The Dungeon Master’s Handbook: Tips from March 2023

Here are the top ten Dungeon/Game Master tips that I posted to various social media channels in March 2023. These tips are great for almost any TTRPG like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, or Worlds Without Number.

  • In the prime of their life, what were all these tunnels, dungeons, or old ruins supposed to be?
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your hobby with your coworkers. You never know who used to play and dreams of playing again.
  • A good villain thinks they’re right. A great villain IS right.
  • Pay special attention to environmental effects in your encounters. They are often the thing that makes encounters unique.
  • Try building a whole encounter that’s nothing but traps and hazards. Think the idol temple in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Turn a normal creature into an elite easily with twice the hit points and an extra standard action each round.
  • Don’t force a story. Think what the main NPCs in your campaign are doing right now as they react to the PCs’ actions.
  • Let your players choose which NPCs have a big part in your campaign. Don’t force the ones you like.
  • Named bag guys can be more real and interesting than generic brutes. Come up with small details for sub-bosses.
  • Keep your terrain effects simple. It’s hard enough to remember what your monsters are supposed to do.

These tips are courtesy of Mike Shea at

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

As always, good luck with your next session, I believe in you! See you in the future.

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