Do you enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons but have a hard time gathering a group together?

Do you have a group but nobody wants to be the Game Master?

Do you find that your Dungeons and Dragons games slow down at certain points?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the following information will be helpful!

“Original Dungeons and Dragons Basic Rule Book – 1981 – Plus 2 Dugeon Modules” by Jennie Ivins is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Playing Without a Dedicated Game Master

A Game Master Emulator is a system that allows everyone to play as a player without the need for a dedicated Game Master. These generally work by allowing every player to take part in the story creation process by asking a Yes/No question and then rolling a dice for an answer and then filling in the gaps with logic (and sometimes surprises!). With a Game Master Emulator, it is also possible to play Dungeons & Dragons solo!

There are several Game Master Emulators out there, but my favorite one is a system called MUNE. I like it because it is light on rules while also bringing in a fair amount of unexpected situations.

PDF of the MUNE system.

For an even easier time running MUNE, there is also a free app on the Google Play Store.

Random Generators

To keep things surprising during your adventure, I recommend using random generators (at least from time to time) for dungeons and encounters. Here are my favorite random generators for these things:

Random Dungeon Generators:

Random Encounter Generators:

Organization

To make your experience smoother and more entertaining, it is best to have systems in place for keeping your game organized. In a normal D&D game, I notice that the game slows down when players are looking for information on their character sheets, casting spells and when the GM is looking up statistics for monsters. Here are some of my favorite resources for helping these issues!

Character Sheets:

A good character sheet will be easy to read and present the most relevant information in a quick and accessible way while also being compact to reduce the amount of time spent shuffling through papers.

My favorite character sheet is color coded and is made to be folded into a half sheet

Kid-Friendly Sheet

Spell Management:

Index Cards with the spell information on it work pretty well for those who like paper, but my favorite resource is this free app on the Google Play Store.

Monsters:

Monster Cards
This free PDF contains roughly 70% of the monster in the Monster Manual with tools to help you make cards for the remaining 30%. Our libraries have multiple copies of the Monster Manual to copy from so you do not need to buy anything to make a whole card set!

Keeping Things Moving

Keep it simple:

Simplifying rules helps; see where in your game you can accomplish what you are going for without having to constantly look up rules. For example, in the game I ran for myself, I did not concern myself with hunger or encumbrance rules and allowed a party inventory for easier access and less paperwork.

You may end up with your own simplifications or rules, depending upon how you like to play the game but it is important to keep your game running smoothly and also not exploit your own rules as you will be cheating yourself out of a more memorable and entertaining experience!

Let Logic Be Your Guide:

When running into a situation where simplifying rules does not help, go with whatever is logical and then after the game look up the rules to see how that situation should be handled next time. It is more important to keep a game moving (and fun!) than it is to be technically correct in the moment. 

Hopefully some of these resources and tips were helpful! Happy Gaming!