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 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‘.
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.
3. Sly Flourish
I think every Dungeon Master can learn something from Sly Flourish, and Mike Shea’s wide-ranging articles on everything from safety tips and session zeros to advice on running every pillar of the game. I like that fact that Mike isn’t afraid to zoom in or out, depending on what topic he’s covering; and while some of his articles are broad enough to be game-changing, others focus on a minor aspect of the rules where you might consider a new approach. Such as replacing flanking with cinematic advantage, for example. I recently purchased a copy of his much-feted Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, and it’s good enough to be considered a must-read for beginner and intermediate DMs, while I think even old hands will benefit from owning a copy.
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.
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.
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.
7. Arcane Eye
Arcane Eye is a blog that’s come to my attention more and more often in recent times and there’s a thorough and no-nonsense approach to their expansive editorial content, which basically dedicates an entire post to every major facet of the game. DMs can read up on commonly searched for advice, like how to run one shots or horror in D&D, or check out their WOTC product reviews; while players can delve into the blog’s in-depth class and subclass guides, which use the popular colour-coded rankings that many RPGers are familiar with and which include all the options from various official supplements, like Tasha’s and Fizban’s. That’s the tip of the iceberg really, so go take a look…
8. 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!
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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. *UPDATE* Eldradres is no longer updating Dungeon Solvers, but it remains online and a great source of inspiration.
13. 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 this, geek that’ names that were attached to every D&D website I stumbled on back in 2016. Rather quickly, however, this blog veered towards the more nerdy aspects of the game, as I’ve enjoyed proposing little fixes / alternative homebrew rules to elements of the game that myself, and many of my readers, have found don’t work so well. I’ve also taken the time to analyse and deconstruct some of the more confusing 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, around 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.
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 email@example.com and I’ll gladly consider it adding it.
Thanks for the kind words. You picked some of my favorites as well.
Thanks for compiling this great list, Duncan! I hadn’t come across AlphaStream before! 🙂