Being a dungeon master (DM) can be a challenging proposition. You have to be prepared, know rules, have a guide to the world you are playing in, run all the characters your players encounter and, in most cases, watch the time.
And while there is no doubt that some people are gifted and talented with skills that make them a better DM than others, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that you can’t work to get better at. With that in mind, here are some current podcasts that are designed to help you become a better dungeon master.
4 Podcasts Designed to Help DMs Improve
Dungeon Master’s Block. This podcast was one of the first ones I found about being a DM when I took up the mantle and it is excellent. First, this show has a long backlog of episodes, which is always good. If you want to do a marathon binge you can or, like me, you can pick and choose based on the topics of the show. The show rotates between two types of episodes. One episode is a long chat with DMs Mitch and John on a specific topic. They breakdown ideas about lore, history, experience and more. Those episodes are always informative and stretch me to think and be a bit creative. The other episode style is what they call DM-Nastics, where they gather a group of DMs to work out their mind. They take an idea, then they essentially brainstorm the idea and call out great ideas that have been generated for the show in their forums. These episodes are fantastic because they move quickly and nearly always generate at least “A-HA!” idea that I then work to add into my campaign. You can find them on Twitter at @DMs_Block.
Heroes Rise. So this podcast is brand new and I would say it is still finding its way, but it has been good thus far. Like other shows, they do a deep dive on a topic or two but they also talk about the latest DnD news and they share ideas, apps, websites that they have found useful. It is a bit of an odd mix but it works well. The coverage they do on DnD news is well done and it is great to have a source for that news that isn’t just PR from Wizards of the Coast; they are willing to speculate and be wrong potentially and there is a lot of value in that! I really hope it continues at this level and improves; the 3 hosts are excellent and this is a really practical, good show. You can follow the show on Twitter at @heroesrisednd.
The DM’s Deep Dive with Mike Shea Mike Shea has long been giving advice to DMs under the name Sly Flourish. From his own website and his book The Lazy Dungeon Master, Shea has been an influential voice in the RPG community. With this monthly podcast, Shea interviews special guests and looks at a different aspect of the game. If game design doesn’t interest you, some of these episodes may not appeal but overall it is worth checking out. Episode 7 with Critical Role DM Matt Mercer is especially good and worth a listen. Also, if you wanted to support Shea in his work, right now he has a Kickstarter underway for the next book The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. While it has already hit its goal, it is definitely worth supporting. You can follow Mike in his persona of Sly Flourish on Twitter at @SlyFlourish.
Table Top Babble is the conversation show that is hosted by James Introcaso, one of the DnD Guild Adepts, who is great in his own right. When partnered with others, James proves himself to be a great interviewer and the discussions that are shared are quite fascinating. Among this show’s strengths is Introcaso’s willingness to find newer voices and voices that are minority in gaming and give them a platform. He is always respectful, thoughtful, and helps the audience think about the game in a different way. That he manages to do it weekly is great and if you have never checked out James’ materials on DMSguild.com, you should check that out as well. The Tomb of Annihilation material has been especially helpful in my weekly game. You can find the show on Twitter at @TableTopBabble.
Certainly, there have to be even more podcasts dedicated to helping us all be better Dungeon Masters and improving our games. Which one are your favorites, especially if there are any that we missed? Drop in on our Character Sheets Facebook Group and let us know!