The third act of Andy Slack's gaming blog

“It’s probably easiest to think of this book as an extended Gamemaster screen.” – The Lazy DM’s Workbook.

In a Nutshell: Companion to Return of the Lazy DM; quick reference, random tables, and ten lair layouts. 50 page PDF, currently $5 from Sly Flourish on DriveThruRPG here.

What’s Inside?

Pretty much what it says on the cover; quick reference, random tables, and lair layouts. It’s intended to be a toolbox, sitting at the DM’s side as they prepare and run adventures according to the Way of the Lazy DM.

You get a one-page summary of the Lazy DM approach, five pages of D&D 5E quick reference, random tables, and ten lazy lairs.

It’s interesting to me how every quick reference guide for a game focuses on different areas of the game. You’d think all DMs would need the same information, but as no two quick references are the same, I guess not. I could see myself using this one as a DM’s screen, although I don’t think I’d need at least 20% of it.

There are tons of random tables: Names. Traps. Monuments. Mundane items. Spell effects. Town events. Monsters. Connections between PCs.

Then you get guidelines: for building encounters, which I expect I shall largely ignore because I laugh in the face of balanced encounters, for theatre of the mind combat, which I do use and could probably stand to improve.

The ten lazy lairs are a castle, some docks, sewers, catacombs, caves, cellars, a dungeon, mines, a temple and a wizard’s tower. Each of these has a map, with descriptions of its locations; you need to allocate monsters and treasure, but that’s all. They’re potentially all connected to each other, if you need a bigger area to explore; and judicious application of cave-ins or extra walls could make any of them smaller.

What Do I Think?

I’d say less than a third of the book is specific to 5E, but all of it is specific to D&D-style high fantasy.

I got this – and the Lazy DM’s Companion, more of which in a later post – because I’m having trouble with my 5E game; I know the objectives of all the adventures up to the end of the campaign, but not the details. I hoped that these books would help me flesh out the ideas into something playable.

While I don’t regret my purchase, it’s only a partial answer to that problem. The stand-out section is the lazy lairs, which I could get a good 20 sessions out of at their usual rate of exploration; this gives me the locations for them to explore, and I started with what I need them to find out, so what is missing is the encounters.

The next most useful thing I expect to be the 5E quick reference, with the random tables in third place.

Comments on: "Review: The Lazy DM’s Workbook" (1)

  1. […] Halfway Station 3.0 reviews The Lazy DM’s Workbook. […]

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