#8 | Prioritize the gaming EXPERIENCE over the game rules
July 26, 2019
A good DM has a solid footing in the rules. At the same time, while they are gods of the universe they’re in, they’re also humans in this universe and nobody should expect their DM to be all-knowing about the rules.
In fact, even Christopher Perkins—who has DM’d for decades and who wrote rules for and designed multiple editions of Dungeons and Dragons including the current edition—doesn’t always know how to apply the rules. In the situation when his players (Acquisitions Inc. at PAX 2014) wanted to impale a flying dragon with their zeppelin, he chose to prioritize the experience over the rules. His lack of knowledge didn’t hinder the players’ experiences.
A great DM says yes first and facilitates the actions and decisions of the players. Players can do what they want, but they may face future consequences for it. Such decisions in particular may make for great roleplaying hooks later on.
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"Dungeons and Dragons becomes a communal story, and as any story, it soon has a life of its own. The player characters WILL do something entirely unexpected, go through plotlines out of order, and even have..."