Chad Pytel

Founder, Developer, and CEO at thoughtbot

This is part of my writing about D&D. View all


We generally do not use maps, tokens, etc. especially when it comes to Combat. Rather, we do combat in “Theater of the Mind” where we describe situations and general placement and then people describe what they want to do.

I think this frees us up to focus on having fun, telling a story, and also speeds up play in general so we can enjoy some good D&D in short-ish sessions without fiddling with a tool. If you’re the kind of person who likes to have rules for things 😄 It may be helpful to read these guidelines for theater of the mind combat from Sly Flourish.

If we have a particularly complicated encounter I might share a sketch to set the stage or find other ways to coordinate it to make it clear and keep track. If you’re ever not following, not sure where someone is or how far away something is, or need a general refresher on the scene, it’s totally ok to ask for clarification or a recap!

Finally, we don’t use any house/optional rules like flanking.