Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Essence of the Role of a DM

This post on the Dungeon Mastering Blog blew me away. It was a suggestion on how to improve your gaming session in 12.5 seconds. I believe that it distills the true role of a DM in any game.

New DM trick made my games instantly better

I recently tried something new. Before a game I tell players:

“We are building a story together. You can make assumptions about the situations and encounters your characters are in and my job is to go along with whatever you’re assuming unless it directly contradicts something that was already established.”

I tried it twice so far and it has a major effect on my session. Players stop asking the DM for trivial information. If they’re in an inn, they assume there are sharp knives nearby if they need one. If they’re in a mansion, they assume there is a expensive art pieces and tapestries if that’s needed for their next smart surprise move to work. Whenever they need something from their environment, players are now free to add to the world, build the story, and move the plot forward without having to double-check minor details with the DM.


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