D&D DM'ing by Matt Colville


Hehe, no, not me, but the name pegs him as another Tolkien nerd. I was hoping at first also that “homebrew” meant :beer:, but context suggests otherwise.


So me and my group have been having problems meeting up and playing in person, does anyone know any apps to play over?


Fantasy Grounds or Roll20


Are they free to use or is there a subscription?


I think they’re free to a point, or at least free for players but the DM
may need to pay something.

Otherwise you can use something like google hangouts


Just finished the last episode of Critical Role S1… And damn. Nice to get closure after all that time!


Is Critical Role any good?


In my opinion, yes. Probably the best story driven campaign I have ever seen. It’s a lot (~500 hours) to watch but definitely worth it.

My drive and narrative in my games is influenced heavily by the DM from CR because he strives to bring the story to life. The players, being all voice actors, really get into character which helps with the immersion.

It’s worth checking out at the least. I’d also recommend Acquisitions Inc. They also get super into the game but you only have maybe 50 hours to watch. But their sets are amazing and Chris Perkins is an amazing DM.


The best DMs are all named Matt. Matt Mercer, Matt Colville, etc.


Yeah it was a really nice episode, quite emotional. The stuff at the end of the boss fight between Liam and Sam got me right in the feels though.


That was roughy. Did you watch the epilogue?


Yeah, was a nice ending. Looking forward to seeing what’ll come next. Interested in what the one shots might entail!


Think I’ve finally finished setting up my homebrew campaign for my game. Super excited to get to DM it. I have four players; a rogue, a paladin, a tinkerer, and a cleric. The bbeg of my campaign is going to be a god that was locked away for thousands of years that’s lost most of his power, but now that he’s free he is attempting to regain it and ascend to godhood again.


Hey question, @TheMountainThatRoars, and I know it’s kind of a broad one, but you’ve been DMing for awhile and I was wondering if you had any tips on making my bad guys more dynamic? Saheeli (my bbeg) I feel can be made into a great villain, but I want to be able to make him feel like a real, major threat, and I’m worried I either A: won’t, or B: will make him too crazy strong. Do you maybe have some ideas as to how I can make sure Saheeli feels like a strong competitor, but not so strong that the players feel like they have no chance of winning?


Hmm, to feel like a threat he should be made to seem like one. But you should allow for (and provide clues to) his/her weaknesses. And if your players do their homework they should be rewarded with either items to help them or information.

But if they try to go in without anything to bolster themselves, it should be or feel like it will be a shutout.

The villain should also have strong motives to do what he/she is doing and believe that it is the right thing to do. Even if those reasons are warped or skewed.


I’m having a hard time deciding how to give the players the item and information to defeat Saheeli. Saheeli has been trapped inside of an enchanted puzzle cube for thousands of years. The main quest line has the players going to one of Saheeli’s ancient ruined temples and finding/solving it, inadvertently releasing Saheeli out into the world. I want to make it so that, if the players re-enchant the puzzle cube with the help of a powerful spell caster, or if they craft a new puzzle and enchant it, they can trap Saheeli inside for good.

I don’t know if this is a good enough reason for Saheeli to “be a bad guy”, so please tell me if you think this lil’ “origin story” is good enough to constitute Saheeli’s actions: Saheeli is, in my pantheon, a fallen God of amusement. He only seeks out things that amuse him and make him laugh, which often ends up getting out of hand to the point where disaster strikes. Saheeli doesn’t have a concept of sadness or pain because all he is capable of feeling and producing is amusement for himself, even if it’s at the expense of others. Saheeli wants his godly powers back so that he can start messing things up again, solely because he wants to generate as much amusement from the ensuing chaos as he can.


A CN god…interesting… What caused him to be imprisoned before? There
could be a spell or artifact that someone(s) used that led to his
Or maybe multiple artifacts are needed…one per player…smell what I’m
stepping in? :wink: :wink:

I think if you paint/describe the past in which this god was active
properly, it would be enough of a drive to want to not have history repeat


Because of the great distress and despair Saheeli was childishly causing upon the people, the god of justice, Icarus, took it upon himself to reprimand Saheeli. However, because Saheeli committed these atrocities out of childish games, Icarus didn’t feel it just to outright kill Saheeli. And, with every new atrocity Saheeli committed, more people became terrified of Saheeli to the point where they started worshipping him, in hopes he would stop with his senseless killings and famines. Needless to say, all that did was make Saheeli more powerful, even more so than Icarus.

Therefore, Icarus took it upon himself to find the most powerful mages and paladins of Icarus from across the land to help enchant and design a puzzle cube to trap Saheeli in. When Icarus and his mages were finished, a paladin of Icarus went to Saheeli and promised him that the puzzle cube was a great and amusing challenge, with a great prize at the end. Naturally, Saheeli accepted, and the curse placed on the puzzle cube trapped Saheeli inside, because not even Saheeli could contest with the powerful magics of the powerful mages, paladins, and Icarus combined.

That’s smart, but I just don’t know what exactly it is I could give them. Maybe multiple parts of the puzzle cube?

I was thinking of having them meet Icarus himself, and have him explain the gravity of the situation. I thought maybe Icarus could basically say that they face immediate death for their crime against humanity, unless they are able to recapture Saheeli before he ascends to godhood again.


That would work. The parts of the cube I mean. But the best stories, IMO, let each character shine a little. Each should have a quest that ends with an items that augments their build BUT could work for others. Ideally they’ll see the pattern, but you never know. If I were running this, I’d make each artifact necessary to defeat or imprison. Perhaps in a certain order. But, that’s me.


I really like your way of thinking. My group seems pretty dedicated to seeing this through to the end, and if all goes well, I hope to do more campaigns in the same universe after with the same players.

I’ll certainly play around with your ideas and message you when I come up with something. You’re a big help man, thank you. :slight_smile: