Dungeons & Dragons with other Tabletop Roleplaying games has become widely popular of late, yet few understand them in depth. Players take on heroic roles and try new ventures, under the guidance of their all powerful DM or Dungeon Master, in the games like Dungeons & Dragons. In this post, we will discuss a specific approach you need to become a better DM with better storytelling for your RPG games.
Good Fiction is the interesting reality blended in with the wild imagination. The Role-Playing Games, which have been around for so long, follow the same rule. Keeping that in mind, let’s explore how you can utilize both parts and become the best storyteller or Dungeon Master.
Understand the Reality and Obtain the Required Knowledge
A famous proverb says that you need to know three things to win the war. The battlefield, your enemy and you. For any RPG game like Dungeons & Dragons, knowing your inner DM, your players and your game are essential.
Your Inner DM Persona
You are a crucial part of the game as the DM. Discover your style, your DM personality by asking yourself a series of questions. Are you a cruel DM or humble DM? Do you want to be by the book or off the cuff? What will be your point of focus? Theatrics or the mechanics. Put some time in this research. Figure out your weaknesses and strengths to have the more clear picture of your campaigns. For example, organization could be your strength. You might be very good at providing tools to players.
Get to know Your Players
Yeah, they are not your enemies, but it’s them you are challenging to. If the group does not blend well with the dynamics, the game will look lame and boring. While setting up the game as DM, put dedicated efforts in ensuring the recruitment of well-suited crew. Select the optimal number of players and try to set within that boundary.
First, ask them questions. What do you think will happen? What is the goal of your character or what do you want to be the goal of character? Why do you think this goal is suitable? What kind of twist are you expecting? What would be the best twist? Their answers would let them know everything about you. Listen to their stories. The more comprehensively you know them, the more expertly you entertain them.
Also, listen to their backstories. Where did the character come from? Why did the character have a particular appearance? Do not shove your ideas into the backstory, just let them know your recommendations. Help them create the backstory that suits well with your free from association. What is this?
Sound game knowledge is crucial. Being DM requires you to be the ultimate master of the game world, which requires thorough baseline knowledge. Being good at improvisation is not the only way out. And make sure you do not leave any rule ambiguous. Rules being debated during the game is common. It is your duty as a DM to let the players know what is fair and what is unfair.
Utilize Your Imagination/Come Up With Fiction
What sets some DM’s apart from others is their good imagination. So flex your imagination as much as you can and one day people will flood your inbox with their requests of being part of your game. Counterintuitive it may sound, but in reality all of us have good imagination. Some of us just know how to utilize it well.
There are four things you can do to strengthen your imagination.
- Research – The more you delve yourself into the subject, the better your imagination gets. Research as much as possible about the location your game is set in. Get the feel for it. Try to think in pictures.
- Experience – Fetch your memories and let them manifest on the table. For example, the last time you went to the beach. Recall every sensual experience you had. How did it feel, smell and look like? Detail-oriented mind always serves as the best Dungeon Master in D&D games.
- Inspiration – This uninvited yet respectable guest can knock on your door anytime. If it does not suit the current scenario, write it somewhere for future use. It can come from anywhere in your daily life. Also, remember that surprises are many times welcomed in the gaming world. Do you really think an old tree springing up at the unknown planet is a turnoff? In games, it is mostly not.
- Free form Association – This is when your imagination runs wild. Link random things such as carrot, the blue jeep and a wild jaguar. Link them together in a story or stories to keep your players hooked. Whenever you feel like the characters are not moving forward, seek help from the Free form Association. Remember, we talked about it in the previous part.
A good DM is the one who creates fun for others, while having fun for himself. Try your best to create fun for your players. Gaming is a vast universe waiting to be explored. The article summarizes the essence of skills required to be the best DM. Try to understand people and open the world of experiences they have so far just dreamed of.