Sly Flourish

Building the better D&D Dungeon Master.

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 7: Tammeraut's Fate

6 April 2020: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Playing D&D Over Discord

30 March 2020: In these times of social distancing, it becomes even more important for us to connect and spend time with family and friends. There is no better way to do that than playing D&D. D&D gives us the excus ...

Shared Experiences Playing D&D Online

23 March 2020: Many of us currently find ourselves stuck at home and unable to play our in-person D&D games. If we want to keep playing D&D, we have to move our games online. While it may be harder for us to get our ...

Crafting Lazy Monster Tokens for D&D

16 March 2020: What to use to represent characters and monsters when running combat in D&D is a constant and continual conversation among D&D enthusiasts. Some swear by the need for a large collection of pre-painted ...

Harvesters of Worlds: A 1st to 20th Level Githyanki and Mind Flayer Campaign Outline

9 March 2020: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes includes a wonderful and deep section on the githyanki, the strange conquerers of the astral plane. Volo's Guide to Monsters includes a similar chapter for mind flayers. Th ...

The Lazy Encounter Benchmark, a Simple Benchmark for D&D Encounter Deadliness

2 March 2020: Simplifying the process of building combat encounters has been a focus of Sly Flourish since the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons has come out. Along with running combat in the theater of the mind ...

The Grendleroot in Avernus

24 February 2020: Note, this article contains spoilers for Descent into Avernus. Fantastic Adventures, Ruins of the Grendleroot, my book of ten 5th edition underground adventures, is designed to fit into any fantasy RP ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 8: The Styes

17 February 2020: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Getting Started with Dungeons & Dragons

10 February 2020: This article is intended for someone who is interested in Dungeons & Dragons but has no idea where to start. My intent is to get you on the right path to enjoy D&D. If you are a veteran to D&D, consid ...

Spending a Whole Day Preparing a D&D Game

3 February 2020: When I think about D&D game prep, often I think about how to streamline it and reduce it to the elements that bring the best value to our game. This is the core idea behind Return of the Lazy Dungeon ...

Combining the D&D Starter Set and Essentials Kit

27 January 2020: Many agree that the best way to get started in D&D is with the D&D Starter Set. With a low price, excellent adventure, and all the materials you need to run a game in a single box; it's hard to recomm ...

Running Episodic Games

20 January 2020: I'm a huge fan of serials. Shows like True Detective put a limit on the overall story but give that story enough room to breathe and fill out across many episodes. The game Shadow of the Demon Lord by ...

Your Most Important Game

13 January 2020: Your most important Dungeons & Dragons game is the next one you're going to run. This might be blindingly obvious or it might be completely alien to you. We DMs have big dreams. We have big plans. We ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 6: The Final Enemy

6 January 2020: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Building Legendary D&D Monsters in your Head

30 December 2019: Here at Sly Flourish I believe firmly in helping DMs develop the tools change up our game without having to spend a lot of time or carry around a lot of extra books. This means learning how to do a lo ...

Balancing D&D Combat for One-on-One Play

23 December 2019: The D&D Essentials Kit includes the first-ever official rules for running D&D with just one player and one DM. This is a whole new style of playing D&D, although some, such as the fine folks behind D& ...

Playing D&D Can Save Your Life

16 December 2019: "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Loneliness kills." The above quote is from Dr. Robert Waldinger, the caretaker for the Harvard Study of Adult Development, an 80 year study that fo ...

Timing and Pacing Adventures

9 December 2019: Many times when we're running our Dungeons & Dragons adventures, we aren't too worried about time. Sure, our friends need to go home sometime but we can generally stop where we are and start off where ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 5, Isle of the Abbey

2 December 2019: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

The Flow of Trap Detection

25 November 2019: Noticing, studying, and disarming traps is a common activity in Dungeons & Dragons and yet it can be difficult to understand exactly how it works. Likewise, depending on the situation, it can be diffi ...

Running Dragon of Icespire Peak from the D&D Essentials Kit

18 November 2019: This is an evolving article offering tips for running the D&D Essentials Kit adventure Dragon of Icespire Peak. I'll be updating this article as I run the adventures in the book and gain first-hand kn ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 4: Salvage Operation

11 November 2019: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Kitbashing Dungeons

4 November 2019: While some are quite happy designing their own maps from scratch to run in their D&D games, us lazy dungeon masters are much happier stealing maps wherever we can. The maps in Lazy DM's Workbook are d ...

The Beats of a Dungeon Crawl

28 October 2019: Dungeon crawls are a staple in Dungeons & Dragons games. Ever since the game's creation characters have traversed forgotten hallways accosted by beasts never touched by the sun. Even as D&D's focus ha ...

Building 1st Level Combat Encounters

21 October 2019: No level is more dangerous in Dungeons & Dragons than 1st level. With their low hit points, it isn't uncommon for a 1st level character to go from full hit points to zero in one or two successful hits ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 3, Danger at Dunwater

14 October 2019: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Adventure Keys

7 October 2019: When I began putting together Sly Flourish's Fantastic Adventures, I had a model for what I wanted to do already in hand. Monte Cook Games had recently released Weird Discoveries, a book of ten short ...

Making Great Handouts

30 September 2019: While not required to run a great Dungeons & Dragons game, great handouts can really draw players into the story of the game. They give the game a tactile feel. They show the players what the world lo ...

Running Downtime Sessions

23 September 2019: Most of our Dungeons & Dragons games focus on exploration, roleplaying, and combat. We typically describe time in minutes and hours for exploration and roleplaying and seconds during combat. Sometimes ...

The Case for Static Monster Damage

16 September 2019: This article has been updated from the original written in November 2015. The Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition Monster Manual includes static damage as the default in every monsters' stat block and ye ...

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