Welcome to our Dungeon Masters’ guide section, where I collate all of my tips and advice on the noble art of being a Dungeon Master, as well as some external resources.
Beginner’s Guide to DMing
New to D&D? Let me try and help you navigate this brave new multiverse for you!
- What is Dungeons & Dragons? A complete beginner’s guide
- What do I need to get started? (coming soon)
- Basics of running a game (coming soon)
Intermediate Tips & Advice
So you’ve learned how to run a game. Now it’s time to move towards mastery… here are tips on making combat encounters more fun, mapping a dungeon, making sure difficult players don’t spoil the game and much much more. (This part of the blog is in continual, albeit somewhat slow, development… here’s what I’ve covered so far):
- Rolling Insight – why you should always do this behind a screen!
Optional Rules For Improved Gameplay
The official 5th Edition rules have won widespread praise for their balance and gameplay, but one size doesn’t fit all, and I’ve definitely had cause to make some adjustments and additions for my sessions. Whilst there are many (quite annoying) purists out there, a key part of the philosophy of every edition of Dungeons & Dragons is that DMs should amend and improve the rules for their games – if the end result is more fun then you’ve done the right thing! Here I introduce my rules fixes and amendments, and optional gameplay mechanics that I believe can make your adventures more fun. Take them, leave them, use them, abuse them, fix my fixes… they’re yours to play with!
- Critical Misses Table – for when you roll a 1 on attack rolls
- Simple and better healing rules – no more recovering full hit points after a 60 minute siesta.
- Technical Proficiencies – more realism on certain skills checks
- Group Ability Checks – an alternative way of dealing with group checks.
- Improved Grappling Rules – for restraining your foes
Overpowered Feats / Spells / Abilities
Whilst 5th edition plays smoothly for the most part there are definitely some skills and powers that unbalance gameplay. Here are some of the ones I’ve encountered so far and how I’ve dealt with them. I think you’ll find a few useful tips here if you’ve had similar problems…
- Hypnotic Pattern rules fix
- Lightning Bolt buff suggestion (to compete with Fireball)
- Lucky Feat rules fix
- Dealing with Banishment
- Counterspell rules fix – make each Counterspell a contest.
- Divine Smite rules fix – why it should be restricted to once a round.
A miscellaneous list of stuff that could be handy!
- Elminster’s Guide to Magic pdf supplement – a review of one of the best-selling product on DMs Guilds.
- 10 Free 5e D&D Magic Weapons – some cool magic weapons for your game.
There’s a whole ‘nother section of this blog dedicated to both official 5th edition D&D adventures and others, so go check it out.