How to DM good

Good blogs on how to DM good

There’s a wealth of information online on how to run games. Some of it is pretty good! Here’s a list of posts that:


  • have been particularly influential on me
  • I can remember right now


The Angry GM: Return of the Son of the D&D Boss Fight


The Angry GM knows what’s up. People like to complain about his style with the fake swear words and the long-winded texts, but honestly, I kind of enjoy it! I used the technique in this article for one of my first games and it worked out really well. Buy his book. Everything in the How to F$&%ing GM section is great.


The Alexandrian: Five Node Mystery


The Alexandrian explains how to properly run any non-dungeon scenario, really. Whenever I use this technique it turns into a quality session. Read this and then watch how it’s implemented all over Curse of Strahd. Many more good things in his Gamemastery 101 session.


The Retired Adventurer: Motive, Means, and Opportunity


Some great advice on what to think about when creating antagonists, and how to position them just right so that players can come in and set them off. You could do worse than reading every single post labeled “Theory”.


Against The Wicked City: Conceptual density (or ‘What are RPG books *for*, anyway?’)


How to spot a well-written adventure. This can be turned into great advice about what sort of thing you should prepare – stuff you won’t be able to make up on the spot.


Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers


Not necessarily DM advice, but if you’re interested in jotting your notes down and selling them for money (I recommend it!) then this is a must-read.


Lithyscaphe: Principia Apocrypha


The Old School Revival movement is all about taking the best of the first editions of D&D and cleaning them up with modern design sensibilities, well sometimes anyway. Even if you don’t want to go all the way, the lessons of the past can really improve the way you run your games.


Tenfootpole: My Favorite of the new old school adventurers


And speaking of OSR, Bryce’s list is a treasure trove of good stuff. There’s plenty of 5E adventures or ones with conversions in there, but even the ones without can be used for inspiration. There is also much to learn from The Worst EVAR?


Dungeon of Signs: Gold for Experience in 5th Edition D&D


Another OSR influence. I have to mention this as it’s driving my DotMM expansion.


All Dead Generations: TIME – The Risk Economy


Like the above, I’m integrating the “dungeon turn” from the olden days into DotMM. It is a very useful tool to have in your toolbox, even if it’s just to know when to roll if an adventure says “roll for a random encounter every hour”.




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