Episode 44: Mailbag of Holding, Type II

DMs Matt and Rob talk about RPGs in the classroom using the Reacting to the Past curriculum and Matt's panel on Paradox Interactive's video games and history.


Now, on to your letters:

Nate writes, "Discord has a dice roller and a macro add-on!" [16:30]

Ryan asks, "Is the Dynamic Lighting option in Roll20 worth it?" [21:00]

Abstract Figure writes, "I love old school throwing weapons and boomerangs from movies of the 80s and 90s. What's the best way to put these iconic items into a game for my kids?" (He also sent us a link to some great drawings!) [25:30]

Adam asks, "How do I get players more engaged with NPCs and make them curious about my world?" [35:00]



"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div 

"The Games People Play" by The Alan Parsons Project

"Blinded by the Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band

"When I Come Around" by Green Day

"BKNY" by Fat Tony (featuring Old Money)

Episode 43: DMing 201

"7 DM Tips to take your game to the next level...#6 will blow you away!" 

"Players hate him! Master the Game with this one Weird Trick!"

Matt and Rob are back with some slightly more advanced tips to help you as a game master!  But first, a listener asks, "Can I run a game with two swapping Dungeon Masters?"

On to the tips: creating a recap blog...playing to your strengths...you are using your DM screen wrong...the freedom of rolling in the open...binders full of NPC names...player name tents...getting to know what makes your players tick...mastering the "character spotlight" and the quick "around the table check-in."

Thanks for listening! Don't forget to rate and review!

Email / Twitter



"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div

"Going through the Motions" by Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"Good Times Bad Times" by Led Zeppelin

"Say My Name" by Destiny's Child 

"No Beginner" by Serengeti 



The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Episode 42: Playing Extremely Online

Matt and Rob discuss some recent drama related to Roll20, a virtual tabletop platform [05:40]. Your hosts then try present both the challenges and opportunities of running RPGs online [20:30]. Last, Matt and Rob try to give you some practical tips for using Roll20 and other online tabletops [41:30]. 

Have you struggled or had success running games online? Let us know how it went! dmofnone@gmail.com 


"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div

"Pursuit of Happiness" by Kid Cudi, MGMT, and Ratatat

"Smoke and Mirrors" by Gotye

"Long Distance" by Bruno Mars

Episode 41: History and Magic Items

Matt and Rob love history. They also love making custom magic items. In this episode, your hosts combine these two loves by using historic artifacts as inspiration to create stats for D&D magic items. 

Image Gallery

D&D 5e Magic Item Descriptions

"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div
"Season of the Witch" by Donovan
"Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes
"Nothin' But A Good Time" by Poison
"The Magic Clap" by The Coup 

Episode 40: One Shot, Part Deux

The Celestial Job: A Planescape Adventure for 3rd-level Characters

DMs Matt and Rob return to "The Celestial Job," a one-shot Planescape adventure we wrote during Episode 30. Today, we take a fresh look at the adventure after play-testing it with two groups of players. Your DMs discuss how to run an adventure with an eye towards revision. We look at what didn't work, what was fun, and what was hilarious!   

If you liked our journey from brainstorming ideas to writing and revising an adventure module, feel free to download and run the whole thing (using the link above or on the Homebrew page). Let us know how the adventure goes! 

"Roll the Dice" by Pac Div
"Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addicition 

Episode 38: Engineer Cantrips and Other Lost Tales

Matt and Rob answer your letters!

Helping new players learn to role-play...hacking other systems into 5e DnD...balancing player goals...ditching random encounters...Chekhov's magic sword on the mantle...inclusivity in Pathfinder 2nd edition...Eurocentric humans in the Player's Handbook...the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin...getting "a head" with the Speak with Dead spell...Hellboy 1 is the best dungeon crawl...using science and the Move Earth cantrip to break the game...when is it okay to ask your DM to stop arguing about the rules...using the humanities to own your friends and make them sad...John McCain didn't like D&D.

Roll the Dice by Pac Div
Riddles in the Dark by Chris Thile
I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King

Episode 37: Mazes and Monsters!

We have done a crazy thing. Rob and Matt sat down and watched 1982's made-for-TV movie, Mazes and Monsters. 

We are now the Maze Controllers and have absolute authority! So grab your maps and get ready for a strange journey of 80s DnD panic, Tom Hanks, bad parenting, dungeon love, 9/11, and WASP angst. Your intrepid hosts deduce the rules-as-written of the Mazes and Monsters RPG, determine which character has the worst parents, and lust after the muggers with the coolest leather jackets in all of NYC.

Please, whatever you do don't watch this movie.

Episode 35 - Critical Role & Numenera w/ Natasha

Matt and Rob are joined by special guest Natasha, an amazing DM and co-host of the Metamashina Podcast, a show about genre fiction from the feminine perspective.  



Your DMs discuss how to handle character death, the problems of custom class mechanics, and fan reaction to the episode.  [Discussion ends 40:10]

Matt, Rob and Natasha are briefly distracted by Hasbro's bizarre announcement about D&D becoming an e-sport. [40:15]

Natasha shares her experience running games in Numenera, Monte Cook's far-future rpg centered around exploration and discovery.  [45:50] If you plan on running any type of post-technology adventure or if you just want to improve your ability to create ancient mysteries for your players to solve, give Numenera a try.  It's a great system and setting for growing as a Dungeon Master!

You can check out the Metamashina Podcast (and we recommend that you do) by following this link: https://metamashina.com

Episode 34: Ravnica and Eberron - New 5e Campaign Settings!

Matt and Rob discuss WotC's surprise announcement of a Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons crossover: The Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. While we are mostly disappointed and unenthused about this mixing of games, your hosts try to salvage some useful silver linings in the upcoming Ravnica release.  Then, Matt gets way into MtG's "Color Wheel" for a few minutes.

On to what we really love: Eberron! For $20, Matt and Rob wholeheartedly recommend the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron.  It's perfect for introducing your players to the campaign setting and for creating Eberron-specific characters in 5th edition DnD.  The book has a great new set of rules for Changelings, Kalashtar, Shifters, Warforged, and Dragonmarked characters! Unfortunately, if you are DM, you will still need the 3rd edition Eberron Campaign Setting as well. Listen for our complete review of our precious first 5e Eberron book! 

Episode 33: Clan Brujah-ha & Unwanted Advice

Matt and Rob recap the controversy over the new 5th edition of Vampire: The Masquerade. [07:20] This is a chilling reminder that the  alt-right and actual Nazis are using our hobby—specifically fake controversies like Gamer Gate and DnD Gate—to recruit people to their reactionary and racist ideology.

On to Unwanted Advice, the segment where we answer the questions you didn't ask about RPGs:

  • How do you deal with flying characters at low-levels?  [22:30]
  • What is the best level to start your campaign? [30:00]
  • Help! My DM is stealing from Critical Role. What do I do? [34:00]
  • What is the best way to continue Curse of Strahd? (Minor spoilers for CoS) [42:20]
  • Can I give my Warlock (5e D&D) a Shield at-will ability? [47:00]
  • Should rolling a "natural 1" have additional negative consequences? [50:05]

If you have questions about RPGs, DMing, or anything else, send us them to us at dmofnone@gmail.com!

Episode 32: TFW No Goth GF (Curse of Strahd Review)

DMs Matt and Rob bite into the 5th edition campaign: the Curse of Strahd! We just finished the whole thing and would like to en-frighten you with our experience. If you are considering running this campaign, then this is a must listen episode for any would be horror Dungeon Masters. Even if Strahd isn't your cup of blood, you'll find tons of great tips for running horror games and lessons for structuring your own narratives.

Save World History!

A cool history and gaming conference in Michigan (call for papers)

The Original "Ravenloft" Module (1e)

The Ravenloft Campaign Setting (2e)

The Curse of Strahd (5e)

Episode 30: D&D One Shot, One Kill(er Adventure)

Matt and Rob write a Dungeons and Dragons one-shot adventure on-the-fly in under an hour! 

Writing adventures is not hard or scary.  It's something that just takes practice.  We hope our brainstorming and adventure planning will help inspire and encourage you to get those plots prepped.  

The adventure will be available for free on our homebrew page about a week after release.  Feel free to download and playtest our one-shot!

Episode 29: Foam of Toes

Matt and Rob share their first impressions of the sixth rule book in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

There will be war.  There will be blood.  There will be a Blood War.  Your hosts talk about the upgrading the Tiefling with the new stuff in this book.  The new Githzerai and Githyanki are full of flavor and story-telling potential; the other section of races and sub-races for Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings not so much.  Reprints abound!  Wizards then makes us sad by putting Tortles and Giff into the book but not giving them racial stats for players. 

The monsters are great! We hit on our favorites (allips, chokers, and maruts).  Rob and Matt chat about what lessons DMs can learn on how to modify monsters from the sections on Ogres, Drow, and Trolls.

Link to the PF table of 100 tiefling traits.  

Link to Matt and Rob's Giff player species. 


Episode 28: Ready Planescape One

This week Matt and Rob talk mazes and monsters -- no, not the classic 1982 Tom Hanks movie about the dark side of gaming, we're talking Planescape, which is full of both! Your favorite DM duo talk about the theme and setting of the wackiest D&D setting out there, give some ideas on how to run a campaign, and generally geek out about what makes it cool.

Make sure to listen carefully for a rare instance of Rob being BTFO by Matt on a rules question.

Episode 27: How to Freedom

Lot going on here! Matt and Rob chat about the news of the week, talk elf phrenology, discuss the end of our recent campaign arcs, follow-up on a listener e-mail, and give some more unasked-for advice, addressing staying organized, homebrew content, and, of course, how to freedom.

RPG Round-up 2:20

How to end a campaign arc and deal with players leaving 10:00

Follow-up letter 29:30

How to Stay Organized? 32:30

DnDWiki Homebrew troubles 39:00

How to create freedom 49:00

Episode 26: System Talk

Sure, D&D is fun, but have you ever severed an orc street sam's head with a monofilament whip, or confronted the eldritch horrors of the universe with nothing but your service revolver and a flashlight?

Matt and Rob talk a little bit about the other systems that they've played and run, what makes them fun, and why you might want to branch out from D&D and 5e, and how to approach a different system and setting. Expand your horizons players, there's a whole world of RPGs out there!

Episode 25: PbtA, theme, and worldbuilding with special guest Michelle Nickolaisen

This week's episode takes us into uncharted territory, with a sweeping discussion of TTRPGs, crafting unique worlds, and exploring themes within your games, featuring our first guest, Michelle Nickolaisen, DM and host of Serendipity City.

Michelle talks to us about Powered by the Apocalypse and what you can draw from it, how to run a game that's going to be shared online, creating interesting and compelling worlds, and how to approach complicated themes in your games. We lost some audio, but soldiered on, and covered a ton of ground nonetheless.

Find Michelle and her many projects @_ChelleShock and her PbtA podcast at https://www.serendipitypod.com/.