So… I'm a new DM, and honestly, I don't feel like a very good one right now…
I DM for four players, and it's all online due to distance, we all met online. Two of the players are married and have three kids, another one is a college student, while the other one I think works at a D&D shop about two hours away from me. Things started out shaky, as any new DM experience does. Eventually we all kinda found even footing again, and we're currently playing through Prince's of the the Apocalypse. They should be leveling up tonight, if anyone makes it on time tonight…
Anyways. We were supposed to start a half hour ago, and I sent a message a few hours ago to make sure everyone is able to make it. The married couple expected to be late, again, the college student said she'd be here but she hasn't shown up yet, and the other one, who is normally close to on time but a little late too usually, messaged that he'd be late, then it was fine, and last second plans changed again.
It's not the first time we ended up starting at seven, and life gets in the way of me sometimes too, working retail at a gas station, I can't just skip shifts, I'm a manager too so I can't change my availability either without being demoted, so I get it. But damn if I don't feel unappreciated over this constantly happening. I use to be excited to plan these things, but honestly? Right now I feel like I'm just kinda blah-ing through the game.
I have another group I play with Sundays online, and even if I'm not DM'ing, it's really fun to play with them and just roll dice. I'm also very bad at making people feel guilty or bad cause then I feel guilty but at the same time… I know I have to communicate on this or I'm just… Idk anymore…
I need advice. And the will to do it.
So I ended up cancelling tonight when the married couple called it nearly am hour after start time that they weren't going to be there. For some background info I forgot, the married couples youngest is in their teens already. This had been an ongoing problem through the whole campaign and the last one, but I didn't have as much issue with it until the one player that was ready ten minutes beforehand had to leave due to work schedule changing with a promotion, and had to leave our campaign.
I told them I felt unappreciated, suggested we have a different start time, or to at least tell me when stuff comes up instead of making me wait an hour after game time starts to tell me they won't make it.
One player did not react very well and told me what I was wanting was unrealistic of any D&D game, to expect every session to start on time. Once in a blue moon I get, but every single session I could not.
In the end I told them I would no longer DM for them, and wished them luck. I was sent a response where she told me she didn't mean disrespect but she understood it would be impossible to ever happen. The husband of the married couple commented a while after, saying he took a nap and that he was sorry.
I honestly don't think this kind of thing even warrants a response anymore. I know if this kind of thing happened at work they'd have been written up, at least at my job. One person mentioned that the group sounded toxic, and while I hadn't thought of it like that before, I could definitely see the parallels. I've talked with the other DMs in the discord server we used and they offered to help start me again in a new game coming up next month, that he had been hoping another DM could take over in the future for.
I'm hoping leaving that group will help me rediscover a love for DMing, because I want to keep DMing for others who are willing.
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