03 January 2022

Read Christopher Perkins's The Dungeon Master Experience

The inspiration to begin RJD20 came from one of my favorite collections of Dungeons & Dragons advice out there: The Dungeon Master Experience by Christopher Perkins. This set of columns from 2011 explore the stories told at this beloved DM's table during his Iomandra campaign, gifting DMs everywhere with spectacular advice with the backdrop of a mystifying campaign.

For the past few days, I've been rereading the columns gathered inside the linked PDF. The quality and relevancy of the work hasn't faded with the years. If you've not read it before, or even if you have, give it another glance. Any DM, old or new, can gleam a few ideas from Mr. Perkins's musings.

If you're short on time or don't want to read through the entire history of the column, these are my favorites:

  • Constellation of Madness. An exploration of how to radically alter a campaign's story, even if only for a short period of time (page 32).
  • The Wyrmworn Experiment. A master class on interweaving character backstories and secrets into the primary questline (page 40).
  • What's in a Name? A discussion on the importance of names in your world and campaign and how to create them (page 52).

There's no easy way to link each of these directly, so simply CTRL + F the PDF with their names or navigate to the outlined page.

If you do decide to read a few of these columns or have read them in the past, let me know which is your favorite in the comments. I've found myself returning to them every few years to read the teachings of the DM great Christopher Perkins, and finally realized I could share his advice with all of you as well.


  1. Hi. Thank you for this document. I haven't seen these articles from 2011 before.
    If you or anyone else don't know, there are other DM Experience articles from 2012 and 2013 still up on Wizards.com. Go to dnd.wizards.com/articles/features and sort by Author and scroll down to Chris P.

    1. Well thanks for this comment, because I hadn't seen these articles for quite some time!! I'll need to read through them, thank you.

  2. Sorry, me again, just after posting the above I realized there was an easier way to find them. Directly on the main Articles page there is a sub-section for the DM experience articles in the Narrow By...-box. :)

    1. Excellent, this does work quite well. Thanks for letting me know.

    2. Unfortunately (apparently) with the D&D Beyond / WoTC merger—the links and searches no longer work. Would still love to read Chris’ advice. Is there any other place to find them? Thanks much — J.B. Jcazberner@yahoo.com

    3. I'm searching. If I find it, I'll update this article.


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