Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master

Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: ‘Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master’

D&D Adventures Gaming Kickstarter

Return of the Lazy Dungeon MasterStruggling to fit in preparation time for your next Dungeon & Dragons adventure? The Lazy Dungeon Master is THE go-to resource for whittling down those long hours. And now it is being updated, revised, and reborn for the latest edition of the world’s greatest roleplaying game as the Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master.

When I first started DMing D&D games for my friends, one of the first websites I found was It was so helpful and the hints and tips there for running a successful game were exactly what I needed. Fast forward six years and I still religiously return to Sly Flourish for campaign strategy guides, DM hints, and everything else in between. I even included Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Adventures in a recent round up of one-shot D&D stories.

Five years ago Mike Shea, creator of Sly Flourish, compiled the Lazy Dungeon Master. This offered a simplified approach for preparing fantasy RPGs with one clear directive: prepare only what most benefits your game. And, oh, boy, did it help me out.

So when I found out that there was a Kickstarter for The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, I couldn’t help but back it.

What is the Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master?

The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a RPG guide book that takes a deep dive into how DMs prepare, run, and think about their games. It’s based on research from dozens of books, hundreds of websites and videos, and the experiences of thousands of dungeon masters, and it aims to help rationalize the preparation for your D&D games.

It builds on the concepts of the well-received DM’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 roleplaying games. The book includes an eight-step guide for lightweight game preparation and is focused on how DMs prepare for their games, how they run their games, and how they think about their games.

What Mike Shea has to say:

“It’s an update of the popular book The Lazy Dungeon Master, but doesn’t make that book obsolete. Both books work well on their own or together. Each is ‘complete’ on its own.

“Last August, I took a month off from everything to pore over a dozen different DM handbooks, dozens of DM advice books, hundreds of YouTube videos and websites, and studied the results of dozens of surveys and polls from DMs on how we run our games. This included a survey of 6,600 Dungeon Masters conducted back in late 2016. The book takes these experiences and refines them down into a single system.

“The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master does not assume ‘one true way’ to DM. We all have different styles of play and the ideas presented are modular. People can pick and choose which parts of it work well for them and toss out the stuff that doesn’t.

“It isn’t intended to be read cover-to-cover. It certainly CAN be read that way, but I wrote it assuming people would skim-read it, cherry-pick the parts they’re interested in, and absorb it non-linearly.”

What to expect

The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is all about quick and easy preparation, so expect to find hints and tips on really streamlining your DM prep to give you more time to focus on the things that matter. But also getting the most out of your players and roleplaying games.

The focus is on helping characters, developing secrets and clues to get your players invested, and using fantastic locations to excite and amaze. But if it’s anything like the previous Lazy Dungeon Master, no doubt the book will contain so, so much more. Your D&D games will never be the same again.


Since it went live, it has seen lots of interest, and, with still plenty of time to go, the stretch goals have all already been met. But there’s still time to get in on the action and join over 3,000 people who can’t wait for the Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master.

The book is available for $13 or more, and for that you’ll receive a PDF of Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master and the option to buy a print copy at cost from RPG Now (roughly $6 +$6 shipping).

Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

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