Getting Started

SRD 5e – The System Reference Document are the “free” rules released by Wizard’s of the Coast. Find out more about the SRD and what it can be used for here. – A nicely categorized and easy reference for the SRD 5e.

OneNote SRD5 – This is a compilation of the SRD5 rule book for use with OneNote.

Matt Colville’s Running the Game – Matt Colville’s series “Runing the game” is a treasure trove of good information for new Dungeon Masters.



Cheap & Effective DM Screen

  1. Landscape Binder
  2. Binder Clips
  3. Cheat Sheets

I wasn’t satisfied with the information on the available DM screens so I made my own. 2 landscape style binders (regular ones could work as well), printed cheat sheets, attach them with a few binder clips and you have a large, cheap and effective DM screen that’s completely customizable with the content you need at a glance. It isn’t going to be winning any beauty contests as is but I’ll take function over form any day.

Polyhedral Dice Set – A set of 7 different colored dice sets for cheap. More dice than you’ll need to get started!


Starting Guides

New DM Handbook: Starting Your Adventure – Handy tips for beginning an adventure.

5 Room Dungeon – A guide to building a 5 room dungeon that is simple, effective, and unique.

Starter Set: Lost Mines of Phandelver

Lost Mines of Phandelver is the official starter set for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and is often recommended to new DMs. It’s a great kit for beginners as it has everything you need to get started and hovers around $15 on Amazon. If you’re brand new to D&D and want to jump into DMing for a group this is the way to go.

Getting Started with the Starter Set – A good guide to help prepare running LMoP.

Encounter Adjustment – Don’t have the recommended 4 players for the starter set? Use this tool to adjust combat encounters for the amount of players you have!

Building Upon LMoP

How I start new players in LMoP – Tips to make the start of the campaign stronger, give your players a connection to Gundren, and avoid having your level 1 PCs get one shot in the first encounter. Read the comments too!

LMoP Lore & Background –  Expands upon the history and lore of the locations in the starter set.

Transitioning into Out of the Abyss – Incredible ideas on how to make the adventure more cohesive, and ideas on how to tie it into the Out of the Abyss adventure. Even if you don’t plan to run OotA this is a must read to make LMoP a better adventure.

Improving the Module: Villains – How to give the sort of lackluster villains, The Black Spider and Iarno “Glasstaff” Albrek a little more oomph.

Thundertree Part 1 & Part 2 – Thundertree is the weakest area in the starter set. Part 1 describes the idea’s on how to liven up how Reidoth, Venomfang, and the Cult of the Dragon interact in this area. Part 2 is how it actually went down in game.

Venomfang – Amazing post on how to run Venomfang in the town of Thundertree and turn it into a very memorable encounter.

Cursed Goblin Items – Makes the items you find at the defiled shrine of Tymora in Cragmaw Keep magic with curses. The dagger is pretty wordy and the curse can be used to player’s advantage pretty easy so you might want to change it.

Transition into Princes of the Apocalypse: One & Two – Ideas on tying LMoP into the official module Princes of the Apocalypse. Good basis for tying LMoP into other adventures as well.


iTim – iTim over at has recreated almost every map included in the book, the town of Phandalin in a few different seasons, and a couple of areas that did not come with a premade map. Doesn’t include Cragmaw Hideout.

Mike Schley – Artist of the maps included in the book. He has high resolution downloads available on his website for a reasonable price.

Cragmaw Hideout – Various Cragmaw Hideout maps. Artists unknown.

Mappy – A pack of a few maps from a user over at the ProFantasy forums.

Jhultgre – Includes Cragmaw Hideout, Redbrand Hideout, as well as Thundertree with roof assets.

Pack 1 – Collection of maps in the same style. Found these in various places. Artist unknown. Includes open ambush encounter, Agatha’s Lair, and Thundertree.

Cragmaw Castle – Set of Cragmaw Castle maps in different seasons as well as darkness and in light. Made by u/mrvalor.

Thundertree – Various Thundertree maps. Artists unknown.

Wave Echo Cave – 2 Wave Echo Cave maps. Artists unknown.

Agatha’s Lair – Various Agatha’s Lair maps. Artists unknown.

Old Owl Well – Various Old Owl Well maps. Artists unknown.

Others – Another Cragmaw Castle map, a few for the beginning goblin ambush, and Wyvern Tor.

Printing Battle Maps to a 1″ Scale – How to print battle maps with a 1 inch grid. Instructions are for Photoshop but easily works with GIMP.

How to Make 1″ Tokens – Guide to making monster tokens for your battlemaps.


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