August 11, 2022

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Unplanned DND combat broke out and I don’t have a map — What do I do?

4 min read

No map? No problem. Getting caught unawares by your unpredictable party is a right of passage for every GM the world over. You can’t prepare for every scenario, but the key to being a good GM, and a GM that won’t tear their hair out, is to prepare for the unexpected. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry, I’ll go over everything. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression — a combo that is less than ideal for a journalist or a game master juggling seven different players in a six-hour Dungeons & Dragons game — I know it’s tough to improv combat situations.

In this week’s column of Tabletop tips from an anxious GM (all of which can be found on our DND tips hub), I’ll be answering a question from every GM that’s been stumped by a player’s radical decision to punch someone that they weren’t supposed to.

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