Hipsters & Dragons

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

Category: Tips for DMs (Page 1 of 4)

Describing Spells Like Matt Mercer…

Ever since I watched Matt Mercer DM in Force Grey, I’ve been thinking: wouldn’t it be cool to have a list of Mercer-esque descriptions for all of D&D’s most common incantations to hand come game night? The chance of me being able to ad-lib something as evocative as Matt’s description of tongues, when the target’s […]

Does No One Search for Secret Passages Any More?

Back when Dungeons & Dragons was about clearing out dungeons, there were some tasks that players performed in EVERY room they entered, more or less in this order. Search for traps / hidden monsters Loot the corpses of dead monsters (having killed them) Search the room for additional loot and Search for secret doors / […]

Sharpshooter Feat: Not On My Watch!

Things I like about Sharpshooter feat: It reminds me of my favourite drum’n’bass anthem from the mid 90s. Things I don’t like about Sharpshooter: Everything else. It feels like a while since I’ve had a good old moan about one of 5e’s little foibles, and if nothing else my negative posts on Divine Smite, Lucky […]

The Guidance Cantrip Is Not OP’ed. Here’s Why…

When I first starting playing 5e, guidance leapt out as an easily spammable cantrip that was almost certain to be abused on the D&D table. Guidance Divination cantrip Casting Time: 1 action Range: Touch Components: V, S Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute You touch one willing creature. Once before the spell ends, the target […]

Designing Unforgettable Combat Encounters for 5e D&D

I love a good ruck, and while I enjoy all the pillars of Dungeons & Dragons, combat is my favourite part of the game. The more you enjoy something however, the more you crave just the best of that thing. In the same way that a wine connoisseur turns their nose up at cheap plonk, […]

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist – The Ultimate Guide

The second I heard the news that Wizards of the Coast were dropping Waterdeep: Dragon Heist in 2018 I knew I had to run it for my group. Nothing gets me as excited as an urban adventure in Dungeons & Dragons. The intrigue, the politics, the skullduggery, the secret locations… city adventures are just so […]

31+ Time Pressures to Put in Your Adventure

The Boon of a Ticking Clock Most experienced DMs and adventure writers are familiar with the concept of time pressure in an adventure, and strive to include them in their storylines. Planting a ticking clock within the narrative really increases the urgency of the adventure (in theory at least… keep reading for when it doesn’t!), […]

There’s A Missing Condition in 5e….

…at least in my eyes. I’ve had the vague feeling about this for a while, but it became concrete after a session I DM’ed led to two characters being stunned by the psychic screech of a deep scion (from Volo’s Guide to Monsters). Deep scions are one of the coolest monsters from Volo’s Guide, in […]

How Surprise Works… And When Never To Use It!

This post was intended to serve as a short tip for DMs saying: “Never surprise a 1st level party!” However, as I started to research the topic a little more, I saw that many folk are confused about how surprise works in 5e. I’ll be honest and say that – after messing up the Ready […]

The Ready Action: Are you Playing It Right?

Confession time! A recent comment on my Shield Master feat post revealed that I have been playing the Ready action wrong on my table. Ooops! 🙈 Anyhow, I figured there are a probably a few other folks doing the same, and it might be worth revising the exact text of the Player’s Handbook, as well […]

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