Hipsters & Dragons

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

Category: Tips for DMs (Page 1 of 4)

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 […]

Exceptional Weapons (from 2nd to 5th edition!)

There was a mechanic I loved from 2nd edition that concerned ‘Weapon Quality’ and it was introduced in the Complete Fighter’s Handbook, a wonderful splat book that had rules for every martial aspect of the game from weapon specialisation and combat maneuvers (possibly giving rise to 5e’s Battle Master maneuvers) to warrior ‘kits’ that look […]

The Polearm Master Feat is Crazy Good!

The halberd, glaive and pike: the legendary choice of arms used by heroes such as… erm…. wait…. no, just hang on a minute…. let me think… Ok, nobody. I can remember, even decades ago, looking at the weapons table of my 2nd edition Player’s Handbook and thinking: “What’s the point of these ugly, impractical weapons […]

37 Adjectives To Spice Up Your Monsters

I was reading the excellent Sly Flourish newsletter recently, aka the Lazy Dungeon Master, which delivers his latest blog post in my inbox. The post discussed what was the Minimum Viable Preparation Needed to Run a D&D Game. One of the subsections of the post dealt with monsters, and how anyone can dip into the […]

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