Category Archives: Play Advice

Dungeon Mastering Tips: Hey! That wasn’t in the adventure!

I run a lot of published adventures. I’ve run most of the official D&D adventures, most of the D&D Adventurers League adventures, and a few adventures I’ve acquired from other publishers. And one thing happens to me again and again: … Continue reading

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Dungeon Master Tips: Funny Voices and Roleplaying NPCs

There are people in this world who are great at role-playing NPCs. They imbue the characters they assume with passion, vitality and bring forth the true essence of their personalities. That’s not me. I do funny voices and occasionally remember … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Play Advice | 2 Comments

Examining Passive Perception and Opposed Checks

In Dungeons & Dragons, there are many times you don’t want the monsters to see you. The rules for hiding are written deliberately to leave a lot of power in the hands of the Dungeon Master. Basically, if the DM … Continue reading

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The Total Party Kill I Remember Best

I occasionally think of myself as a “Killer DM” – you’ll find it on my profile at RPG Geek, for instance. However, when you get down to it, I don’t kill that many player characters. The fact is, I’m far … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 3E, D&D 5E, Play Advice | 3 Comments

Running the Sunless Citadel: The Grove Level

While the upper level of The Sunless Citadel presents a typical dungeon-delving experience, the lower level shifts gears into one of horror. The concept of evil plant-creatures is already creepy, and the body horror of the transformation of Sir Braford … Continue reading

Posted in D&D 5E, Play Advice, Tales of the Yawning Portal | 5 Comments

The Joys and Horrors of Passive Perception

In the beginning, when a party of adventurers encountered a group of monsters, both sides rolled a six-sided die. If a side rolled a 1 or 2, that side was surprised and had to stand by while the opposing side … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Play Advice | 13 Comments

More on Improvising Sessions

At my current point in life, I’m finding myself extremely busy with work and with running Dungeons & Dragons, but with very little time to set aside to preparing adventures (or writing reviews or blog posts). I steal what time … Continue reading

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On Introductory Adventures

My first real experience with a DM was with the adventure Keep on the Borderlands, a classic adventure that many, many players had as their first adventure since it was published with the introductory Basic D&D rules for about a … Continue reading

Posted in D&D 5E, D&D Basic, Design, Play Advice | 3 Comments

Running the Sunless Citadel – Goblins

The second group of enemies the players face in The Sunless Citadel are the goblins. In Dungeons & Dragons, goblins make up the lowest rung of a group of related humanoids: goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears. Occasionally, we refer to them … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Play Advice, Tales of the Yawning Portal | 3 Comments

Using Published Adventures in a Homebrew Campaign

One of the more unusual products to cross my radar was The Ultimate Fantasy Collection. Curated by Glen Cooper, this product gathers together nine adventures from the early days of the DMs Guild, adds in three supplements, and provides the … Continue reading

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design, Play Advice | 6 Comments