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Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master

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Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a book designed to help Gamemasters of all kinds get more out of our roleplaying games by preparing less. This book makes use of the experiences of thousands of other GMs to help you focus on how you prepare your games, how you run your games, and how you think about your games.

Built around an eight-step process for lightweight game preparation, it covers a wide range of practical steps and preparation activities that will bring the biggest impact to your game.

Building off the concepts of the well-received GM’s guidebook The Lazy Dungeon Master, Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master updates the lessons of that book with five years of new insights, new approaches, and new observations of the way people prepare and run RPGs.

Funded by over 6,700 backers on Kickstarter, Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master offers a new, focused approach for preparing and running our roleplaying games.

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Capn R November 19, 2018 6:44 pm UTC
I absolutely adore this book, with my first session planned using the lazy dungeon master checklist I felt more empowered to run my game than ever.

I had an idea, though, for one segment of the checklist. I think your current chapter, "Select your Monsters", could be slightly expanded to say "Select your Obstacles".

The idea is, instead of already gearing yourself towards creating a combat encounter, you spend that same energy creating obstacles for the party to overcome, of which combat with monsters is one part.

This allows you to add elements like traps, puzzles, or key social encounters or exploration elements with the Lazy Dungeon Master mentality. Even the DM's guide references the fact that not all encounters need to be combat encounters, so the change would allow our prep efforts to reflect it.
Customer avatar
YANN E October 30, 2018 10:49 am UTC
What is in the update ?
Customer avatar
Mike S November 02, 2018 7:36 am UTC
Two very minor spelling errors.
Customer avatar
YANN E November 02, 2018 2:00 pm UTC
Thank you :)
Customer avatar
Steve R October 16, 2018 12:15 pm UTC
Is this system agnostic or designed for a particular system?
Customer avatar
Mike S October 29, 2018 7:37 pm UTC
Hi Steve! This is loosely written around 5e but it works for just about any RPG. Many people have found it useful for lots of RPGs. That said, I had 5e on the brain when I wrote it.
Customer avatar
Patrick H November 09, 2018 12:58 am UTC
I have only seen the preview so far, because I'm waiting for the hardcover-version to be released, but so far I've successfully used it not only in DnD but for various other Systems and Settings like Private Eye (basically a Sherlock Holmes RPG) and Star Trek Adventures. I had to adapt the procedure a bit (e.g. preparing loot for an Investigation based RPG like Private Eye does not make a lot of sense), but overall it worked just fine. So yes, it works well with systems other than DnD.
Customer avatar
Markus I September 13, 2018 12:23 pm UTC
I am confused... ist this book an updated version of "The Lazy Dungeon Master" ?
Customer avatar
Mike S September 15, 2018 12:40 am UTC
From the description above..

"Building off the concepts of the well-received GM’s guidebook The Lazy Dungeon Master, Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master updates the lessons of that book with five years of new insights, new approaches, and new observations of the way people prepare and run RPGs."

It's more than an update. It's a completely new book but based off of the concepts in the original.
Customer avatar
November 18, 2018 8:01 pm UTC
Does this replace the original, or are both needed to get the complete set of information?
Customer avatar
YANN E September 10, 2018 8:33 pm UTC
AngryGM does seem to be at odd with you concerning XP vs no XP (I read his blog today). Does this book advise to get rid of XP or not ?
Customer avatar
Mike S September 12, 2018 12:49 am UTC
The book mentions skipping XP and leveling as the story dictates as a way to make your life easier as a DM. There's not a tremendous amount of time spent on the subject. It seems clear to me, however, given how XP is rewarded in D&D hardcover adventures, that milestone experience seems to be the preferred by the writers. I expect most DMs use either session-based leveling or story-based leveling. I'm running a Twitter poll right now to find out. As the book states, I recommend the easiest system that gives you the best bang for the buck.
Customer avatar
YANN E September 12, 2018 5:28 am UTC
Between my question and your answer (spoiler alert), I have bought the book and make a review of it ;)

(spoiler alert) : let's say it is a very good review ;)
Customer avatar
Arto S September 08, 2018 9:38 pm UTC
Excellent book, having a single author makes it more consistent than some other multi-author game master guides.

I got inspired of it and wrote a FREE title after a long hiatus for ThinkDifferent

Thanks Mike!
Customer avatar
Gary B September 08, 2018 4:43 pm UTC
A hundred page pdf for a lazy GM? If I had time to read a 100 pages between GM sessions I wouldn't need to be a lazy GM!

I need the cover sheet I think.

No offence to your book, but that's a lot of reading to save me prep time.
Customer avatar
Mike S September 09, 2018 1:05 am UTC
The book is specifically designed to be heavily skimmable. The first chapter describes where to focus whatever time you have to pick up the most vital pieces of information in the book. As you say, with a focus on helping people get the most out of prep for the least work, this book too helps you to get the most out of it for whatever time you have to give it. I hope you'll give it a shot.
Customer avatar
John W September 20, 2018 8:30 am UTC
It's called "front-loading". Do the proper groundwork once and save time and energy on every action thereafter.
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Rule System(s)
File Size:
44.54 MB
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
October 30, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on September 06, 2018.