I am, of course, by no means the first person to decide to spend my time writing about D&D/RPGs in general. There are tons of sites out there, and while many of them contain a lot of the same stuff, there are a few that you can’t afford to ignore if you want to run better games.
The Angry GM offers “RPG advice with an attitude”. He hates players, and he will tell you exactly why you’re playing your game wrong. And he’ll do it brilliantly.
It’s well worth your time to read absolutely everything on his site (which he updates regularly), even if it’s not specific to the system that you play. I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read on this site that have completely changed my game for the better. Most recently I worked through his lengthy posts on building monsters in 5th edition, and my understanding of the way 5e works grew an astonishing amount. I can’t recommend him enough.
I’ve been subscribed to John Four’s RPG Tips email lists for what feels like forever now, and it’s invaluable. How he keeps up with sending daily newsletters I will never know, but they’re always packed with useful tips and ideas. He has some really great insights into the ways RPGs work, and he has some great tips for taking the pressure off when it comes time to run a game. He was the first person to introduce me to the 5 room dungeon format, and most recently his idea of encounter triangles has been making my brain work overtime. Subscribe, read, enjoy.
The idea behind the Dozen is simple – each update provides GMs with a d12 list of awesome ideas. It’s system agnostic, and it’s great. If you love random tables, you’ll love this – and if you don’t you’ll still love the amazing ideas he comes up with. there’s a lot of content here – the blog has been going for years – but it’s worth wading through. And if you’d rather pick from just the best of the best, he sells a compilation book on LuLu and just successfully kickstarted a weird underworld campaign setting that looks very cool.
Courtney Campbell’s blog is a constant source of inspiration to me. Campbell’s basic thesis is that the stuff in the books isn’t good enough – that we can do much, much better, and that he can show us how to do it. And he’s right. The post have dried up a little over the past month or so – I’m not sure what’s going on there – but there’s still a huge amount of content to dig through, both D&D-related and otherwise (he posts about Shadowrun a lot, too). Definitely check it out.
Last but no means least – my absolute favourite blog. This is what I aspire too, though I’m nowhere near yet. Here you’ll find incredible creatures, awesome encounters, and beautiful locations that it feels criminal not to be paying for. Whenever I’m looking for inspiration, this is the first place I go to. I don’t want to spoil anything by linking to specific posts – just click over there, and start reading. You’ll appreciate it.
This is only a short list of some of the blogs I get the most out of. I also spend a lot of time on a couple of D&D-related subreddits – r/dndbehindthescreen and r/UnearthedArcana are my favourites – and the Cartographer’s Guild forums are a must-read if you’re interested in making maps (or if you just like to look at beautiful maps, too).
If there’s anything you think I should be reading, leave a comment and let me know. And drop a link to your own blogs too so I can come and say hi.