A collection of resources exploring the complex art of being a dungeon master.

Balancing Homebrew Character Options

One of your players came to you with something that they wrote of found online and they want to play with it in your game. Rather than simply rejecting it, what can be done to balance homebrew content while still retaining what your players like about a homebrew character option.

Dark Gifts or Distinctive Quirks?

Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft introduces a new and exciting character option called “Dark Gifts.” While ostensibly flavored as pacts or offerings from dark entities that come with strings attached, these Dark Gifts can be made to fit many settings with a little tweaking of flavor.

Doom-Style Combat

2016 saw the return of the Doom franchise. 2020 gave us the sequel, Doom Eternal. I played through both, asked myself “how do I make dnd combat work like that?”, and built an answer.

This was the article that won us an Ennie in 2021.

Improved Temperature and Weather Rules – DnD 5e

5e’s rules for temperature and weather are pretty crazy and they make it hard to make weather a meaningfully impactful part of the game. These rules provide an intuitive solution that’s realistic enough to feel believable, but not so complex that using them is a burden.

Practical Guide to Awarding Magic Items

A guide to using magic items in your campaign as a reward, as a plot device, as a balancing mechanism, and as a window into the lore of your world.

Practical Guide to Campaign Planning

A mechanical breakdown of planning out the content and rewards of a campaign from levels 1 to 20.

Practical Guide to Faster Combat

Is combat taking too long? Making a few decisions ahead of time and rethinking how you handle a few things at the table can make your encounters run much faster without taking away any of the fun parts.

Practical Guide to Legendary Creatures

Legendary creatures offer some interesting mechanics to make singular creatures a meaningful threat. How do we build these creatures?

Practical Guide to One-Hour D&D Sessions

A detailed guide to planning and running tight, impactful, and fun game sessions within a one-hour timeframe.

Practical Guide to Optional Class Features

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced the concept of “Optional Class Features”, which offer powerful new options to customize and improve classes’ core features. Rather than allowing them across as-written for every character, I encourage a more reasoned, thoughtful, and precise approach.

Practical Guide to Sidekicks

A detailed guide to what Sidekicks are, how they work, how to use them in your game, and how to create your own sidekicks.

Practical Guide to Status Conditions

What are status conditions? How do they work? What creatures can I use to torment my players with them?

Scaling Difficulty

Keeping DnD challenging for your players is objectively hard, and it gets harder when you have parties of varies size and proficiency. In this article, we offer a simple system to scale the difficulty of your campaign to keep your players challenged.