I oft read postings in online forums from DMs who have created what they believe is a well developed campaign in a highly detailed world with the perfect balance of roleplay, NPC interactions, politics and combat.
However, when presented to their intended Players, the same DMs are sometimes shocked and disappointed to find that their Players enthusiasm does not match their own.
Perhaps disappointed and dejected, some DMs either bail on their beloved campaign concept, adapt it to what they perceive to be the desires of their Players, or the acquiesce to running something they are not as enthusiastic about.
Though couples often play Dungeons & Dragons together, the relationship between a DM and the Players is not a marriage. The passion that a DM has for the campaign is unlikely to be matched equally by all of those at the table.
By all means, DMs should strive to ensure that everyone is having fun! Arguably Players should also be striving to ensure that everyone – including the DM – is having fun as well!
Toward that end, I think there is great value in coming up with a collective theme and setting, but I don't think that those DMs who poured their heart and soul into their game concept were wrong from the get-go.
Why? Of many philosophies, I subscribe to one in particular. That is: As a DM, no one will ever love your campaign as much as you do, and that is okay.
As a DM, you have probably spent countless hours preparing NPCs, relationships, encounters, contingencies, etcetera, etcetera. Having poured your time and perhaps love into your campaign, you will invariably come to feel passionate about it.
Having done that, please appreciate that you are the one Player at the table who is most invested into it. A recent poll on a D&D forum indicated that Players typically spend less than 30-minutes and rarely as much as one-hour preparing for a three to four hour game session. While it varies widely, DMs on average spend at least two to four hours and sometimes upwards of eight hours or more preparing for the game session. Samuel Clemen's premise regarding statistics aside, such statistics are merely an indicator of DM investment.
So go ahead, demonstrate your passion for your campaign theme and setting. Provided you are not doing something that will get you a staring role in "RPG Horror Stories," the Players will come.
Absolutely, sincerely try to ensure that everyone at the table is having fun! But, in the end, accept that no one will love your campaign as much as you do, and that's okay.
I will end my diatribe there.
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "No one will ever love your campaign as much as you do as the DM, and that is okay." specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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