Hipsters & Dragons

Because roleplaying is social, creative, fun… and kinda cool!

My Favourite D&D Bloggers

For a vast industry fuelled by folks that love writing, I was shocked by how few decent D&D blogs I was able to find when I first got back into the hobby in 2015/16.

Luckily that has changed over time, as via word of mouth, forums or social media I’ve slowly discovered a wealth of voices that I’ve been able to learn from and be entertained by. D&D is very much a game of opinions, and while I actually quite often disagree with tweets, theories and homebrews I read by my favourite influencers, I simply enjoy the chat and the thinking it generates. I believe they help me see the game in a more rounded way and improve me as both a player and DM.

Anyhow, I don’t think there’s any cause for any more preamble on this one… so here are some of the fantastic Dungeons & Dragons blogs I subscribe to, which I think my readers will enjoy too.

(Note: not all are dedicated 5e bloggers, but all touch upon D&D themes or share ideas that can be transferred across different RPG systems).

1. DM David

Blogging since 2012, David covers everything from the storied history of the game, replete with legal wrangles and significant industry developments, to good old Dungeon Masterly advice. While I rarely let one of his consistently edifying posts go unread, my all time favourites are the ones where he gripes about some of the peccadilloes of 5th edition (this one even analyses how such peccadilloes might have occurred!) – especially as we seem to share some of the same pet peeves. His modest approach to the game is also refreshing, in a world of know-it-alls and ‘good DMs‘.
https://dmdavid.com

2. The Alexandrian

I believe I discovered the Alexandrian when prepping to run Dragon Heist, when his savage exposing of the adventures flaws both amused and impressed me. I am a bad reader, and it would take me much longer to spot all the inconsistencies and non-sequiturs he seemed to have exposed within days of WDH hitting the shelves. Criticism is a valid skill, but even better is the ability to analyse and fix things, which he did with his now rather renowned Remix that has no doubt improved countless campaigns. Anyhow, Justin’s Waterdeep posts are just a fraction of the wealth his blog has to offer, and his advice on running RPG games is much referenced by the community – and frequently recycled by fellow content creators. I still like to go to the source, whenever possible: check out the Three Clue Rule for an example of one of his much cited game theories.
https://thealexandrian.net

3. Dungeon Solvers

Dungeon Solvers was one of the few blogs I discovered from Google search and I’m mighty glad I did. For a start, Eldadres is a younger blogger and it makes a nice change to hear something different from the mostly middle-aged voices in the sphere (sadly, despite having a Peter Pan complex, I’m one of the latter!). He tackles similar subjects to myself with bits of homebrewed mechanics, discussion posts and optimised character builds. I think my favourite posts are his Monster Mondays series which are a great mix of lore dives and monster combat tactics rolled into one.
https://www.dungeonsolvers.com

4. Merric’s Musings

I consider Merric the D&D blogosphere’s adventure guru. He is constantly reviewing WOTC books, Adventure Leagues modules, classic adventures and DMs Guild releases, plus he also maintains an enormous database of adventures on his blog, which you can sort by level. What I particularly enjoy about Merric’s Musings is that there is analysis and advice mixed into the review format…. more of which can be found in his dedicated think pieces.
https://merricb.com

5. Alphastream

Alphastream is the blog of Teos Abadia, who is involved in the game on many levels: not least as a writer for official Dungeons & Dragons products (he was the lead designer for the Acquisitions Inc. hardcover release!). He has also worked for Matt Colville’s MCDM and collaborated and consulted on a host of best-selling DMs Guild projects… I’m currently enjoying Elminster’s Candlekeep Companion! On his blog he reviews the latest WOTC releases, chats adventure design and discusses gaming problems and solutions… such as this recent post on why challenging your players is so hard, especially at higher levels.
https://alphastream.org

6. ThinkDM

One of my favourite blogs for in-depth analysis, Michael does the maths on various D&D mechanics, so you don’t have to! Like this post comparing the benefits of War Caster vs. Resilient as a feat for spellcasters, or conducting this extremely useful survey on feats, as two of many innumerable examples. If you like getting under the hood of 5th editions rules then you won’t find a better blog to follow.
https://thinkdm.org

7. D&D Beyond Blog

It’s obviously a bit ‘corporate’, and clearly performs a sales-driving tool for new WOTC material available on D&D Beyond, but I do find the D&D Beyond blog a great way of keeping up with the latest 5e news and releases. It’s also a great place to expand your understanding of Dungeons & Dragons lore (without getting too bogged down in it), particularly the law pertinent to the aforementioned releases. That can help save a lot of digging around!
https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts

8. Grumpy Wizard

Apart from choosing a most excellent WordPress theme for his blog (clearly a man of great taste!), Travis takes a bird’s eye view of the RPG sphere and comes at the game from a really broad angle. Not for him the getting entangled in the specifics of gaming mechanics, he’s more at home discussing themes like superficial heroism or why realism is still important to fantasy games. Travis actually plays Swords & Wizardry (a stripped down ‘old school’ version of the game), not 5e, but given his broad ambit I think any games master might benefit from reading his posts.
https://grumpywizard.home.blog

9. The Kind GM

Chris from Greece is a well-known reviewer of DMs Guild products… which is an extremely valuable contribution to the community, given how difficult it is to stay on top of the scores of releases published on the marketplace every day. He also shares his battle maps and analyses on player options, such as the latest Unearthed Arcana releases. Check out this recent post on the new Draconic race / ancestry options for example.
https://thekindgm.com

10. Eventyr Games Blog

Given that he’s one of the most active publishers on the DMs Guild, and is now running a very successful Kickstarter campaign, I’m not surprised that Jeppe isn’t the most prolific blog poster, but when he does press publish I tend to enjoy the results… such as this post on making great encounters, or this one on designing your boss fights.
https://eventyrgames.com

11. Hipsters & Dragons

And if there’s one blog I literally never miss a post by, it’s these guys…

But seriously seriously, while you’re here, let me introduce my own blog, Hipsters & Dragons. The name is a reflection on the cool kids of Barcelona that reintroduced me to the game, and a rejection of the nerd label that was attached to every D&D website I stumbled on back in 2016. But ultimately the rather geeky remit of this blog has become to propose little fixes / alternative homebrew rules to elements of the game that myself and others have found don’t work so well, as well as to analyse and deconstruct parts of the game (like Surprise or Secret Doors) in order to understand and run them better. Plus I do occasionally delve into character builds and new player options, such as these Weapon feats. One way or another, 50,000 people check by Hipsters & Dragons every month, so do please subscribe (right of page) and come along for the ride. I’ll leave you with some of my favourite posts from the last 5 years.

Designing Unforgettable Combat Encounters for 5e D&D

6 Alternatives To Starting An Adventure in a Tavern

31+ Time Pressures to Put in Your Adventure

Size Matters: Let’s Buff The Big Fellas

Group Stealth & Other Ability Checks

101+ Terrain Features for Better Combats

Rage Against The Mainstream: The Ultimate 5e Barbarian Guide

The Best Battle Master Maneuvers (incl. Unearthed Arcana + Homebrew)

More D&D Blogs…

I love discovering new blogs and I am happy to expand on this list. If you’ve got a blog just drop me a line on duncan@hipstersanddragons.com and I’ll gladly consider it adding it.

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1 Comment

  1. Travis

    Thanks for the kind words. You picked some of my favorites as well.

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