Sites & Settings

Setting the Environment—Tips to Brighten Your Burrow and Host Your Party’s Next Adventure

The three pillars of adventure are exploration, social interaction, and combat. The next time you host your party’s campaign, use the following cunning tips to optimize your living space to ensure peak social interaction (and that exploration and combat stay in-game). The pointers below will get your burrow party-ready for campaigns of any length or complexity.

Brightening Your Burrow

Are you a level one wizard? I sure hope so, because your first task is to cast clean. Clean those stains, dirt, grime, mud, and other tiny things in the shared spaces you’ll be hosting your party members in. It doesn’t need to look like a townhouse or the finest inn, but no one wants to spend their day in what looks or smells like a squalid, leaky stable.

Speaking of stables—make sure to dust with a wet rag and sweep up dirt and pet hair in case anyone on your team has allergies. Whether it’s an aerem rabbit, commerce cat, or blind dog, you don’t want the local fauna adversely affecting your adventure.

You’ll need a central space to play that’s large enough for your adventure grid, snacks, and drinks. For smaller parties, this could be a card or coffee table. Larger parties may require a dining or folding table.

Use common intuition—don’t offer four chairs if there are eight members of your party. Be mindful that your party may have members of differing size and mobility. Everyone should have a comfortable space to adventure from. Plan accordingly.



Can’t fathom what to serve your party to quench their thirst? This short list will have your drink menu on loch!

Pond Dew

1st-level divination
Casting time: 5 minutes
2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups grape juice, 1 cup orange juice, 2 quarts ginger ale
Range: 16 servings
Actions: Combine sugar and water; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add juices. Stir. Add chilled ginger ale and stir immediately prior to serving.

Creates an invisible, magical eye that hovers in the air for the duration.
You mentally receive revealing information from the eye. You understand the literal meaning of any language that you hear or lies spoken by those around you. You see the truth behind magical illusions.


Tinkerer’s Tincture

1st-level evocation
Casting time: 10 minutes
7 ounces hot tea, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, grated cinnamon, ground cloves, grated nutmeg, lemon wedge for garnish
Range: 1 serving
Actions: Pour honey, lemon, and spices into mug. Top with hot, brewed tea. Stir. Garnish with lemon wedge.

A healing concoction. Flame-like radiance descends on you. You regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier.


Blood Hunter’s Blend

2nd-level necromancy
Casting time: 5 minutes
2 ounces fresh lime juice, 2 ounces fresh orange juice, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 1 ounce passion fruit nectar, ice, straw
Range: 1 serving
Actions: Combine ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend thoroughly. Pour into glass. Garnish with a fruit slice, sprig of mint, and a cherry. Serve with a straw.

The drinker is protected from decay and can’t become undead.


Fae Fireball

3rd-level evocation
Casting time: 5 minutes
⅓ cup apple cider, ⅓ cup cranberry juice, 1 ounce grenadine, ¼ teaspoon edible gold glitter, ice
Range: 1 serving
Actions: Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker, then fill shaker with ice. Shake until contents are mixed and shaker is cold (approximately 30 seconds). Pour into glass and serve.

Fills the drinkers with faerie light. Drinker can inflict fire damage up to 20 feet away with their pointing finger for the duration.


Dragon’s Milk

3rd-level transmutation
Casting time: 2 minutes
1 ounce fresh lemon juice, 3 ounces water, 2 ounces orgeat syrup (contains almonds), ice
Range: 1 serving
Actions: Combine ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake until contents are mixed (approximately 15 seconds). Double strain into glass with ice.

The drinker, along with everything they’re wearing and carrying, turns into a cloud of dragon smoke for the duration. The drinker can pass through small holes, narrow openings, and even mere cracks. The drinker can fly at a speed of 10 feet.


Petalwood Paloma

4th-level enchantment
Casting time: 5 minutes
½ ounce ginger syrup, ½ cup pomegranate juice, 1 ounce grapefruit juice, ½ ounce lime juice, ginger beer, 8 mint leaves, pomegranate seeds, crushed ice
Range: 1 serving
Actions: Combine ginger syrup, pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, and lime juice in shaker. Shake until contents are mixed (approximately 15 seconds). Pour over ice and top with ginger beer and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with mint.

The drinker can bless up to three party members for the duration. When a blessed party member makes an attack roll or a saving throw before the spell ends, they can roll a d6 and add the number rolled to the attack roll or saving throw.


Food and Drink ImageRiver’s Reward

Abjuration cantrip
Casting time: 1 minute
8 ounces of water, ice
Range: 1 serving
Actions: Pour into glass over ice. Enjoy!

Bolsters the drinker with toughness and resolve. The drinker’s hit point maximum and current hit points increase by 3 for the duration.



Can’t stand another night of takeout from the local tavern? Try these snacks that are easy to make, clean to eat, and won’t break the banquet!


Crudité Platter

Casting time: 20 minutes
Seasonal fresh vegetables and a dipping sauce of your choice
Actions: A simple platter of sliced or whole raw vegetables, served with a dipping sauce (traditionally a vinaigrette, ranch dressing, or hummus but follow your heart’s desire). Vegetables typically include celery sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli, radishes, cauliflower, fennel, or asparagus spears.

Rinse the vegetables and slice them into strips or halves where appropriate. Serve on a platter, with vegetables arranged by color surrounding a bowl of dipping sauce.

A 5-foot invisible sphere of anti-magic surrounds the eater. Until the spell ends, the sphere moves with the eater, centered on them.


Charcuterie Platter

Casting time: 15 minutes
Smoked, dry-cured, or cooked meats with selections of cheese (2 ounces per person), grapes, sliced apples, or cornichons (tiny French pickles), crackers, baguette.
Actions: A platter of meats and cheeses. Choose 3 of each, varied in texture and taste (typically parmesan, brie, gruyère, or goat cheese for cheese; and prosciutto, salami, soppressata, or chorizo for meat).

Arrange on a platter with grapes, sliced apples, or cornichons. Serve with crackers or a sliced baguette.
Bestows vitality. For the duration, the eater has advantage on Wisdom saving throws and gains maximum hit points from any healing.


Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Skewers

Casting time: 30 minutes
Components: 1 pint cherry tomatoes, ¾ ounce fresh basil, 4 ounces mozzarella (cherry-sized), 1 tablespoon pesto, 1–3 teaspoons olive oil, flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, toothpicks
Range: Approximately 16 servings
Actions: Wash and dry tomatoes. Fold basil leaf around tomato, then spear with toothpick. Add a mozzarella ball to the toothpick. Repeat. Whisk pesto with enough olive oil to create a thin sauce, drizzle over the mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bestows freedom of movement. The eater’s movement is unaffected by difficult terrain. Magic cannot reduce their speed or restrain them.


Banana Bread

Casting time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Components: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup butter, ¾ cup brown sugar, 2 eggs (beaten), 2 ⅓ cups mashed overripe bananas
Range: 12 servings
Actions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Then stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.

Stir banana mixture into flour mixture (until moist). Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Imbues the eater with positive energy to undo one debilitating effect. Can reduce the eater’s exhaustion level by one, raise their ability scores by one, or raise their hit point maximum by one.


Soft Molasses Cookies

Casting time: 23 minutes
Components: 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup butter (softened), ¼ cup dark molasses, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 ½ cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup granulated sugar (for rolling), parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray
Range: 24 servings
Actions: Preheating oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, use non-stick cooking spray.

Combine butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and molasses in a bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until well combined, approximately 2–3 minutes. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and spices into the bowl and mix until the dough forms together, approximately 1 minute.

Shape the dough into spheres that are about 1 ½ inches across. Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar and then place on the baking sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake for 13–15 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven, then the tray, and place them on a wire rack to cool.

Fills the eater with divine light. The eater has advantage on all saving throws, and other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against them for three turns.

Don’t forget the napkins! And be sure to talk with your party ask about food allergies— there’s no instant healing spell for stomach upset!

Make sure you party is adequately prepared for battle. Gather as many sets of pens, paper, and dice as you have members in your party (in case folks forget theirs).

If no one has done so, you can use some artisan’s tools to create custom initiative tents for your party members. They’re useful for gameplay and they serve as a small token of appreciation that your team can always see.

During Your Adventure
Campaigns are about cooperation, crafting a good story, and having fun. Stay invested in the story you’re creating. Pay attention to your party members and what they’re doing, don’t just wait for your turn to play. Consider your choices for gameplay in advance as it relates to the scene unfolding in front of you. Make decisions that help your party members and help move the story forward.

Read the room: check in that everyone is having fun. Make a point to lift each other up and help each other succeed at your goals. Work together to have an awesome session and celebrate your wins!

The Epilogue

With the day’s quest completed, it’s time for all accomplished adventurers to get some well-deserved rest. But, before everyone returns to their own realms, villages, and kingdoms, do a group check and be sure to cast clean one more time (no one should have to clean dirty dishes alone!), and thank the GM for another exciting session!

Rachel DukesRachel Dukes hails from San Diego, California. A graduate from The Center for Cartoon Studies, she works as a cartoonist and illustrator and is the creator of the cat-centric webcomic Frankie Comics. Read her comics online at

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