Sly Flourish

Building the better D&D Dungeon Master.

Using Notion.so for Lazy D&D Campaign Planning

6 July 2020: For the last few years, while using the steps from Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master to prepare for my game, I'd write my prep notes in a text file using markdown and saved my files to a campaign dire ...

Building Situations in D&D

29 June 2020: Our D&D games can become more fluid, flexible, and easier to improvise when we DMs focus on larger situations and less on specific scenes and encounters. At it's core, D&D can be broken down into the ...

Running Chapter 1 of Descent into Avernus

22 June 2020: Note: this article contains spoilers for the hardback campaign adventure Descent into Avernus*. If you take nothing else from this article, heed these words: the biggest improvement you can make to yo ...

West Marches Campaigns in Grendleroot

15 June 2020: A west marches campaign is a particular style of RPG campaign, easily transported to D&D, that has some of the following criteria: There's no regular scheduled time. There's no fixed group of players ...

Fantastic Lairs Kickstarter is Live!

8 June 2020: Boss battles are hard. That's the first four words in Fantastic Lairs: Boss battles and Villainous Encounters for 5e. While we can build solid tools to improvise a lot of our D&D games as the stories ...

1d100 Eberron Factions

1 June 2020: Below is a list of 1d100 Eberron factions. Use these factions in combination with other random lists from the Dungeon Master's Guide or these generators for monuments, relics, items, locations, or any ...

Running Hordes: The Lazy Way to Run Lots of D&D Monsters

26 May 2020: The heroes stand atop a mountain of bones with one hundred skeletons swarming in. The cleric holds her holy symbol aloft and waves of radiant energy tear through the skeletons, shattering dozens of th ...

The Grendleroot in Eberron

18 May 2020: In a previous article, we looked at how to place Blackclaw Mountain, the primary location in Fantastic Adventures, Ruins of the Grendleroot, into Avernus, to expand the hardback adventure Descent into ...

Running Descent into Avernus: the Fall of Elturel

11 May 2020: Note, this article contains spoilers for Descent into Avernus. In the popular D&D hardcover adventure Descent into Avernus the characters travel into the first layer of hell to save the city of Elture ...

Using D&D Monster Stat Blocks as Templates to Mash Monsters Together

4 May 2020: Back in the third edition of D&D, monsters could be augmented with monster templates to give them a new feel. The fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, for the most part, lacks these monster templates. ...

Tier Appropriate Adventure Locations

27 April 2020: The characters' levels in D&D mean something within the fiction of the game. Chapter 1 of the Dungeon Master's Guide describes the four tiers of play and the impact the characters have in the world as ...

The Only Dungeon Map You'll Ever Need

20 April 2020: Dyson of Dyson Logos, the best site for D&D cartography on the internet, posted about how D&D BECMI creator Frank Mentzer used a single map over 30 times when running D&D in public. Dyson [recreated t ...

Seven Samurai, the Perfect D&D Adventure

13 April 2020: There are fewer movies more influential than Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and this movie's story makes for a nearly perfect D&D adventure. The theme of Seven Samurai may be a perfect D&D situation t ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 7: Tammeraut's Fate

6 April 2020: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Playing D&D Over Discord

30 March 2020: In these times of social distancing, it becomes even more important for us to connect and spend time with family and friends. There is no better way to do that than playing D&D. D&D gives us the excus ...

Shared Experiences Playing D&D Online

23 March 2020: Many of us currently find ourselves stuck at home and unable to play our in-person D&D games. If we want to keep playing D&D, we have to move our games online. While it may be harder for us to get our ...

Crafting Lazy Monster Tokens for D&D

16 March 2020: What to use to represent characters and monsters when running combat in D&D is a constant and continual conversation among D&D enthusiasts. Some swear by the need for a large collection of pre-painted ...

Harvesters of Worlds: A 1st to 20th Level Githyanki and Mind Flayer Campaign Outline

9 March 2020: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes includes a wonderful and deep section on the githyanki, the strange conquerers of the astral plane. Volo's Guide to Monsters includes a similar chapter for mind flayers. Th ...

The Lazy Encounter Benchmark, a Simple Benchmark for D&D Encounter Deadliness

2 March 2020: Simplifying the process of building combat encounters has been a focus of Sly Flourish since the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons has come out. Along with running combat in the theater of the mind ...

The Grendleroot in Avernus

24 February 2020: Note, this article contains spoilers for Descent into Avernus. Fantastic Adventures, Ruins of the Grendleroot, my book of ten 5th edition underground adventures, is designed to fit into any fantasy RP ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 8: The Styes

17 February 2020: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Getting Started with Dungeons & Dragons

10 February 2020: This article is intended for someone who is interested in Dungeons & Dragons but has no idea where to start. If you are a veteran to D&D, consider sending this article to your friends who have not yet ...

Spending a Whole Day Preparing a D&D Game

3 February 2020: When I think about D&D game prep, often I think about how to streamline it and reduce it to the elements that bring the best value to our game. This is the core idea behind Return of the Lazy Dungeon ...

Combining the D&D Starter Set and Essentials Kit

27 January 2020: Many agree that the best way to get started in D&D is with the D&D Starter Set. With a low price, excellent adventure, and all the materials you need to run a game in a single box; it's hard to recomm ...

Running Episodic Games

20 January 2020: I'm a huge fan of serials. Shows like True Detective put a limit on the overall story but give that story enough room to breathe and fill out across many episodes. The game Shadow of the Demon Lord by ...

Your Most Important Game

13 January 2020: Your most important Dungeons & Dragons game is the next one you're going to run. This might be blindingly obvious or it might be completely alien to you. We DMs have big dreams. We have big plans. We ...

Running Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 6: The Final Enemy

6 January 2020: This article is one of a series of articles covering the hardback D&D adventure book, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. You can read all of these articles here: Ghosts of Saltmarsh Session Zero Running Ghosts of ...

Building Legendary D&D Monsters in your Head

30 December 2019: Here at Sly Flourish I believe firmly in helping DMs develop the tools change up our game without having to spend a lot of time or carry around a lot of extra books. This means learning how to do a lo ...

Balancing D&D Combat for One-on-One Play

23 December 2019: The D&D Essentials Kit includes the first-ever official rules for running D&D with just one player and one DM. This is a whole new style of playing D&D, although some, such as the fine folks behind D& ...

Playing D&D Can Save Your Life

16 December 2019: "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Loneliness kills." The above quote is from Dr. Robert Waldinger, the caretaker for the Harvard Study of Adult Development, an 80 year study that fo ...

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