by Mike Shea on 6 January 2012
Below is an archive of all of the Sly Flourish DM Tip Twitter posts for December 2011. Get daily DM tips at http://twitter.com/slyflourish!
Ran a skill challenge based on Inception tonight. The players loved being extractors, architects, forgers, and chemists. #dnd
#dnd tip: "Restrain until the beginning of your next turn" works well for restraining hazards without making them too painful
#dnd tip: Hang a white-board near your table to write monster defenses and common DCs during a game.
All this epic discussion and angst aside, I still believe my book makes running epic #dnd much better: http://t.co/9klYCkw7
It's a good day to be a #dnd geek at my house! http://t.co/y2kkoXgc
#dnd tip: Don't worry too much about monster size. Sometimes players with low level PCs should fight a huge or gargantuan dragon.
.@GSLLC Level + 8 is the average damage of the DMG updated damage expressions: http://t.co/DHEY5rcq #dnd
Some excellent epic advice from Chris Perkins in today's Rule of Three: http://t.co/Ob8vyvml #dnd
From @MonteJCook's article I think fewer rules, DM empowerment, and a system of modular complexity is ideal. http://t.co/iU1O6giY #dnd
Example ideal rule, the cover system from Gamma World "DM determines cover". So much easier and fewer words. @montejcook #DnD
Interesting look at switching over to an Essentials Only "Back to Basics" campaign from @digitaldraco: http://t.co/eDqdYsBZ #dnd
@ArcaneSpringbrd Interesting thoughts on 4e BASIC. I approached it by starting over, though, instead of trying to retrofit the existing.
I think #dnd is a combat-focused game with rules to match, but a simpler base and modular expansion would be better than 300 pages of rules.
@newbiedm "No DMs Left Behind" became the new philosophy. That's what changed in 4e.
.@Xer0Rules I agree. I'm not into tiles either after buying like 40 sets. Poster maps and Dwarven Forge are my go-to encounter setups.
#dnd tip: Sometimes auto damage is the only way you'll actually threaten high-level PCs. Don't use it all the time but a dash will do ya!
@geneome @theiddm @montejcook more rules = more rules lawyering. I don't want fiasco, but there's room for more DM interpretation.
The future is independent publishing on the web with print-on-demand hardcopies for 99% of games. Big publishers are the exception.
I think the #dnd board games have an interesting take on epic tier. Fighting a balor at level 1? Pretty cool.
You know, I think if skills got a bit more useful and we keep PC powers, I could completely do without feats.
Good advice from @TychoBrahe and @cwgabriel. Don't get too hard core: http://t.co/Kz52qMrm - take note @TheAngryDM #dnd
#dnd tip: Go over your whole encounter setup to ensure it threatens the whole party. Enough artillery? Enough brutes?
Ran six optimized level 30s through the Far Realm in "Nightmare Mode". Definitely gave them a challenge. #DnD http://t.co/SRCHVG2j #DnD
@matt_james_rpg I have three seven-drawer plastic storage boxes that I bought from Target. Can't find the link.
@matt_james_rpg Found it: http://t.co/HDCHWhds About $30 each at Target I think.
Just in case you haven't seen my #dnd dwarven forge photos: http://t.co/8YeTwFw9
#dnd tip: In high level encounters, ensure at least one monster can hit each defense type.
Had a cool moment in my game last night where Vyrellis, the talking skull in Pyramid of Shadows, saved the PCs from the Far Realm. #dnd
Interesting take on 3 acts for an epic-tier encounter by Chris Perkins: http://t.co/ozcsDlvF #dnd
Awesome random dungeon chambers from @DreadGazeebo and @saveversusdeath http://t.co/7fbluTnu #dnd
Sorry, the awesome free random Iconic Dungeon Chambers is only from @saveversusdeath: http://t.co/7fbluTnu #dnd
Interesting take on epic-tier challenges by @shimmertook: http://t.co/0ZM3lJTC I'm glad he understood my core hypothesis. #dnd
Here are some awesome variant rules for the #dnd Board Games: http://t.co/tMSvrVlI
@SarahDarkmagic Yeah, I was just talking to @RosaMoonshadow about how fun for players can come at a cost of fun from the DM.
#dnd tip: Instead of statting out full traps, just keep the theme in mind and use the DM Cheat Sheet for damage: http://t.co/5rCqc0w7
The Justin Sweet cover to @rjschwalb's latest book, Death Mark, is awesome Frazetta-style stuff! http://t.co/u08J7TsC #dnd
By the way, the awesome book @DelayedSession referred to is Sly Flourish's Running Epic Tier D&D Games: http://t.co/9klYCkw7 #dnd
Our level 7 group just ran from a beholder. A sound choice if you ask me. http://t.co/f3sqQuvs #dnd
Good Enworld thread on running Essentials Only. @MerricB hits the nail on the head with his advice: http://t.co/F3hB4nWN #dnd
Good review and look at the Shadowgast Manor tiles: http://t.co/2Hpmxnut #dnd
Cool epic-tier Demonweb-focused LFR adventure for level 23 PCs: http://t.co/NhAaTzSF #dnd
#dnd tip: You might be tempted to run a high-level elite instead of a lower-level solo. Level + 5 is about as far as you'll want to go.
I wonder how many are like me. I love Dungeon Tiles but I just can't seem to get myself to use them very often. #DnD
I joke with my players, but I always see my DM role as a facilitator for storytelling. Sometimes that story is horrible burning death. #dnd
Regarding @MonteJCook article, I think the rules, where complicated, should hand the reigns over to the DM: http://t.co/rAkTNmTt #dnd
Very cool #dnd 4e rewrite of the first "Against the Giants" old-school adventure, Steading of the Hill Giant Chief: http://t.co/oZlIH9HF
Scale model of the Steading of the Hill Giant Chief adventure: http://t.co/4vGRnTDL Thanks @EldritchReverie
#dnd tip: Random loot can be fun, but verify that your PCs have enough gold every so often by checking their ideal gold per level.
Every time I look at this picture, I want to run a Queen of Spiders re-do. She got robbed first time around: http://t.co/9yIsAPDW #dnd
The more I read Essentials characters, the more I wish this had come out first. People love their old broken complicated stuff too much.
This might sound self-helpy but if you're a capital G Gamer, you owe it to yourself to change your life around so you can game regularly.
My #dnd article, Abyssal Plague Epic Threats, was posted to #ddi today: http://t.co/FYGLJ3YR
Really looking forward to @rjschwalb's Book of Vile Darkness. I love poster maps! http://t.co/YiRLSmx2 #dnd
Great article on making slimy terrain from @bandofmisfits http://t.co/IIWioNJ0 #dnd
Great article from friend @chattydm on building an ad-hoc adventure with just the red box. #dnd http://t.co/DyAMgbd0
#dnd tip: Lazy DMing can help you focus on story and NPC interactions, but don't skimp on designing some good pre-planned encounters.
Question for a future article: what feats do you consider the "default" feats of #dnd 4e Essentials+? http://t.co/6GSnic3P
Very cool stand-up #dnd cardboard miniatures from Paizo. http://t.co/LhZgtjYS Bit far away though, May 2012.
Some great #dnd observations and insights from @NeoGrognard on Wizards.com: http://t.co/U9Hnp3cF
#dnd tip: Environmental effects that strictly do damage can be boring, but they're a lot easier to design and implement. Ware complexity.
I love Gamma World #dnd http://t.co/x12kwUkp
Playing Gamma World with @Nullzone42 who showed me the great value of the plexiglass sheet over battle maps. #dnd http://t.co/wQAy4apq
Roger Daltry, my arachnid entropic spider hunts for lost LPs across the wasteland of Gamma Terra. #dnd http://t.co/6Dw17I24
Are you a selfish #dnd DM? http://t.co/NMLfRLI5 Great article from @TheIdDM
Finding it hard to go into "lazy DM" mode with Gloomwrought. I have six potential paths the PCs could go next week. #dnd
I know I've written a good #dnd monster when @RosaMoonshadow writes "ack!" in the margins during her edits.
#dnd tip: Stick to rewarding magic items from the DM Kit and Mordenkainen's. You get a good wide variety and better balanced items.
I'm very bad at number 7 on this list: http://t.co/OWBEbSkV #dnd
@SkylandGames It's a good one, but my favorite is still the Monster Vault. If only it had Orcus in it...
On the Appalling Things on this list: what is the DM or the game doing to create this behavior? http://t.co/G7TxbceT #dnd
By the way, when I play #dnd as a player, I hand my cellphone over to my wife. I'm terribly ADD when playing.
Interesting Rule of Three (http://t.co/rQSIOshM)..) I think #dnd 4e still has too many choices for players at the table.
@mudbunny74 I think people's reaction and their actual behavior are at odds. Those same people still take 8 minutes a turn.
To keep options simple at your table: stick to Essentials, use Inherent Bonuses, limit magic items, stick to level 1 to 10. #dnd
Really good Rule of Three this week, @Wizards_DnD. It's a good glimpse of inside-baseball, but interesting: http://t.co/rQSIOshM #dnd
I bet epic one-shot adventures would work well with Essentials-only chars, inherent bonuses, and one "rare" item. #dnd I'll let you know.
@Mongonius According to WOTC, epic characters are 3 to 4 times more complicated than they intended. http://t.co/rQSIOshM
Excellent article on the 10 commandments of epic tier #dnd and not just because it mentions and quotes my book: http://t.co/P8G4WyQR
Adventures like this are a lot more likely to get me to buy dungeon tiles: http://t.co/kevfLqGE Great stuff! #dnd
#dnd tip: When running for 4 PCs, keep in mind that much synergy is lost. Go easy on them or you'll wipe them out accidentally.
@Bartoneus I think Essentials runs better at all levels. I really don't have a lot of experience with Essentials-only at Epic.
@shawnmerwin @bartoneus I convinced my epic group to switch to Essentials (after being transformed by the Far Realm). I look forward to it.
@Bartoneus @shawnmerwin As the guy who wrote "Running Epic", I have a bad gut reaction too, trust me. But I've tried and tried and tried.
#dnd tip: With four "Heroes" books in publication, consider limiting short-run games to PC classes and races from only those books.
Ran a more open-ended game tonight but my group told me they like stuff on the rails. #dnd
Giving options and choices at the end of the game to guide the next session always works well for my group. #dnd
A good way to be sort-of sandboxy but still have guidance is the "three paths at the end of the adventure" idea. Builds next-week's game.
.@Bartoneus I force them to choose at the table at the end of the night with a vote. Email never worked for me. Three options works well.
.@SarahDarkmagic @bartoneus Making them vote on three choices at the end of the game, before they leave works well for me. #dnd
#dnd tip: Not every room in a dungeon needs monsters. Give them some interesting rooms to explore filled with story hooks.
.@sarahdarkmagic I still want to see adventures as a toolbox for DMs instead of end-to-end blocks of prose: http://t.co/50WUJo7w
I really dig this Dwarven Forge dungeon delve format. http://t.co/iuQEA9CJ I'll have to make one of these sometime. Thanks @SarahDarkmagic
How's this for a modern-day #dnd Delve format? The Throneroom of Lolth! http://t.co/x5IhhoK6
Top #dnd taggers on twitter since 24 October. @TheAngryDM leads the pack. http://t.co/rVcI2X3r
By the way, looks like "A Knight in Shadowghast" is available to all with or without a #ddi subscription: http://t.co/o3j4ssTg #dnd
Picked up Shadowghast tiles (https://t.co/vCLvAi0i) and toolbox liner (https://t.co/c3u4dVjj) ala @mikemearls. #dnd
What I'm really looking forward to is the Haunted Temples map pack: https://t.co/9EXntRjm #dnd
Another #dnd Delve-style one-page encounter formatted in PowerPoint (ugh..): http://t.co/zHJpXI3L
#dnd tip: Give challenging bosses environmental terrain that penetrates damage resistance, boosts damage, or boosts damage shields.
@SarahDarkmagic I'm not sure it's rules that showed me a bad GM. There are probably lots of signs.
Nothing says Christmas like waking up and finding a copy of the Book of Vile Darkness! http://t.co/e09Ng2eL
@GSLLC the MV dragons do a good job of limiting daze and stun without removing it completely. Yeah, daze and stun with solos is plain broke.
@OregonPinkRose Good question. I find three actions, one per round, standard or reckless minor that results in more damage on failure.
Love walking with @RosaMoonshadow and brainstorming back and forth on some nasty new monster. Who is your #dnd idea buddy?
@myuzishun @uberkent Being married to a geek is the best thing in the world.
For you poor bastards going back to work today, here is a Legends and Lore compilation worth your study. http://t.co/zhtJXk2o #dnd
If we use Strimko and Sudoku puzzles for magical runes and mazes for lock-picking and trap disarms, what other puzzles can we use for #dnd?
I like Jenga as a sort of psychic or magical barrier-breaking contest. What other mini-game metaphors can we add into our #dnd game?
Trying to find the right #dnd metaphor to bring Hungry Hungry Hippos into my game.
#dnd tip from @rosamoonshadow: Build stories based on and influenced by individual PCs.
Here's a good maze generator for your lock picking and stuff. http://t.co/T19KhLxf #dnd
Good article on #dnd two-hit minions. The minions that get knocked prone when hit but only die while prone work well: http://t.co/wiPZdH3A
Oldie but goodie, the DM of the Rings: http://t.co/cqzAMSLr
#dnd tip: Make sure your players have enough options to keep them interesting from level to level.
Some excellent words by @rjschwalb on skill challenges: http://t.co/lhuLmuzh #dnd What have been your greatest skill challenge successes?
Sorry, my link to the new #dnd miniatures on Amazon didn't work: http://t.co/cChvpk3M Thanks @TheSheDM!
Given the cost of plastic and the vast array of monsters, I don't think there's a great solution to #dnd miniatures that all will love.
With the huge circulation of older #dnd minis, the new sets, the Pathfinder minis, and the cardboard alternatives, we have a lot of options!
Here's some pics of the Pathfinder minis. Some really good ones in here: http://t.co/E56KfFUa Thanks @jelmore! #dnd
Tool box liner, Shadowghast dungeon tiles, and a polycarbonate sheet from Home Depot. #dnd http://t.co/W7iDxPUU
@rjschwalb Sometimes I think skill challenges aren't gamey enough. That's my problem. Thats why I use things like this: http://t.co/KkF5jxml
new way to make a Geletanous Cube miniature from @1grumpyyoungman: http://t.co/wpzQSxNF #dnd
Great article by @rjschwalb on the danger of too many rules and how it affects skill challenges: http://t.co/lUDSsNt0 #dnd
Added @rjschwalb's Book of Vile Darkness poster maps to my poster map index: https://t.co/6Jmuge4s #dnd
Very glad to hear @mikemearls's statement about the lack of DM authority in recent #dnd. http://t.co/MDCBx1t8
#dnd tip from @rosamoonshadow: Guide your players to develop their PCs' backstories gradually over a campaign.
What are the best ways you've found to find your #dnd group? This is something I want to spend more time on - helping people find games.
In the DC Metro area, join up with the DC Syndicate: http://t.co/N6Ywts58 @GSLLC and @Luddite_Vic are both awesome.
Recruiting geek friends from work can also work, but you have to be pretty outgoing. Many in my group are work friends, spouses, and others.
Have you guys had success with Meetup for #dnd? http://t.co/xBBMtBHS
Dungeon Tiles + Toolbox Liner + Polycarbonate Sheet #dnd video on Youtube by yours truly: http://t.co/JIYNGysj
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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