Dungeons & Dragons Online

I’m pretty bad at this.

Hey all, bit of a long post here.

I've run about 3 games in the last couple years, and 2 of them fell apart, while the current on-going one has seen one player quit and another having said it's pretty 50/50 if she enjoys herself or not. I've done a smattering of one-shot as well that have, admittedly, always been a hit, people like how ridiculous those get.

But ultimately, when I look at the last 3 games I've run, the first one fell apart because the party TPK'd after some really poor decision making. I am confident in saying, at least, that this was on the party for making a bunch of bad decisions, but everyone was upset, so why didn't I just let it slide so we could keep playing?

In the second campaign (same players), the players expressed a lack of interest overall, and a similar incident of bad decision making occurred. I didn't learn my lesson though, and dolled out some hard consequences, which resulted in one player leaving out of frustration. Another left soon after due to lack of interest, after which the campaign fell apart.

The third and current one (new players), has been going fine, if not pretty slow, but as mentioned one has quit and another isn't invested and doesn't enjoy herself half the time. I put them in a really morally difficult position, and I absolutely should have put the brakes on it way, way sooner. In my head it seemed like a good idea, but it played out horribly, which is when the player quit (apologies, I don't really feel like getting into specifics). The other, disinterested player has felt like she's just been a walking whack machine (Fighter) ever since we played out some of her backstory.

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I just keep coming back to the fact that, across all of my games, people quit and are disinterested. Now, I've always tried to work with the players beforehand. What kind of character do they want to play, work on interesting backstories that'll be a part of the world, what kind of world do they want to play in, what situations do they want to come across, etc. I'm always thorough in doing that, and I mention at the end of every session that if anyone's not satisfied with a class or something to let me know so we can work something out. At the end of the day though, it doesn't help. I try to apply the advice I hear in videos and from other DM's, and I still have failing games. At a point, it's gotta be me, right? Are there just some people who really aren't meant to DM?

TLDR; I've run a bunch of failed games, and in spite of trying to utilize advice from other DM's and YouTube videos, I keep messing up. Are there some people that just aren't meant to DM?

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