For starters, giant boulders shouldn't be an infinite resource. That's just silly. But, this tip isn't just about making things easier on players. By making the actual boulders part of the map, you make the terrain a dynamic part of the encounter. A boulder that lands near a player becomes partial cover. Players can try to kite giants away from areas where they have more ammo. It's a simple change that opens up a whole new tactical layer to the combat.
While at a convention recently I overheard a DM that was running the same session multiple times say to a group: "When this is over remind me to tell you how the previous group handled this encounter - it was so awesome" - this was while this second group was still in the middle of that encounter.maybe . . . after the game you can discuss how the different groups handled certain encounters - but not during and especially not with a heavy insinuation that the other group handled it better.
In our last session my players were about halfway through dealing with the Redbrands (LMoP), but encountered a young cleric who seemed way too excited by for a beheading.They later investigate her house, and find demonic ritual materials everywhere, and her neighbors says the cleric had left for the nearby forest that morning.So, here I, the DM, am thinking: Cool, they can either follow the cleric OR they'll go finish off the Redbrands. Nope! They wait at the cleric's house, planning an ambush for when she returns. I did not intend for her to come back. So they spend most of an in-game day sitting at this random cottage. It all worked out in the end, but since then I've made a habit of, sometime between sessions, just asking the party their plans for our next game.Not only does it help me prep, but they've given me some great ideas!
Level 1 mage? Yes. That goblin can kill you in one hit.Only one spell slot? Forget magic missile, try your best houdini impression.
Basically what the title says, but I am drawing a couple maps for a session tonight and I happened to pick up a roll of wrapping paper and saw what are probably cutting guide lines on the reverse of the page. They're 1in. by 1in. squares which work perfectly for minis and because it's fairly cheap I don't feel bad about throwing away my maps after they're used up! So here's to finding a new way to make maps!