Being a DM is kind of like being God, but with more paperwork.
I’ve been an avid player of tabletop RPG’s for the past eight years or so, and before that I was an addict to the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts that still continue every year at PAX. They were my introduction to the world of pen and paper, but I never got the chance to roll the dice for myself until I visited a little Texas store called ‘The Dragons Den’. Here I enjoyed my first session of Dungeons & Dragons. Living in a distant country, surrounded by unfamiliar people, stepping into a world of strange new possibility… could it have been more fitting?
Since then I’ve explored dozens of systems and played with a great many groups- some long-term, some short. Most of them in person but a couple of online too thanks to the wonders of Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds. The one consistency though is that I am hardly ever the player in the games, but instead I take the seat of the maniacal overlord out to kill the heroes.
At least, that’s how the players always see it.
In truth being a DM is about taking responsibility for the enjoyment of the game. With that comes many challenges, some seemingly high hurdles to meet, but a good DM can turn even the most standard of adventures into a memorable and cherished experience. So today I’d like to share my ten tips towards becoming a better Dungeon/Game Master.
These observations are not limited to any particular game and apply to all tabletop RPGs (and probably some other games besides). They are just the quiet insights I’ve made over my near decade of playing, and while I don’t claim to have the experience of some, I’ve seen many veteran magicians of the table supporting the same points. So without further ado;