take a look at Sly Flourish’s Dungeon Master Tips book or Sly Flourish’s Running Epic Tier D&D Games. You can also use these links to purchase the Heroes of the Fallen Lands, the Dungeon Master’s Kit, or the Monster Vault or bookmark this link to buy anything from Amazon.
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