Tl Dm Podcast public
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What happens when two D&D DMs decide to share a world and play in each others' games? Well, apparently, they decide to podcast about their experiences. Equal parts campaign diary, game philosophy, DM tools, and long tangents, the tl;dm podcast is a place for some nerds to nerd out about their games and the unique experience of sharing a lore while still trying to keep secrets from each other.
 
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FIRST THINGS FIRST - wow, Alan's microphone is picking up all of the plosive sounds. Sorry for that. BUT struggle through it if you can, because this episode is simply chock full of insights, exercises, and anecdotes from special guest and friend of the show James D'Amato! The TL;DMs sit down with James to talk about what it feels like to play in a…
 
It's been a while between recordings, and the TL;DMs have some campaign recaps to get to. In particular, they talk about arc and session structure, and mechanical benefits of visual aids for table engagement. Then, Tyler posits some opportunities for NPC-themed story arcs since his table has several characters that they're deeply invested in. There…
 
It's been a while (again)! The TL;DMs get some time to catch up and then do a brief breakdown on Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, the most recent release from the DnD 5e team. They talk about what makes for a good theoretical supplement for a homebrew campaign. They also spend a little time hating on the new wealth of options for Tieflings--give a list…
 
It has been some time since the tl;dm duo has had a chat, and they're back in all their rambling, opinionated... glory? They lead off with a discussion on how DnD fundamentally changes as a play experience as the party levels up, and what that means for different styles of play. From the DM standpoint it also impacts how encounters and combats are …
 
Our dearest friend and favored player Jeff Murdoch returns to our 'cast to talk with us about recaps, session zeros, skill checks and so much more. In the session zero discussion, we talk about one of the most important uses of a session zero, which is checking in with your players to see what they enjoy doing in games. From there we discuss how to…
 
The tl;DMs are back in the swing of things (even though this episode was recorded in February). They use the recaps to discuss some more... elevated roleplay that Tyler jumped into in their most recent session, and how to navigate a character's breaking point at the table. From there they dive headfirst into the creation and play of the most import…
 
The TL;DMs finally get together to do something they haven't had to do in a while--do some worldbuilding. They talk about Flern, a town that Alan's character Srad has become the lord of as the result of campaign developments. As a result, Tyler and Alan decide to round out what exactly that entails and also what the makeup and logistics of the town…
 
During catchup, the TL;DMs touch on the rule of cool and talk about a cool storytelling device that Tyler stumbled over called "Hollywood Adaptation." It's neat! At the meat of it, though, the lads discuss Tyler's frustration at how the playstyle of the Eastern Campaign's DnD party has affected the last session or two. As a result, the skillset of …
 
Picking up right where Live Play 7 left off, the DnD Eastern Campaign gang continues into the depths below Flern to confront the Aboleth that mind controlled them mere days ago. Like Live Play 7, this episode features Tyler as DM and Alan, Erin, and Jeff as the PCs. The boss fight of revenge ensues, with monstrous feats of strength, seductive offer…
 
This live play episode directly follows up the DnD session that the TL;DMs broke down in Episode 23 of the podcast, in which the party wiped out against the mayor of Flern and his master--an Aboleth living in the misty caverns under the city. Tyler DMs as the party works through trying to turn their crushing defeat into a vengeful victory. Having r…
 
Oh boy. After the session recap of a particularly dire situation for the Western D&D Campaign, Alan turns into a petulant baby while the TL;DMs try to pin down exactly what it was that made the day's game feel bad. The majority of the episode is then spent as a sort of analysis from both sides about what makes certain choices on both side of the sc…
 
In this episode, the tl;dm lads spend some time talking about setting mood and creating creepy situations as a DM, and the importance of shaking things up in getting a reaction from players in a Dungeons & Dragons adventure arc. After a campaign diary update they move on to discuss character backstories. Whether overdone and lengthy to the point of…
 
Tyler and Alan FINALLY give some feedback on Dungeons & Dragons latest official book, Xanathar's Guide to Everything. In addition to breaking down some fun potential in spells, and general review of the material, the lads talk about the new subclass options and the spaces they occupy in party composition. Spoiler alert: everyone is about to find ou…
 
The TL;DMs have a special guest for their 16th episode: One Shot RPG network founder James D'Amato. James is behind some of the best and most successful tabletop podcasts out there: Campaign, OneShot, Critical Success, and most recently, the the Dungeon Dome livestream. The episode leads off with a reality check, as everyone talks about how their p…
 
Tyler's campaign in the West just had a massive character death, one that shook the party to the core. And it felt fated, because it was all the dice's doing. Alan and Tyler talk through the experience of that death: what it meant for the characters, how it felt at the table, and as a DM how to handle the tricky business of having a character die i…
 
The DM dudes talk about their most recent live play session, and use that as a blast off into discussing some useful tips for creating story and adventure in an improv heavy session. From there they discuss another recent session that Alan found... not to his taste. The pitfall of an unhappy player, truly D&D's oldest scourge.…
 
Part 2 of our third Live Play session! Tyler continues to DM Alan and Jeff in a flashback side-quest to explore the roots of Jeff's Firbolg Jason Bigman and his new best friend, Pepperon Cini the "Dwarf". Their adventures take them deeper into the forest and truly into the rest of their lives. Once more, the magic of D&D and improvisation.…
 
Welcome to another Live Play from the tl;dms! Tyler's game had a week where only Alan and Jeff could play, so Tyler improvised a flashback session by jumping back 500 years into Jeff's Firbolg's past. Alan put together a spitfire little Halfl--... Dwarf... named Pepperon Cini using Matt Mercer's Gunslinger archetype. And a rousing search for bat gu…
 
Alan and Tyler talk about their most recent sessions and how they each tried a different technique to pull in their players. They also read a 5-star iTunes review and promise more where that comes from! After the session updates, they talk about "squeaky wheels", players who aren't "that guy" but also seem to need a little more attention than the r…
 
A frequent topic in Dungeons and Dragons support forums, especially for DMs/GMs, is dealing with problem players at the table. Whether it's "doesn't play well with others" character build archetypes or simply disrespectful out-of-character conduct, the TL;DMs spend some time breaking down what to look out for and nipping early signs of problems in …
 
Sometimes the parts that we cut from episodes about other topics are just good enough to warrant release on their own. In this bonus episode, Alan & Tyler talk about the Fifth Edition economy and some strategies they're trying out to make money feel valuable without distracting too much from the other aspects of DnD. What strategies do you use to ?…
 
In this followup from Live Play 3, Alan's PCs in the Eastern Campaign find themselves in the courtroom for their trial. Facing charges that they are definitely culpable for, the gang decides to plead not guilty and try their luck before judges and gods. Of course, this involves donning Southern Lawyer characters and a lot of mugging to the courtroo…
 
Way back in the second episode of TL;DM, Alan discussed an early D&D session of the Eastern Campaign that made him feel like a giant fireball of dungeon master failure in which the party broke into a house looking for evidence and came up empty handed. In this recorded live play that session finally gains importance as the party finds itself facing…
 
After a long recording break (hooray for backlogging!) the TL;DMs return to talk about how and why to use variant and homebrew rules/mechanic systems in Dungeons & Dragons. Since it's been a while, they spend the first few minutes catching up on what's been going on in their games over the last few sessions--and realize that there have been more th…
 
In our first live play episode, Tyler takes the reins to continue his dungeon crawl in the sewers and ruins under Fossden. The characters are surprised to discover that death seems to not be a final frontier for them, and they get revenge on a group of corrupt guards that almost killed them the session before. There's also a considerable amount of …
 
Alan and Tyler talk about making travel feel important and worlds feel big in Dungeons and Dragons without gratuitous unplayable DM monologuing--or worse, accidentally enticing your players off on a tangent that has nothing to do with anything. The TL;DMs also talk about playable races, the power level of certain racial traits, and why certain race…
 
Tyler and Alan welcome Jeff Murdoch, the player behind the mischievous Mark McGrath--perhaps the most alias-ridden character in Serranea. The trio talk about the character relationships in Tyler's campaign and go a little in depth on what's been going on interpersonally during the adventure in the sewers of Fosstin. Since Mark is Jeff's first time …
 
Tyler and Alan recount some fun dungeon delving moments from the two campaigns, and then segue into discussing dungeon design, the role and creation of traps, and NPC generation. They also talk about the balance between how much of their D&D sessions are prepared and how much is improvised, with a game that has been dubbed "pre-planned or made up?"…
 
The 5e tl;DMs catch up on their campaigns to reveal some major plot developments, and some significant character developments as well. In particular, Alan's group manages to shake up the entire hierarchical structure of the town of Stesso. They also talk about dungeon crawling for D&D and the process of designing and mapping a dungeon. Tyler also s…
 
The tl;dm's recount the most dramatic session of the games so far, as well as the drugs that Tyler developed to round out his seedy crime-ridden town of Fossden. Needless to say, the Bonebaggers of Tyler's campaign got Boof-Baffed. Is it too hard to put a player down? Is it too easy to bounce back from 0 hit points? The DMs decide to figure this on…
 
The tl;DMs get into the depths of the lore of Tengri, a new source of DM jurisdiction overlap in both games. The DMs also talk 5e character creation and roleplaying characters--especially when the characters' wants and feelings may contradict the players'. They get in depth into systems for random encounters and what a random encounter should even …
 
This week we're joined by a very special guest, Rashawn Scott aka Shava Moonbrook, a player in Alan's campaign. She gives us her perspective as a new player in DnD, and what her experience of the campaign has been. She also gets to ask any question she's ever wanted to know, and not surprisingly, she wants to know what happens when you die. Links/R…
 
Alan allowed his party to lead themselves into a blood bath that ended on a cliffhanger, and the DMs talk about how that went. They also talk a bit about the orgy that spontaneously took place, and the role of 'fade to black' for certain topics. Meanwhile, in Tyler's DnD game, the party continued to rise through the ranks of the Improv Gladiators, …
 
The tl;dms discuss player choice, controlling the flow of information, and feeling like a big fat failure after D&D sessions sometimes. There's also a fair amount of improvising new people and places in this episode for some reason. Dungeons & Dragons 5e allows great and expanded options for roleplaying and downtime, which Tyler & Alan also discuss…
 
When Tyler Samples and Alan Linic decided to share a world, they realized after a couple of sessions that they DM differently from each other. With plenty to learn (and steal) from each other, and navigating the unique and new (for them) experience of co-curating a world, the tl;dm game masters talk about how their regions differ from each other an…
 
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