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What do you think about this?

Content of the article: "What do you think about this?"

Hello everyone.

I've made this post on the 15 different Styles of DMing. What I mean by style is…complicated. Basically I did a lot of research and decided that there were 5 main focuses of DMs. Here they are:


Focus on RULES and COMBAT

What rules should we follow; especially for combat?


Focus on STORY

Is my story going well?


Focus on PCs and NPCs

Are my characters interesting? Do they have cool motives?


Focus on PLAYERS

Are we all having fun? Is everyone happy?



Is my world what I want it to be?

Combine that with either Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic:








The system defines us all. I will uphold the system.

Averse to Chaos.



-I shall do as I see fit

-My needs

I choose whether I shall adhere or reject.

Is Indifferent, will do what they need to.






The system shall not define me; I shall work against it.

Averse to Law.

Alignment + Focus = Style

If you take your alignment and your focus, and combine them, you get your DMing style:


Lawful Coach

DM Statement: We should follow the official rules to the T.

Negative traits:

-Tendency to make combat mechanical and uninspired

-Can interrupt roleplay with tedious rules-based monologue

Positive traits:

-Know what they’re doing, have all the facts and the best methods memorized

-Great teachers and coaches, combat is quick and well-constructed

DM Lesson: Remember that Dungeons and Dragons is meant to be FUN. If we wanted everything to be by the rules, we would play a video game. Allow for some healthy roleplay (maybe even let a player break a rule if it will make the game more exciting!).

Neutral Coach

DM Statement: We will be playing by the official rules, with some of my house rules thrown in.

Negative traits:

-Often forget to explain their rule system to their players, causes confusion

-Can get angry at their players for not obeying ‘rules’ that seemed voluntary

Positive traits:

-Great at coming up with some really fun house rules, good brainstormers

-Good at improvising unique rules on the spot to get out of tricky situations

DM Lesson: Communicate with your players more. Ask for their input and thoughts on your house rules and then ask for recommendations. Are your house rules adding to or taking away? Did they even know your customs existed?

Chaotic Coach

DM Statement: D&D? What’s that? Official rules? PHBMMMPH. Look at THESE rules.

Negative traits:

-‘Are they even playing D&D?’ says anyone who plays the Chaotic Coach’s game

-Upholding rules that don’t exist. Can be controlling and downright mean to their players

Positive traits:

-Really enjoyable for the right group of people

-Create very ‘memorable’ games, to say the least.

DM Lesson: Try playing by the book a bit more. Don’t play D&D if you don’t want to play by any of the rules. Also don’t advertise your game as D&D to potential players. This will only cause frustration, and in extreme cases, death. Joking…I guess.

Lawful Narrator

DM Statement: Is the story developing in the way it should? Does everything make sense?

Negative traits:

-The DM most likely to railroad their players

-Improvisation is avoided; makes sure everything goes according to plan

Positive traits:

-Often crafts exciting stories that people want to play

-Implements cool adventure hooks and plot twists that keep their games fresh

DM Lesson: Try to let your stories progress naturally. Remember, the players are meant to be PLAYING. D&D is all about freedom. Your story may be cool, but many people play RPGs so they can escape their stresses and be in a world with almost no limits. Talk to your players and see what they think. Do they feel railroaded?

Read:  Battle planning, and paralysis by analysis

Neutral Narrator

DM Statement: Is the story developing in a fun and creative way?

Negative traits:

-So focused on their story (improvising, brainstorming, etc.) they can forget to be present and engaging

-Get disappointed with their players whenever they miss a hidden adventure hook

Positive traits:

-Always brainstorming for ways/hooks to make their story better

-Has a story in mind but allows their players enough freedom to develop it

DM Lesson: Whenever a player misses a hook, instead of getting frustrated, remember you can recycle your adventures for later. By subverting your expectations, they are stretching you as a DM. Be present with your players, and ask them what they want out of the game. What stories would intrigue them?

Chaotic Narrator

DM Statement: This STORY KICKS BUTT! Am I right? What’s that sound? Is it the…(drum roll) PURPLE KANGAROOS!!!???

Negative traits:

-Spend too much time thinking about ‘What if…’

-Can be frustrating to play with since games seem randomly generated

Positive traits:

-Embellish their games with eccentricities and humor; light-hearted

-Creative and original, amazing at improvisation

DM Lesson: Learn to think deeply about your stories and integrate a central theme. Your games may feel like a song with no percussion. Some players may like this; others will only be frustrated. Purple kangaroos can be fun additions! But are they confusing your players who were expecting a thriller campaign?

Lawful Roleplayer

DM Statement: Do my characters make sense? Are they consistent? Do they have goals?

Negative traits:

-NPCs can be the DM’s favourite character, to the dismay of the players

-DoN’t FoRgEt To RoLePlAy!!1!

Positive traits:

-Design fantastic characters with complex motives, goals and ideals

-Combat is really fun, since the NPCs are often intelligent and well-thought out

DM Lesson: Allow your players to play the game the way they want. Don’t try to force them to like your NPCs, or get angry at yourself when they outsmart them. THEY are the heroes of your story, NOT balls bouncing off the walls of text you created for the goblin overlords’ backstory.

Neutral Roleplayer

DM Statement: Are my characters interesting? Are they cool? Are they fun?

Negative traits:

-Show favouritism to those with better PC backstories

-Spend too much time on NPCs, forget to focus on worldbuilding or their players’ happiness

Positive traits:

-Put a lot of work into their characters, creating a lively and memorable cast

-Great at running dialogue, oftentimes a superb voice impressionist

DM Lesson: Instead of asking: ‘Are my NPCs fun?’, ask, ‘Are my NPCs helping my players have fun?’. Your characters can feel like your children. Spare that love for the people at your table. When your players are having a great time, you will be too. Let them be the main characters.

Chaotic Roleplayer

DM Statement: PREPARE TO DIE DIRTBAGS (in dwarvish)!!!

Negative traits:

-Spend more time as a goofy NPC than a helpful DM

-On retrospect, players may think sessions and possibly even entire campaigns were a waste of time

Positive traits:

-Liven up the table with an incredible wit; can make someone’s day

-Their characters are almost entirely improvised yet wonderful creations

DM Lesson: Your jokes range from absolutely hilarious to incredibly offensive. Remember these people are your friends. They aren’t on this earth chiefly to laugh at your jokes. Learn to amplify hilarity by spacing the punch lines. Allow your epic NPCs to be backed by beautiful worlds and impressive story.

Read:  Actually read the rulebooks

Lawful Director

DM Statement: Are we having consistent meetings? Are the players respecting me as the Dungeon Master? Are they being kind to each other?

Negative traits:

-Holds others to the same standards they hold themself to; any player who violates their standards will taste resentment

-Tendency to punish said players in-game, often ruining the experience for everyone

Positive traits:

-Very consistent DMs (same place, same time, same amount of work, same length, snack schedules), reliable and trustworthy

-Ensures everyone is having fun; isn’t afraid to confront those who are being inappropriate

DM Lesson: Try to forgive your players. Learn to confront them privately, avoid making a big scene of it. This will only make it worse. Treat them fairly and reproach them, and if they have any decency they will correct their ways. Never punish someone in-game for a real-life factor. Please.

Neutral Director

DM Statement: Are my players having a good time? Are we all happy? If not, what can I do to make it more fun?

Negative traits:

-Can be a wimpy doormat of a DM, unable to assert himself enough to correct/rebuke others

-The DM most likely to suffer burnout, overextending themselves relentlessly

Positive traits:

-Phenomenal room readers, spoils their players with snacks and fancy props

-Determined to make sessions an absolute blast; good balance between player interaction and PC interaction

DM Lesson: Your players are having a great time! Congratulations! But are you giving away your happiness? Are you having fun? Are others taking advantage of your hospitality? Learn to balance saying both no and yes, and confront your players when they are treating each other, and you, poorly. You are the one busting your hump; you have the right to say no. If they make you feel bad on a continual basis, don’t play with them. You are not their slave.

Chaotic Director

DM Statement: The next session will be at THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION sometime in the next decade!

Negative traits:

-Can be an extremely inconsistent DM, playing for the social elements, not for the game itself (which is fine in some parties)

-People who play with a Chaotic Director know not to expect too much from them, DM wise; too much frenetic energy

Positive traits:

-Light-hearted, cheery, silly; don’t take themselves or the game too seriously

-Knows how to have a good time, D&D is a way for them to connect with others

DM Lesson: It might be wise to be a player instead. You see D&D as a game for goofing around, and this could frustrate some (all?) of your players. If you aren’t willing to fully explore the game and put some hard work into it, don’t be the DM. If you are willing to discipline yourself, you could be an amazing DM, designing games both extremely entertaining and entirely original.

Lawful Creator

DM Statement: Ah, a complete replica of Middle Earth. Perfect down to the very last de-tail.

Negative traits:

-My world is perfect. Don’t stain it. I’m looking at you, Potterhead…You can’t do that here!!! Jissletoff the Joyous told you that poison cantrips can’t be cast in the Mildewed Munchlands like four sessions ago!

-So focused on worldbuilding they forget to have fun; take themselves very seriously

Positive traits:

-Works very hard on their world, and boy oh boy does it pay off.

-Provide outstanding descriptions of everything: from a ladybug to the multiverse

Read:  How do I properly use Kobold Fight Club for balancing dungeons?

DM Lesson: Allow your players to enjoy your world. You don’t have to control their every move. Be happy alongside your players, and find joy in their glee. You don’t have to flex your hard work on them every two seconds. Let them explore your lands naturally. The game is about THEM, even if you did recreate Middle Earth.

Neutral Creator

DM Statement: Is my world fun and engaging? Do I like it?

Negative traits:

-If someone dislikes anything about their world, they are deeply hurt and can lose inspiration and joy for the game, or try to spite them (‘Like you could do any better!’)

-Tend to favour those who show interest in their world over other (less-enthusiastic) players

Positive traits:

-Seeing their players be impressed by their world makes them truly happy and gives them motivation to make it even better

-Makes their world as colourful/detailed as possible, whilst leaving room to improvise just in case

DM Lesson: Find the right group. No matter how good your world is, some people aren’t going to like it. If you’re happy with it, that’s all that matters. Don’t cater to others for the sake of catering, make something meaningful to you then find people who are like-minded. Otherwise you’ll end up angry at yourself and resent others. Also don’t take everything personally, see it as a way to grow.

Chaotic Creator


Negative traits:

-The DM most likely to forget details from other sessions, can be scatter-brained and inconsistent

-Often run aimless campaigns, usually sandboxers; players feel insignificant, meandering through an imaginary dream world with no real purpose

Positive traits:

-Create wonderful worlds full of magic and brimming with originality and creativity

-Awesome improvisers, able to generate and implement whatever they need to; encourage creativity in others

DM Lesson: Learn to listen to your players once in a while. They may want a story, not just a theme park. Try running a story or even a module: you may be surprised by how much flexibility they allow you. Keep notes to render your sessions consistent and focused.


What do you guys think? Is this accurate? What needs work?

This was all my research, so I probably am inaccurate in so many areas.

Keep in mind this is meant to be fun and light-hearted; please do not take offense.

The styles are basically what the DM focuses on the most during games. It is stereotypical.

What style are you?

Source: reddit.com

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