Lazy Dungeon Master Adventure Prep Template

by Mike Shea on 1 July 2019

One of the nice things about the eight steps for preparing a session of D&D from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is that it works with just about any tool you already like to use. If you're a pen-and-paper DM, you can just write it down. If use Microsoft OneNote, as many DMs do, you can build templates in OneNote for each session using the eight steps.

I've recently been writing my session notes in text files as part of my Lazy DM Prep videos. I write them in Markdown so I can render them nicely on my phone. I actually wrote Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master using Markdown. It's a wonderful system-agnostic format that allows for a lot of rich markup without leaving behind the simplicity and cross-compatible nature of plain text.

Below you can find a text-based Markdown template for the eight step process from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. For a more specific description of each of these steps, see the free sample from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, watch the Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master videos, or [buy the book] and learn all about it.

To use this template, select it and copy it into a new blank text file. Save it as "adventure_template.txt" in the directory where you keep your adventure notes for a particular campaign. Each time you get ready to write up new adventure notes, make a new copy of this template with a new filename. You can also update the template with regularly appearing notes such as reoccuring NPCs and your character notes which tend to be the same from session to session. Resist the urge to copy over previous secrets and other information. That stuff is better thrown away and rewritten between sessions.

## Characters

**Name.** Description.

**Name.** Description.

**Name.** Description.

**Name.** Description.

## Strong Start

Description of your strong start.

## Scenes

* Small scene description.
*
*
*
*

## Secrets and Clues

* Secret description
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

## Fantastic Locations

**Location**: aspect, aspect, aspect

**Location**: aspect, aspect, aspect

**Location**: aspect, aspect, aspect

**Location**: aspect, aspect, aspect

## Important NPCs

**Name.** Description

**Name.** Description

**Name.** Description

**Name.** Description

## Potential Monsters

* Name
*
*
*
## Potential Treasure

* Description
*
*
*

Here's an example of the template in action, this time formatted into HTML from the original Markdown version. These notes were for my first Shadow of the Demon Lord adventure but it can work just as well for D&D of course.

Characters

Leaky. (Bryan) Goblin magician Witch. Medicine. Proprieter of Leaky's Potion Shop. Between the sections of town. Likes spoons. Connection to the Fey. Leakys potion shop.

Smile Steel. (Sharon) Clockwork Priest Oracle. Teamster. Doctor. Follower of Astrid and the Church of the New God.

Pthank the Pleasant. (Mike) Orc Magician Spellbinder. Torturer and Wilderness Guide.

Myab Shalin. (Michelle) Changling Rogue. Burgler. Engineer. Summer Court Fey connection.

Bobwise. (Gregg) Orc warrior fighter. Working in the guard. Politics and Arms Trader. Merchant polition.

Doogan. (Jorge). Dwarf Rogue. Charlatin and common teamster. Forger.

Strong Start

As the characters all cross by the well in the center of Grievings, the lowest district in Crossings, they come across a torn woman eating a man's body.

Scenes

Secrets and Clues

Fantastic Locations

The Moore House: collapsed roof, obscene and troubling graffiti, litter of drug abuse

The Well: deep shaft in the ground, few trust the water within, bodies of the dead

The Tunnels: Natural endless caverns deep under the city, deep shafts leading down into nothingness, elven carvings and statues crying black blood

The Black Vault: Buried deep in the earth, maybe a thousand years old, covered with signs of the coming apocalypse, sacrificial altar upon which Father Gregory is being dissected while still alive

The Occlusion: Twisted tower of impossible angles, blots out the sun, surrounded by terrain of wreckage

The Faerie Spires: slender towers of white stone, impervious to damage, hum with secret calling to the fey

Important NPCs

Salas Wisewatcher. Spy of the Black Hand. Keeping an eye on things in the Crossings and in Grievings.

Father Gregory. Follower of the new god. Worried about the portents and has sent word to the City of God.

Caden Fen. Young and eager seller of oddities. Has a spellbook he got from a murdered hedge mage and wants to be a member of the Black Sun

Sergeant Alyce Ironhand. Member of the Brown Cloaks who has been investigating disappearances. She grew up in Grievings and wants to help people there. She's beginning to realize the council doesn't give a shit.

Monsters

Treasure

Glimmer, an ancient elven dagger. You can use a triggered action when a creature gets a failure on an attack roll with a melee weapon to teleport to an open space within 1 yard of the triggering creature. You step through the Fey to reach your target.

100 copper pieces

I don't expect many people will directly use this template but hopefully it gives you a practical look what the eight steps from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master actually look like in use. Like all of the advice on this site, customize it and use it as it best helps you in your own game.

Related Articles

Article Keywords: return lazy, lazy dungeon, important npcs, aspect, description, template, father, fey, house, black, god, step, session, text, note, new, copy, hooded

If you enjoyed this article please consider supporting me on Patreon and take a look at Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Sly Flourish's Fantastic Adventures, and Sly Flourish's Fantastic Locations.

You can also support this site by using these links to purchase the D&D Essentials Kit, Players Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master's Guide, or metal dice from Easy Roller Dice.

Send feedback to @slyflourish on Twitter or email mike@mikeshea.net.