The Lazy Dungeon Master Returns! A Book Of Solid DM Advice
  • The Lazy Dungeon Master Returns! A Book Of Solid DM Advice


    I've been a fan of Mike "Sly Flourish" Shea for years, and particularly enjoyed The Lazy Dungeon Master, his book of GM advice and tips from a few years ago. He's now Kickstarting a sequel, The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, and has sent me along a quick preview of the first few pages.



    What Sly Flourish does well, in my opening, is codify and organise the collected wisdom of experiences GMs over the years in an easily digestible format. For the beginner it can be an eye-opener (I remember when I first ran D&D and how terrible I was; I could have used this book then!) For the veteran GM it, though, I think this book is more useful, as the tips in here can help enhance an already running game. It's no so much "this is how to DM" as "here's some tips which might make your DMing even better".

    The book comes from a D&D 5th Edition viewpoint, but the advice is pretty generic: you can use it with most any tabletop RPG, and it will be fully relevant.

    What Sly Flourish advocates is focusing on what's important to make your game better, and less on the stuff which doesn't (thus the "lazy" part of the title). It means effectively managing your prep time; indeed, he advocates a prep time of understanding half an hour for a 4-hour game session. Of course, if you play online, you may have to do more prep, as you need to worry about graphics and sounds and other stuff.

    The man does his research. He does surveys and polls on social media; he interviews game designers; he asks questions and listens to the answers. This isn't just his thoughts, it's based on extensive information gathering.

    Anyhow, enough of my talk. The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is on Kickstarter now, and has already funded with over 2,000 backers. Based on the previous book, I really thing this is worth checking out. You don't need the previous book to use this - it's not that type of sequel.
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    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Rhineglade's Avatar
      Rhineglade -
      What if the DM is REALLY lazy and doesn't have time to read all that? Can't we get a nice picture book of tips?
    1. Irda Ranger's Avatar
      Irda Ranger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rhineglade View Post
      What if the DM is REALLY lazy and doesn't have time to read all that? Can't we get a nice picture book of tips?
      Shea actually addresses that! He says in his intro "If you read nothing else, just read Chapter 2".
    1. werecorpse's Avatar
      werecorpse -
      Summarise it will ya?
    1. BMaC -
      Backed it...my first KS
    1. robus's Avatar
      robus -
      I guess I should reread the first one. I have it. But I don't remember loving it, now I'm curious as to whether it was me or him...
    1. Aebir-Toril's Avatar
      Aebir-Toril -
      Seems like a nice book... Whips out great-pen and immediately blasphemes by making notes about the contents of the book
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      ... does it make sense to have this book if you don't have the first?

      Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
      ... does it make sense to have this book if you don't have the first?
      No, it's not that kind of sequel. It's perfectly standalone.
    1. Gilgeam's Avatar
      Gilgeam -
      Just to add my 2 cents, I've worked through the predecessor twice and listened to the audiobook version probably at least twice. I found it immensely helpful for people playing D&D or interested in that (like me), but it's certainly also a great read if you play other RPGs (personally, I mostly run Call of Cthulhu). It's a fantastic book and really, really cheap. And honestly - Sly's Lazy DM, Walmsley's Play Unsafe and the Engine Publishing books are, as far as I could tell travelling the netverse, probably the books to read on the subject.

      So if you are in any way interested, I say go for it. This should be great!
    1. Traveller -
      @Morrus - Thanks for the heads up

      2 small typos (I think...)
      First line "in my opening," ? "in my opinion,"
      Line before last ", I really thing" ? "I really think"
    1. mshea's Avatar
      mshea -
      Hi folks! Thanks for the comments! This book does indeed stand on its own. It doesn't directly repeat the first book, though there's certainly some overlap. Nor does it kill any of the ideas in the first one. Both books are intended to work well on their own or work well together. Thanks again!
    1. MasterYogurt's Avatar
      MasterYogurt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gilgeam View Post
      the Engine Publishing books are, as far as I could tell travelling the netverse, probably the books to read on the subject.

      Never Unprepared gave me a framework for thinking about prep, and Unframed is a great source of creativity. Love those books.
    1. mach1.9pants's Avatar
      mach1.9pants -
      I note this comes up on kindle later too, that's where I have all his other books
    1. Olaf the Stout -
      Where did people hear about this Kickstarter?

      I backed a couple of Mike's previous Kickstarters, but hadn't heard about this one until now. So I was surprised to see this one already had over 2,000 backers!
    1. Matrix Sorcica's Avatar
      Matrix Sorcica -
      Quote Originally Posted by Olaf the Stout View Post
      Where did people hear about this Kickstarter?

      I backed a couple of Mike's previous Kickstarters, but hadn't heard about this one until now. So I was surprised to see this one already had over 2,000 backers!
      Me too. Strange.
    1. Azzy's Avatar
      Azzy -
      So, the first one is $6 for multiple digital formats? I might have to pick it up. While I can't fund the Kickstarter for the new one right now, I'll probably pick it up when it's released if it's similarly priced.
    1. Barantor's Avatar
      Barantor -
      I found out about this KS from the author himself via twitter.

      I've found Mike's advice from the first Lazy DM great and was happy to see another book like that one. The stretch goals are just icing on the cake and I really suggest folks pick this up!
    1. Felipe_Real's Avatar
      Felipe_Real -
      Backed it! The first one was a blast—and definitely contained some of the best advice I've read about GMing in general—and I think this one at only 8 bucks for the .pdf is dirt cheap. Definitely recommended for all DMs/GMs out there!
    1. Brooding Paladin's Avatar
      Brooding Paladin -
      Thank you for highlighting this in an article. I don't really spend much energy keeping up with what is on Kickstarter and, having enjoyed his first book, I'm really glad to know about this one. I went out and backed it immediately. Thanks again for covering for my laziness!
    1. Nostalgia Ward's Avatar
      Nostalgia Ward -
      I highly recommend the Lazy Dungeon Master. I always find myself crunched for prep time, and Sly Flourish's tips have saved my game more than once!
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