Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Review: The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master

Designed and written by Mike Shea, former game designer for Wizards of the Coast, The Return Lazy Dungeon Master provides a framework to help game masters to be more efficient with the time they have available for game preparation.

6,740 backers brought this book to life on Kickstarter and the book has both been the winner of the 2019 Gold ENnie for Best Electronic Book and is Adamantine Best Seller on DriveThruRPG which means that it has sold more than 5,001 copies there.

This 100 page book contains 26 chapters inclusive of 10 pages of useful appendices.

Terse but well written the Lazy Dungeon Master puts forward the idea that game masters should only prepare what they need and by doing so avoids both time wastage whilst ensuring that you focus on what will actually matter at your gaming table or virtual gaming place.

The book is broken into three main sections:

  1. Preparing for your Game
  2. Running your Game
  3. Thinking about your Game

All three sections of the book contain a wealth of advice that will help you critically think about how you both plan and run your games.

The Preparing for your Game is the longest section of the book and suggests that before each session game masters think about preparing for games in the following manner

  1. Review the characters
  2. Create a strong start
  3. Outline potential scenes
  4. Define secrets and clues
  5. Develop fantastic locations
  6. Outline important NPCs
  7. Choose relevant monsters
  8. Select magic item rewards

The application of these 7 steps is not explicit and the game master is encouraged to use as many or a few components as needed.

You can learn more about The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master and obtain a two chapter summary of the book from Mike Shea’s blog – Sly Flourish.


Design & Presentation


An invaluable resource for all aspiring game masters. A reflection of years of actual game preparation experience from both the author and the gaming community. This book will assist you to become more efficient with your time when preparing games.