by Mike Shea on 14 April 2011
Below is an archive of all of the Sly Flourish DM Tip Twitter posts for March 2011. Get daily DM tips at http://twitter.com/slyflourish!
#dnd tip: Make heavy use of the DCs and Damage Per Level charts in the updated DM Screen. They're extremely valuable tools.
Ran a timed #dnd battle last night. The extra stress and snappiness of the players and myself probably didn't make it worth while.
By the way, my brain keeps coming back to this awesome statistical analysis of #dnd battles by @theiddm: http://j.mp/emTgu4
#dnd tip: Add an "out" to every encounter you design. How can the party finish the encounter besides just wiping out all the bad guys?
In case you missed it, you can hear me talk all sorts of #dnd on the most recent DM Round Table: http://tinyurl.com/6hbosgm
#dnd tip: Keep your secondary battles fast by using only one monster type and a simple yet powerful environmental effect.
I love the polished #dnd monsters @rjschwalb puts out. Check out his Intellect Devourer: http://j.mp/e1o1t1
#dnd tip from @chattydm: Try doing a booster draft with Fortune Cards instead of each player building their own deck.
#dnd tip: Get yourself in the right mindset for Dark Sun by watching 300 and then picking up the soundtrack for your game.
#dnd tip: Reveal the DCs in a skill challenge so players will be more willing to try untrained skills to do things.
I really dug the use of mobile devices as telepathy in @Neuroglyph's Dark Sun game: http://t.co/FkbMLUq #dnd
#dnd tip: Keep your DM screen handy when prepping adventures for the skill and damage table.
What #dnd project would you work on if you got the call from the MacArthur Fellowship? http://j.mp/hxXCwh
#dnd tip: in Dark Sun, don't have a generic "cross the desert" challenge. Make it specific like lizard hordes or crossing silt challenges.
The level 9 Monster Vault beholder sure brings back the original lethality a beholder should have. @wizards_dnd, who designed it? #dnd
Given the capability of level 7 to 9 PCs, the 9th level Beholder from the Monster Vault is the most lethal I've seen. #dnd
After Finger of Death, I want to see @rjschwalb's version of Power Word: Kill! http://j.mp/eypuFu
#dnd tip: The new DM screen's experience reward table makes it very easy to reward effort-based experience. http://bit.ly/cZKZAV
Really enjoyed this statistical analysis of the 4e #dnd Penny Arcade games by @TheIdDM: http://t.co/Hi7ubIq
#dnd tip: When rebuilding monsters, start with the traits that define the monster and build mechanics around those traits.
@DaveTheGame Yeah, the seed is definitely thin. I wanted it to be clearly recognizable to a #dnd group for a one-shot.
In case you missed it, check out @neuroglyph's excellent review of Running Epic Games: http://j.mp/e2ya45 #dnd
#dnd tip: Sell off your old monster books and stick to the MM3, Monster Vault, Demonomicon, and Dark Sun Creature Catalog.
#dnd tip: Gang warfare is always an interesting story choice for a Dark Sun campaign set in Tyr. Which gangs are rivals and which allies?
Check out @rjschwalb's Juiblex, The Faceless Lord article on #dnd insider: http://t.co/MGji0SW
#dnd tip: Whether to kill, capture, or release a defeated foe is always an easy and interesting choice to give players.
Interview with Perkins http://j.mp/gY984j done by @aethanbear who I had the pleasure of meeting and gaming with at #pax! #dnd
#dnd tip: The sorcerer kings in the back of the Dark Sun Creature Catalog work very well for paragon and epic bosses. Reskin!
#dnd tip: Paperclip your status-effect fold overs to a big card so you can easily pull out the right one.
Excellent article by Chris Perkins on easily reskinning and adjusting monsters: http://t.co/ceoVP9C #dnd
Some awesome #dnd tips from @sarahdarkmagic: http://j.mp/dE78jP I never saw her stop running games at the con. She's awesome.
#dnd tip: A player recording monster damage frees you up to worry about table management and monster tactics. Makes life much easier.
Playing Gamma World with @davethegame and @chattydm was a highlight of #pax for me: http://bit.ly/gE6y7M Fats Gemini still cracks me up.
#dnd tip: Consider inflicting direct damage instead of taking healing surges away in skill challenges. Taking damage isn't as annoying.
Listen to @chattydm @davethegame and @gamefiend at their #pax Houserules panel: http://j.mp/dQm2t8 #dnd
#dnd tip: Check out the fantastic terrain in the back of the Dark Sun Creature Catalog. It's useful for any game and very well designed.
All done with #pax! Great time with great friends. Ran five games, played in four. Talked with a lot of fellow geeks. Awesome time. #dnd
#dnd tip: Have you built some monster knowledge cards for your next game? Add it to your prep checklist: http://bit.ly/cjCdwf
@DaveTheGame and friends running a leveraged Mage the Ascension. http://t.co/gy9170M
#dnd tip: Standard kobold miniatures and tokens can work well for Dark Sun Gith creatures. Your players will likely be too drunk to tell.
My con survival guide: plan very little, live in the moment, run your own games, drink lots of water. #pax
#dnd tip: Spend an hour sitting at your table visualizing the game you are about to run. Imagine the game running to see what's missing.
Jaws RPG is actually @DaveTheGame's own game, Get Bit. http://t.co/7CJUQ6I http://t.co/QZFiBMD
#dnd tip: try fitting your night's adventure onto a single page of paper. It forces you to stay simple and helps keep your game on track.
@mikemearls "David Carradine's Wild Ride" http://j.mp/hhx1e7 #thetable
#dnd tip: Michael Mann's "The Keep" may not be a great movie, but it's a great story for a D&D or Gamma World game! http://bit.ly/g9kju7
#dnd tip: I find the best skill challenges often have the least amount of prep. Don't over-engineer challenges; let them grow naturally.
Check out the Hall of Spiders encounter by @BrainClouds http://bit.ly/eljDdH
I'm really digging @rjschwalb's epic monster creations. Check out his Mithral Golem: http://bit.ly/gyGAeb #dnd
Sent my best customer, @brindy, his free paper copies of SF's DM Tips and SF's Running Epic Games: http://t.co/Qx4SRoc
One thing I notice is that both monsters and PCs both appear to do more damage. Has WOTC secretly changed the duration of a battle?
#dnd tip: Wise words from @rjschwalb: "Never tell the players they are in a skill challenge."
Love @rjschwalb's excellent DM rule: if it smells like poop, it's probably poop: http://j.mp/gAvkw5 #dnd Wonderful article.
Check out @gamefiend's Gamma World Alpha Dog posted this morning on @critical_hits: http://t.co/42ZdAw1 #dnd
#dnd tip: Be like Chris Perkins and never fudge a die roll. Let the dice guide the story in an unknown direction.
#dnd tip: Be like @gregbilsland and hide die rolls to give you the ability to change the pace and tension of an encounter.
Excellent compilation of 5x5 articles by @davethegame http://j.mp/eReGsO #dnd
#dnd tip: Assigning monster hit point tracking to a player helps remove the adversarial relationship between players and DMs.
Somehow missed this awesome article by @geeksdreamgirl about props that mentions yours truly: http://t.co/pUEbsIU
Take your ideas and use them even if you aren't sure how they'll work out. Don't just hide them away for later: http://j.mp/gAY6Xs #dnd
#dnd tip: Highlight or underline the names of NPCs in your notes so you can refer to them easily.
Didn't feel like I ran the best #dnd game I could have last night for three reasons:
#dnd tip: From @gregbilsland, pay particular attention to the points of tension in a battle.
Writing out my own quick story summary to lead off my game tomorrow ala Chris Perkins. "Last week with the Children of Blood..." #dnd
.@rjschwalb loved your article. The problem is, all #dnd battles end up taking an hour+. There are no small ones without careful planning.
Getting an idea from @rjschwalb's latest article (http://j.mp/dFFyQs) on reusing encounter areas for multiple choices ala Dragon Age. #dnd
#dnd tip: If a battle doesn't go exactly like you planned, look for the interesting opportunity to let the story move in a new direction.
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 Dungeon Master's Kit, the Monster Vault, the Heroes of the Fallen Lands or bookmark this link to buy anything from Amazon.
Send feedback to email@example.com.