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Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master $7.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
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Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by David N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2020 13:09:22

Fantastic Product, highly recommended. It's to the point and concise, whilst providing a wealth of information, ideas and guidelines. Has made writing scenarios a lot more fun



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Stanisław M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/16/2020 18:55:20

This book changed my life. I always use to overprepare my sessions anticipating my player's moves and imagining possible scenarios. This has made my games more like movies than an RPG. Thanks to this book I can now prepare an entire evening in less than an hour. Then I can spend the rest of my time being creative and making props and cool stuff for the table. Thank you Sly for this amazing book. Just get it... It's money well spent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by William H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/17/2019 15:17:56

This is an amazing book - there were two absolutely solid 'I never thought of that before' revelations for me. I would recommend it for any DM from starters to ancients; even if you don't need to prep in a rush it is great to have highlighted what are the key points that must be covered.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Rudy C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/16/2019 01:58:27

WARNING: Do NOT buy this product if you enjoy spending long arduous hours writing up campaign materials that your players will inevitably destroy when they go full murder hobo or deviate from your planning.

Ok, jokes aside this is a great product and definitely a must-own for Dungeon Masters/GMs alike, even if you're not playing "The 5th Edition of the World's Greatest RPG". This product has advice for whatever game you're playing, even if it is My Little Ponies RPG (I'm not even joking, this product works with just about any RPG). I was able to run an entire old school D&D campaign (Rules Cyclopedia!) that lasted almost 18 months because of the superb advice given in RotLDM. The author really does a great job of distilling game prep down to just the bare minimum yet still allows for maximum fun, because let's be honest, fun is what we're looking for when we all meet around the (virtual) table each and every week. Other reviews here delve more into the content of the book so I'll spare you those details, but suffice it to say that the author implements some pretty creative solutions and game prep ideas that allow you to really optimize your time. The only downside (and it's not much of a downside) is that you also will want the RotLDM Workbook as well in order to keep things better organized. It's not at all a requirement, and in fact a few blank index cards is more than sufficient, however the workbook is definitely a nice-to-have.

So the big question: "Does Return of the Lazy DM actually work?" Let me put it to you this way: I was spending about 4+ hours carefully planning/crafting each gaming session, but after I got RotLDM I was able to shorten my game prep time to just 30 mins. You might be inclined to think that surely a game planned over 4 hours must be better than one hammered out in just 30 mins, but that couldn't be further away from the truth. All the advice given to us DMs (especially if you've read the awesome 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide) typically goes something like this: "Start with broad strokes and fill in the little details, more detail and thought is better." While that school of thought can certainly lead to some memorable campaigns (Gary Gygax had no issues running games like that), the modern person just doesn't have that much time to commit for game preparation, and being able to prepare a super fun and fleshed out game in just 30 mins is nothing short of a miracle. Seriously, I can't sing enough praises for RotLDM.

Are you still reading my review? Okay, I'll take this opportunity to list some of the other resources I use as well in order to run some super awesome and memorable games. Seriously though, RotLDM is worth every penny, and at just $8 USD it's practically a steal. Sacrifice a cup or two of Starbucks coffee if you must, but for sure buy this product! Disclaimer: I am not at all affiliated with the publisher and receive no compensation whatsoever from my review, I'm just a normal guy that really enjoys RotLDM and the fun times I have with my players.

What I use to run amazingly awesome games:

  • Return of the Lazy DM (obviously!)
  • Campaign Fronts as explained in Dungeon World (this handles my long term campaign planning)
  • 5 Room Dungeons (great resource for creating interesting dungeons/adventure sites)
  • Mythic GM Emulator (I make the occasional Fate Roll which leads to surprises & twists even for me)


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Mike C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/25/2019 15:50:04

There are three books that are essential to becoming the GM you want to become, and this is the most important one. 100 pages and so damn clear and concise that you'll weep with joy. If you know all of this, it's concise and well-organized enough to be a refresher on any point you want to strengthen without wasting your time. And when you're learning new tricks (and damn, I learned a lot) the material has guides and examples to get you on your way.

Buy this first. Read it. (Don't just put in on the pile.) Seriously, if you're going to run a pre-generated adventure, this is probably your highest value prep time. Read the first 30 pages of this before you read the adventure you bought and you'll get more out of the adventure. Skim it again after a month so you can put into practice a little more.

Not affiliated with anyone, just a GM that likes happy and terrified players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Austin P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/12/2019 10:10:55

This book should be the cornerstone of any Game Master's collection, I don't think I've run games better than the ones I only need to spend 30 minutes prepping. Do yourself a favor and buy it NOW.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Dave P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2019 13:35:39

This book has a lot of useful advice, but it's also espousing a philosophy that I think is poisonous to the game, and that's an attitude that prioritizes heroic fiction over player agency. From Chapter 24:

Tweaking combat is one way to change a beat from fear to hope, or vice versa. You can do so by adding monsters to make the fight harder, or removing monsters to make it easier. If the characters have been having an easy time of it, they might walk into a room full of armored ogres training and sparring. If they’ve been having a hard go of it, maybe they stumble across a lone ogre, face down and asleep in her plate of raw meat.

This is the sort of thing that saps player agency and devalues player skill. If they've been having an easy time of it, it's because they've been using lateral thinking and clever tactics to efficiently defeat obstacles. Why would you punish that by throwing extra obstacles at them? If they've been having a hard time of it because they tried to Leroy Jenkins their way through the dungeon, why would you reward that behavior by smoothing the path for them?

In fiction the hero always barely wins the last battle, bloodied and exhausted and depleted, because that's all scripted and the author is the only one with agency. Trying to recreate that in a role-playing game sacrifices all the strengths and freedom of RPGs to turn them into a mediocre imitation of a book or movie.

There are a lot of good suggestions here-- I'd encourage anyone to read chapters 8, 15, 21, and 22. Just tear chapter 24 out of your copy of the book entirely and forget it ever existed, and the remaining chapters comprise a 4-star resource.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Andrew C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2019 15:23:02

If I ran a school on gaming this would be textbook I would hand students on Day 1!

An essential purchase for a new or experienced DM or GM as the ideas within it are system agnostic.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Brian M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/30/2018 07:52:50

This is an exceptional book. Ostensibly for "lazy" dungoen masters, in fact the book presents distilled wisdom about how to be a great DM whether you are lazy or not. And like true wisdom, this book shows that there are practical habits and tricks to do that will make you a great DM. Prep your game wisely, in other words, by spending time on what will make the game enjoyable and memorable for you and your players. The book is also a pleasure to read--it is organized into chapters that target specific aspects of the game; Shea is a clear and engaging writing and the artwork is great.

A word about the hardback I purchased--it is a high quality printed product. The cover has a nice gloss finish and the binding seems quite durable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Steve B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/25/2018 06:34:11

Fantastic guide for new and old gm's alike. Mike's advice is perfect for getting the most value out of your limited prep time. The wide range of topics includes adventures, NPCs, rewards, campaigns and many other areas all covered in a thoughtful and concise manner.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2018 11:02:08

I really love this system. This book and the workbork are well worth the small investment. They both effectively lay out an effecient way to think about gamemastering and create encounters that build upon each other naturally to help you keeo your players engaged and focused! Great work Sly. Happy I backed your KS.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Justin R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/03/2018 12:13:10

This book has been a game changer for me in my game preperation. I love the advice and the worksheet. The most helpful peices are the 10 secrets and the advice on running NPC's. Thanks for the wonderful work Mike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Megan I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2018 18:55:18

Reading this book improved my DM skills immediately. It gives you a new way to think about your campaigns and a new way to plan and run games. It encourages you to spend more time on the important stuff, and waste less time prepping stuff you don't need and won't use. Definitely a great addition to any DM's library.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2018 17:58:54

Going to keep this short; this is a very helpful product and teaches you great methods.

The only con would be that it doesnt offer much in the way of useful advice for prepping an entire campaig. This is due to the approach it presents requires much improvisation session to session making it impossible to prep an entire campaign.

i also would have liked to seen some sort of approach to quickly prepping dungeons.

There is a companion product that really should have been integrated within this as a single book. That product contains fillable sheets for the methods taught in this book, which is odd that they werent included here.

All in all if you want to run games with little planning on a session by session basis, this product is a great read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for the review! As you mention, the style of game prep discussed in this book focuses heavily on improvisation. There is a section on campaign building that focuses on the main themes of the campaign and the major influencers of the campaign (be they villains or some other force) called "fronts". It doesn't go into planning out an entire campaign because, in the experiences of many DMs, campaigns never really end up where we think they are going to go. Instead, a focus on the next adventure often offers the most benefit. The companion product you mention, the Lazy DM's Workbook, contains 48 pages of material that we couldn't pack into this book without increasing the price. It is also 5e specific where the rest of this book can be used with any fantasy RPG. The Lazy DM's Workbook is available for a reasonable price separately, however. You can also download the blank preparation pages for free at https://slyflourish_content.s3.amazonaws.com/lazy_dm_workbook_fill-in_pages.pdf Thank you again!
Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master
Publisher: SlyFlourish
by Capn R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2018 12:55:38

I think this book is one of those "must reads" for anyone considering being a game master, almost no matter what system you plan to play on. For full disclosure, I've heard great reviews of the original Lazy Dungeon master, but never actually read it, so while I don't know how much the the Lazy DM checklist has changed since the previous book, I know it has helped hone my preparations towards the things that helped improve my game in a way no other product ever has.

The chapter on secrets has helped me conceptualize the idea of introducing story hooks and beats in a way that nothing else I've read has. It provides a simple, yet incredibly robust method for drip-feeding pertinent information and interesting secrets to the players, while making sure you don't ever have to run the risk of railroading the players by tying the information to a single NPC.

I will admit, though, that your mileage may vary for the chapters outside the core checklist, as they contain more fuzzy advice on running the game and thinking about it. They do provide a nice rounding out of the books advice, though I do feel that they could use more polish than simply "these are other things that DMs like doing for their games that can help improve it".

However, I still find that this book lays out the info in a concise, easy to read and use format, that doesn't try and waste the reader's time with unnecessary bloat. I couldn't recommend this book higher.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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