When I picked up Dungeons & Dragons (and DMing) again last year after 20 years’ break, there was a surprising amount of great content online.
I want to share the things I found most useful for encounter building, roughly in order of how I think they apply to new DMs.
Overall I’ve found these two channels the most useful:
A lot of people also recommend Matt Mercer’s GM Tips, but I didn’t find them all that useful maybe it is because I do have some experience DMing from the past.
One final note, I know a lot of experienced DMS think the Challenge Rating system in D&D rules isn’t working but I for one has used the one in “Xanathar’s Guide to Everything” successfully up until our party was level 5. At that point they had had too many buff items like magical items, mechanical devices and potions so as of last game, I’ve started to use this formula to calculate the right mix of monsters.
7 Selected Matt Colville videos
Your First DM session, 3 videos
Challenge Rating and how to use it for encounter building
Low level monsters and undeads (which can scale from low level to high level)
9 Selected Runehammer videos
Absolute, absolute basics of running the game
3 videos on Key Mechanics
This one is very long, but super interesting in how to use combat mechanics in a social encounter
3 Room Design Examples and Inspiration
Runehammer has a ton of Room Design examples, but I’ve selected 3 below.