Dungeon Master Tips

There are two sides to every game of Dungeons and Dragons: the players, and the Dungeon Master.

The Dungeon Master (DM), or often called the Game Master, is the one in charge of running the game itself. It is their job to present the players with scenarios, create a world for their characters to interact with, and maintain an engaging storyline.

Being a DM is often thought of as a daunting and intimidating task, and many potential new DMs fear as they would not be able to live up to the role. However, like everything in D&D once you get started you’ll find it’s not as scary as it seems.

Here is a list of helpful tips any veteran DM

1. Don’t stress on the rules

The rules of D&D are set up to give the game structure, and to create a challenge for the players. However, at the end of the day, the rules are more or less a suggestion.

There is no need to worry if you do not know the Player’s Handbook inside and out, and it’s ok if you get some of the rules wrong.

You can create new rules or disregard existing ones all together. Do whatever is best for you and your group, and the kind of game you want to play.

2. Allow your players freedom

Let’s say you spend hours coming up with the perfect quest to present in your next game session, only for your players to decide that they have no interest. As frustrating as this can be, remember that it your players are allowed to make these kinds of decisions as to what to do and where to go.

Don’t trap your players in a corner and force them to follow your storyline. Give them options, allow them to explore the world you are all creating together.

Come up with the overall story beats and plot points ahead of time, and then allow your players to decide for themselves how to get there.

3. Don’t be afraid of improvising

Playing off of tip #2, remember that D&D is largely, if not entirely, based on improvisation.

Expect the unexpected, and don’t panic if the players decide to do something that goes against what you had in mind. Keep a level head, and just go with it.

For some, improvising can be hard to get used to at first, but remember that practice makes perfect and it will get easier as time goes on.

4. Know your players

Communication is key. Get to know your players and understand what they want or expect to get out of the experience.

Ask questions about your players’ characters regarding their interests, goals, and backgrounds and figure out ways to work that information into the story.

It is also important to know of any topics that may be uncomfortable or harmful to your players that you should steer clear of.

5. Have fun!

The most important part of D&D is to have fun. This applies to the DM just as much as it does to the players.

As a DM, you put a great amount of time and effort into preparing and running a campaign. Yes, you should work with your players and let them explore and make decisions on their own, but remember your own enjoyment is just as important.

Talk to your players if there are any issues, and work together to make your game of D&D an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.