Dungeon Master Summer Academy for Teens

Friday, June 9, 2023

#Teen Adventurers Wanted: Dungeon Master Summer Academy

#Dungeon Master Summer Academy 

Ever wanted to run your own Dungeon & Dragons adventures? Learn how to write, craft, and play in a world of your own making! Join us in the Teen Room at the Main Library on select Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays June 5 - July 12 for drop-in crafts, one-shot writing clinics, session zero prep and more at a DM Summer Academy just for teens (ages 12-18). 

Each drop-in will focus on one of the essential pillars of tabletop roleplaying games: Reading/writing, crafting and playing! By the end of the summer, you'll have written your own short adventure, created encounter tables, crafted cool gameboard accents, joined or run games with other teens, and more! While these drop-ins are meant for anyone interested in learning how to become a Dungeon Master to run their own games, anyone can come and participate! No experience is required and all supplies will be provided while it lasts.

You'll Make Your Own:

  • One-Shot Adventure
  • Fantasy map
  • Dice tray
  • Dungeon tiles
  • Cave accents
  • Dungeon pillars/walls

Drop-In Game Days

New to Dungeons and Dragons? No interest in running games? Already an expert Dungeon Master? Then stop by on Drop-In D&D days to play and give our DMs-in-training some extra practice! Drop-In D&D is open to all teens, ages 12-18. No experience is necessary.

Join us on select Saturdays from 3 - 5 p.m. in Teen Room study rooms 126 and 127.

#DM Academy Schedule

Meeting select Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m.
Click the links to register (space is limited).

Week One Activities:

  • Monday, June 5 from 2-4 p.m.: DIY Dungeon Tiles
    • Learn some advanced crafting techniques for making double-sided, modular game boards.
  • Tuesday, June 6 from 2-4 p.m.: World Building & DIY Fantasy Maps
    • Use dice to make your own fantasy world map and then populate it using roll and write prompts. 
  • Wednesday, June 7 from 2-4 p.m.: Drop in & DM
    • Practice your Dungeon Master skills, test out your adventures with a group of other teen players or join someone else's game.

Week Two Activities:

  • Tuesday, June 20 from 2-4 p.m.One-Shot Writing Clinic
    • Learn tips and tricks for writing your own professional-grade, short RPG adventure and workshop adventure ideas with other teen writers.
  • Wednesday, June 21 from 2-4 p.m.: Drop in & DM
    • Practice your Dungeon Master skills, test out your adventures with a group of other teen players or join someone else's game.

Week Three Activities:

  • Monday, July 3 from 2-4 p.m.: Drop-in Dungeon Walls and Pillars
    • Use basic crafting materials to make themed accents for in-person D&D games.
  • Wednesday, July 5 from 2-4 p.m.: Drop in & DM
    • Practice your Dungeon Master skills, test out your adventures with a group of other teen players or join someone else's game.

Special After-Hours Craft Night

Missed any of our past crafts like DIY Dungeon tiles or fantasy maps? Join us Wednesday, July 5 during Art Walk from 5 - 8 p.m. for a night of D&D crafts and writing D&D adventures while watching Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves! Snacks will be available (while supplies last).

Note: The event begins at 5 p.m. The movie screening starts at 5:30 p.m.

Week Four Activities:

  • Monday, July 10 from 2-4 p.m.: Drop-In Cave Terrain
    • Use basic crafting materials to make miniature cave formations like mushrooms and stalagmites.
  • Tuesday, July 11 from 2-4 p.m.: DIY Encounter Tables & Dice Trays
    • Craft your own portable dice tray then learn how to write encounter tables and other useful tables that you'll use as a Dungeon Master.
  • Wednesday, July 12 from 2-4 p.m.: Drop in & DM 
    • Practice your Dungeon Master skills, test out your adventures with a group of other teen players or join someone else's game.

BONUS Week Five Activity:

Saturday, August 5 from 2-4 p.m.: Paint Your Own Chimera with Darby's Dungeon

Drop in and paint your own D&D miniature with the staff of Main Library's Teen Room and our partners at Darby's Dungeon. We'll be meeting in the Lounge at 303 North (located just inside the Library's main entrance, to the left). All ages allowed. If you've never been, Darby's Dungeon is a cozy board game shop "snuggled on the western end of Jacksonville Beach."

Attendees will receive a free paint kit and be guided through all the steps to paint and leave with their own chimera by one of Darby's expert painters. The paint kits are available while supplies last and are first come, first serve - so be sure to show up early to secure your spot!

#Learn from an industry expert!

Writer's Lab workshop with Jason Tondro

A Special D&D Writer's Lab Workshop

Writer's Lab logoAfter you've "graduated" from DM Summer Academy, you can join us at a special Writer's Lab workshop: Let’s Dig a Dungeon: Designing a D&D Adventure with Jason Tondro from Wizards of the Coast on Saturday, July 15 at 10:15 a.m. at University Park Branch Library. It's a free, three-hour writing workshop with a tabletop gaming industry professional. Open to teens and adults.

Register to attend!

Whether you’ve been playing tabletop games since the 80s or have just jumped into the hobby, you know how important it is to have a great adventure to go on. There are tons of books full of campaigns that you can use, but what if you want to create your own?

Note: Space is limited and we expect high interest in this workshop. If you register and find that you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration to allow others a chance to participate.

About the presenter: Jason Tondro is a recovering academic, having spent 15 years teaching writing, literature, film, and comics in Southern California and the Georgia coast. Five years ago he became a full-time maker of tabletop roleplaying games, first at Paizo (Pathfinder, Starfinder) and then as part of the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards of the Coast. He lives in Seattle with his dog, Otis.


Check out all of our Dungeons & Dragons-related books from the library!


The first thing people need to know to really excel at what we’re going to do is D&D itself: the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide, all published in 2014.

If anyone is interested in working full-time in the industry, here is my answer to the question, “How I Got My Job in Gaming”.

  • A teen Dungeon Master sits behind a DM screen at the head of the table, with teen players sitting around the table
  • Some hand-crafted dungeon tiles, cave accents and painted miniatures
  • Dungeons & Dragons books, dice, and game board accents
  • Painted and unpainted miniatures, with paint and a paint brush

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