Tag Archives: DM Aid

Character Backstory: A DM’s Best Friend, A DM’s Worst Nightmare

Stack of BooksFor some time now, I’ve been pondering the problem of character backstory.

On the one hand, you have the player who does nothing to flesh out any kind of backstory. I call these the “orphan” characters. Why? Because that’s inevitably their backstory. “My character is an orphan.” I don’t know why┬áthat seems to be the default backstory for all the lazy players out there, but it is.

And while “no backstory” isn’t a problem for the DM, per se, it also doesn’t give the DM too much to work with. If you want your players invested in your campaign beyond killing the monsters and looting the bodies, you need to tie at least SOME of the story to their characters. And character backstory is useful for that. Continue reading

Hoard of the Dragon Queen Episode 1 Random Encounter Sheets

In this season’s Hoard of the Dragon Queen D&D Encounters adventure, there’s a “wandering monster” table in Episode 1. As a DM, it’s a pain to flip back and forth between the different spells and monsters on top of navigating the adventure itself. So I made some cheat sheets for myself that combine the monsters from the different encounters. Now (for the random encounters, anyways) I have everything I need on one sheet.

I don’t think there are really any spoilers here, but the following is really for D&D Encounters DMs only. Click “read more” if that applies to you.

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