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A book of tips and tricks based on the experiences of thousands of Gamemasters to help us prepare and run fantastic roleplaying games.
A book of tips and tricks based on the experiences of thousands of Gamemasters to help us prepare and run fantastic roleplaying games.
6,740 backers pledged $73,720 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$73,720

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Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a book designed to help all of us GMs get more out of our RPGs by preparing less. The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master uses the experiences of thousands of GMs to help us focus on how we prepare our games, how we run our games, and how we think about our games. It includes practical steps for focusing our preparation activities on those things that will bring the biggest impact to our game.

Five years ago, the Lazy Dungeon Master offered a simplifed approach for preparing fantasy RPGs with one clear directive: prepare only what most benefits our games. This focus on lightweight preparation and improvisational preparation resonated with many GMs over the past five years.

But during that time and with the release of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the world of fantasy roleplaying has changed and expanded. With five years of new systems and new ideas, all GMs have a wealth of experiences to share and explore to help us prepare and run great RPGs. Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master builds off of the concepts of the well-received GM's guidebook Lazy Dungeon Master, updating that book with five years of new experiences, new approaches, and new observations of the way people prepare and run RPGs. This new book is a completely self-contained work, which does not require anyone to have previously read The Lazy Dungeon Master.

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master offers a new focused approach for preparing and running our roleplaying games. The book includes an eight-step guide for lightweight game preparation and is focused on how we prepare for our games, how we run our games, and how we think about our games.

You can check out the PDF preview of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master or check out the table of contents below to see if it's the right book for you.

 

 Based on research involving hundreds of books, videos, articles, and interviews with top Gamemasters, as well as thousands of results from Gamemaster surveys, Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master helps us understand the best tips and tricks used by GMs all over the world to bring the most fun to our games.

Prepare what benefits your game.

About This Kickstarter

The full text of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is complete. Your funding towards this Kickstarter will go towards the editing of the book by veteran RPG editor Scott Fitzgerald Gray, and the layout and art direction of the book by veteran RPG art director Marc Radle. The book will also include internal art by Pedro Potier. Here's an example of the art.

The Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook

As this Kickstarter grows, we will put together a Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook. This workbook will include a wide range of tools, maps, and reference sheets to help you run your 5e roleplaying game. It will have a brand-new cover by Jack Kaiser and is intended to be used right at the table. All backers will get the PDF of this workbook and digital versions of the maps. Backers at the $13 level will be able to order print copies of the workbook for the cost of printing (about $6) and shipping (about $6 in US and UK).

Here are some example worksheets we will include:

  • Lazy DM Reference Sheet 
  • Session Preparation Worksheet 
  • Character Tracker Campaign Worksheet 
  • 5e Cheat Sheet 
  • Random NPC Names 
  • Random Traps 
  • Random Single-Use Magic Items 
  • Random Dungeon Encounters 
  • Random Fantastic Features

Below you'll see some example draft reference sheets. Note that these sheets have not yet gone through formatting or design.

5e Quick Reference

 Trap Generator

Lazy Lairs

The Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook will also now include ten "Lazy Lairs" including full-color maps of commonly-used dungeons and one-page write-ups with descriptions, read-aloud text, and area aspects. They're designed so you can easily use them in your game with little to no preparation needed. These Lazy Lairs will be included in the Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook and all backers will receive digital versions of these maps with fully-annotated DM versions and unannotated versions for use in virtual tabletops like Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.

Here are two example maps by Derek Ruiz and Daniel Walthall.

 

Stretch Goals

Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook PDF ($5000 - Unlocked!). All backers will receive the Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook PDF. 

Internal Artwork ($6,000—UNLOCKED). We'll commission internal artwork to make the book even more beautiful.

EPUB E-book Version ($8,000—UNLOCKED) Every backer will now receive Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master as an EPUB e-book as well. This format is perfect for reading the book on a phone, tablet, or e-reader.

Hardback Version At Cost for $13 Pledges ($10,000—UNLOCKED). Those who back at the $13 level will be able to buy the book in a deluxe hardback edition. This collector's edition will be available from RPG Now for the cost of printing, about $15, and is perfect or sitting in a comfortable chair, drinking a favorite beverage, and pondering how to make your next game awesome. You do not need to increase your pledge above $13 to have this option. You will receive a link to order the book at the cost of printing and shipping when the book is ready.

Five Lazy Lairs ($15,000—UNLOCKED). The Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook will contain five full color maps of common locations we use in our D&D games including Caves, Temple, Castle, Sewers, and Dungeon. These maps will be done by Daniel Walthall, Derek, Ruiz, and Miska Fredman.

Five More Lazy Lairs and a Print Version of the Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook ($20,000—UNLOCKED). We'll add five more Lazy Lairs to the Lazy Dungeon Master Workbook including the Cellars, Tower, Docks, Mines, and Catacombs. We will also commission a new cover for the workbook by Jack Kaiser and create a print-on-demand version of the workbook for those at the $13 tier. We expect the cost of printing to be roughly $6.

High Resolution Cover Artwork (2,000 backers—UNLOCKED). Every backer will receive high-resolution JPEGs of Jack Kaiser's covers for each of the books suitable for printing or using as a background for a phone or tablet.

Lazy Lair Descriptions ($30,000—UNLOCKED). All ten Lazy Lairs will include a one-page lair description with general notes about the lair and read-aloud text for each of the lair's rooms or chambers. These lair descriptions will make it easy to use these lairs right at the table with very little preparation ahead of time.

Discounted Original Lazy Dungeon Master ($50,000—UNLOCKED). For those who don't have the original Lazy Dungeon Master, all backers will be able to buy the original Lazy Dungeon Master PDF for half price ($3) and $13 backers will also be able to buy the softcover version of the book for three bucks off ($7) from Lulu.com.

A Note on Print Delivery

As we have with Fantastic Locations and Fantastic Adventures, we will be fulfilling print copies of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master for the Print Option tier through RPGNow. This means you will be able to purchase a copy of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master directly from RPGNow at the cost of printing and shipping. We expect this cost to come to roughly $6 for the softcover book and $15 for the hardcover book plus $6 for shipping in Europe and the US. This cost is not included in your pledge and you do not need to increase the cost of your pledge to receive them. When the books are ready, you will receive links to purchase these versions of the book from RPG Now.

Risks and challenges

The full text of the main book is complete, and both the editor (Scott Fitzgerald Gray) and the art director (Marc Radle) are on board to build it into a full book.

Personal catastrophes can always get in the way of the production of a book like this, but the risk is low. This is my fourth Kickstarter and the previous three all delivered on time. We expect no problems.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 8 or more About US$ 8

    Just the PDF

    You'll get a PDF copy of "Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master" plus all stretch goals.

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    Pledge US$ 13 or more About US$ 13

    PDF and Print Option

    You'll get "Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master" in PDF with the option to buy a print copy at cost from RPG Now (roughly $6 + $6 shipping). You will also get all stretch goals.

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Funding period

- (30 days)