D&D with Eric the DM #8: How to be a Dungeon Master
Greetings Adventurers! Welcome back and thanks for coming! You look tired after your many adventures! Come and sit by my fire and relax! I have some Basilisk steaks grilling and coffee bubbling away! Take your fill and we will chat for a while!
I myself have also just come back from adventure. How have your travels been? Did you learn that new spell you’ve been practicing? Have you collected all the reagents you need to enchant your weapon? Have you had a chance to try out those sweet new D&D dice that I sent you? I hope so!
Not long ago we talked about some tips for players breaking into the tabletop setting. We covered some basic tips for new players, such as which D&D Dice are used for what purposes and so on. Some of which may have even helped our seasoned vets! Today I’d like to start talking about the other important position in tabletop gaming: The DM aka The Dungeon Master (in some game settings called the Game Master) is absolutely essential to tabletop gaming. So, here are some of my tips and tricks and an introduction for DM’s or for people who would perhaps like to try to be a DM when playing Dungeons & Dragons.
The Dungeon Master is the storyteller. Whereas your D&D dice are the engine for the gaming experience, the DM is the fuel. They spin the threads of fantasy that draw us into the adventure. They are the foundation on which epic tales are built.
For many, the thought of being a Dungeon Master is daunting, and with good reason! DM’s usually have to put a lot of work into their craft. They plan the story and set it into motion. More than this they are responsible for enforcing the rules and absolving conflicts both in and out of game. Usually the Dungeon Master will have to plan their adventures several weeks or more in advance. They must also create every Non-Player Character (NPC) and do their best to make them come to life, while making the environment blossom in your imagination. Truly a tall task.
However, there are a lot of rewards and fun to be had being the Dungeon Master as well. First and foremost, you get to be god. One of the greatest (and oldest) proverbs that DM’s will say when push comes to shove is “Because I’m the DM.” and the truth is they are not wrong. The Dungeon Master must sometimes make hard choices that not everyone will agree with but in the end their word is law. This is very important for players to understand, not because the DM is allowed to be a tyrant but because there WILL be times when choices have to be made from everything to the rules and how they are interpreted to what armor they have available at the blacksmith.
But as such Dungeon Master's should always attempt to be benevolent gods. When it comes down to it there are only TWO things that are important for a DM to do. The most important, more than anything else, is to provide fun. Fun is the hands down the most important thing in tabletop gaming. If the DM and the players are not having fun what is the point? DM’s who are rule mongers or rule by fear will not last long. If your players are making death saves (or worse dying) in every adventure that is the DMs fault not the players. Players should not have to fear that you are trying to trick them or that you are out to get them. The second most important thing is telling a story. This is also one of the many perks of being a DM! You get to craft incredible tales and make engaging stories that your friends will exist in! The best DMs leave their players talking about their adventures all week. Half of the fun (or more) of playing is talking about what happened in the last adventure, what is going to happen in the next adventure, epic saves and epic misses, all of this adds to the amazing story you as a DM will create for your players.
This is just scratching the surface of what it takes to be a Dungeon Master. Over the next few posts ill give you some more information as well as tips and tricks on how to make it more fun (and easier!) for you to be a DM. I’ll also be talking to both DM and Player alike about how to make the world you are playing in more immersive. How to really make your world come to life!
As always, we’d like to hear what you have to say! What questions do you have and what would you like to hear about? Please comment on this and all of our blogs, Traskoria, our fan art page, and everything else we have here! The Tabletop Game Shop is YOUR community! We are making this for you and most importantly WITH you! We are so glad you stopped by! We hope to see you again soon Adventurer! Keep rolling those dice!
Hey, Adventurer! Eric the DM here, thanks so much for checking out this blog! I try to create a lot of unique content, but also love fan submitted work. Do you have any D&D content you’d like to share with the community? Send me your work on social media or by email and if it passes guild approval, I’ll get it on our social media channels & website! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram, @TheTabletopGameShop
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"The truth is while it is the DM who tells much of the story, the players are equally responsible for making that story come to life! Not only that but they should make stories of their own!"