D&D 5E Essential DM Reading List

paradisebunny

Explorer
With all the discussions around the shortcomings of the DMG and what to expect of the the coming DMG, I tried to compile a list of content that I found to be incredibly helpful for improving my games. I am trying to make this list a little more fine grained rather than pointing at whole books (such as the great Return of the Lazy DM), and will try to point to freely available resources where available. Some articles are very 5e specific while others apply to other systems as well. I have run Shadowdark, Old School Essentials, DCC and Call of Cthulhu and some of these insights apply just as well there. What would you add to this list?

Index Card RPG Encounter Design
Index Card RPG Adventure Design
Lazy DM Encounter Benchmark
Monster Manual on an Business Card
Story Beats
8 Steps of the Lazy DM
Awarding Magic Items RPGbot.net
Lazy DM Wilderness Travel
Pointcrawls for Cities and Overland Travel
Theater of the Mind
How to write Adventures that don't suck
Let's Play: Creating a Fun and Inclusive Game for All by Amanda Hamon-Kunz (from Kobold Guide to Gamemastering)
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
If you want to know the secret of running an RPG that will play like a story without railroading your players...it's literally right here.

Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden creator) on Scene and Sequel.

Butcher's take on scene & sequel is an evolution from various sources, but the original source (near as I can tell) is a book by Dwight Swain called Techniques of the Selling Writer.
 


paradisebunny

Explorer
If you want to know the secret of running an RPG that will play like a story without railroading your players...it's literally right here.

Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden creator) on Scene and Sequel.

Butcher's take on scene & sequel is an evolution from various sources, but the original source (near as I can tell) is a book by Dwight Swain called Techniques of the Selling Writer.
Oh cool! I devoured the Dresden Files, partly due to their insanely good pacing (and not always insanely good story haha). I feel like that there must be a lot of good writing advice out there that would translate well to TTRPGs.
 

paradisebunny

Explorer
these are really fantastic additions for adventure writing! Thank you! I feel like a gap in our overall list is still advise on running published adventures, are you aware on any good material on that?
 

GwaihirAgain

Explorer
If you want to know the secret of running an RPG that will play like a story without railroading your players...it's literally right here.

Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden creator) on Scene and Sequel.

Butcher's take on scene & sequel is an evolution from various sources, but the original source (near as I can tell) is a book by Dwight Swain called Techniques of the Selling Writer.
Thanks for posting this. I love Butcher.
 

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