Content of the article: "Tips from a new DM…"
So, I only really started D&D at the start of the year. Since then I've played and DM'd a handful of games with a group of friends. Here are some tips from a newbie DM to a newbie DM…
Don't write your own story. Remember this story is about your players. Don't write anything longer than a setting, general quest idea and a hook. Don't have a grand plan of how you players will do certain things. This way, even you get shocked when things happen. Being a DM is 50% improvisation and 50% planning with the latter being mainly NPC names, setting, village names, etc… Nothing really to do with the long term story. Sure, have an end goal, but leave the journey up to the players. Treat each session as a chapter in a book and plan out only that session.
Pre-roll monster initiative. This will save you so much time. Getting everyone's initiative is the bane of my sessions. It's slow, immersion breaking and tedious… However pre-rolling NPC initiative makes it easier on you and makes you have one less thing to worry about.
Shut up. Let the players talk to each other. If a scenario doesn't need input, don't input. Let them talk, role play and progress things. Give your mouth a rest and relax. They've got this on their own… Until they ask you a question or something needs input, just chill.
Don't be scared to harm the party. Starting off, I was hesitant about killing a character. I didn't want my close friend to have to part with a character they've worked so hard on… This shouldn't be the case. In terms of death, follow these simple points… Firstly, was it fair. Make sure the player doesn't feel unfairly targeted. Second, always give them a chance to avoid death, either through a choice, role-playing sequence or saving throw. Lastly, make it mean something. By this, I mean make their death effect other people. Maybe a villain can revive them and use them as a pawn against the very player who created them… Maybe you can hold a funeral. Treat the character like a real person. Make the death memorable…
- List of Roleplaying Guidelines (how to avoid the most common roleplaying problems, become a better player, have more fun, and not be “that guy”)
- Atleast let your players plans go off (RANT)
- DM Writing Group?
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