When people talk about tabletop games, there is one that should be tagged as an exception and that is the mindboggling and always-fun Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game. There is someone reading this and recalling all the fun stories they made up the last time they played this game – shaky hands and faster heart beat? It happens when we hear or talk about something we love to do.
Down below are some Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition dm tips, which will ease up the corners of your heart and mind – to make you reflect how good of a D&D master you are, or if you are good at all (sorry for being salty). The sections don’t really matter, the information down below will serve as a sufficient guide whether if you’re playing Dungeons and Dragons 5e, Starfinder, Warhammer or something else. Let’s rock this.
DMs from Hell
These Dungeon Masters can’t handle criticism well. They do not do a lot of self-reflection, nor do they work to improve on their style. Horrible DMs usually fall in to one of the three categories. The first is the DM Vs Player mentality. Are the DMs who get irritated when the players don’t bite on their plotlines or they kill the big evil boss too quickly. This gets them all cranky so they hit and claw until they feel satisfied that they have done enough damage by fudging the dice rolls.
The second category are DMs to makes the players roll for every single small action that is no consequence to the overall story and in turn makes the games go dramatically slow. These rolls are funny in the beginning, but after a while, it’s just a pain to sit through. Roll a dice to see if you can wake up your party member, if you roll low, the party member wouldn’t wake up, if you roll high, you end up hitting your party member too hard and they take damages. Slow pacing makes the players bore and they wouldn’t come back again.
Or you might fall in the third category which is the unprepared DM. unless you are a master at improv, you need to put in some kind of prep work. Nobody like when DMs pause in mid battle to go read the rules. They have the just wing it mentality and things just starts to not make sense in the story. There are plot holes in everything and the players just can’t get immerse into the world.
The Novice DMs
The novice DMs are beginners who are just learning to be the DM. As long as they are open to suggestion and take criticism, they will learn and be better storytellers. If they can learn the basic mechanics of the games and get comfortable with their own style, they will level up their craft very fast. The tip for the beginner DMs is to focus on the parts of the game mechanics that they struggled with in the previous session and try to get those for the next game. Did the mechanics of recharging a breath weapon kind of confused you in the spur of the moment? Work on that and many other things that cause you confusion.
Other things which gets them shaky Is that they tend to railroad stories a bit. This has a lot of negativity in the community but it is a very forgivable for people who are learning to run the game. Try to include a secondary side quest at the next location and lay out a plot hook for it – this is a great way to practice. The only thing that will get anyone to the next level is just EXPERIENCE and trying to learn from other DMs.
The Okayest DMs
With some experience, most DMs would fall into this category. They understand most of the rule and can help guide new players in the process. They also know how to balance their encounters and they have learned how to expand their monster manuals. They understand how to lead their Pcs without completely rail roading them while more consideration on the Pcs back stories when doing preps for the next sessions.
The only things that can still get the best of these DMs is being able to control the players. If some players accidently kills the quest NPC, or starts to go towards an evil campaign route, these DMs might not have enough experience to bring control to the story. A single act of rogue pickpocketing can lead to murdering of an innocent villager. The whole adventure can get sidetracked by a single murder hobo. The good DM needs to be able to establish law and order.
The Great DMs
These are the DMs who have gone comfortable behind the screen that they keep adding on skills to enhance the overall experience at the table and the only ones who work on their crafts. Their tone and words make them the best they are. These DMs can really begin to emphasize their PCs as small focal points through out the campaign. They best part is that they understand that the story is actually about the PC and not the to provide satisfaction in their heads. They also understand flexibility like moving encounters and major story points to where the players are going instead of trying to move the players to where the encounters are. Talking about best skills? It is called being diplomatic and knowing how to read the table.
These DMs have also mastered pacing. Even though pacing is such a hard skill to master, people can try watching streamed games to help them with this a bit. This is why they are called the masters. The other thing which makes them the hero is Improv. From understanding the logic behind the rules, and managing the table – these great DMs have it all.
Matt Mercer God Mode DMs
If you are a fan of Critical Role, then you know exactly what I am talking about. These Dm are the one who are there to make their players feel as if they had just got off a roller coaster. With feelings of getting everything on the table and fun, this is the best it can get. They are master story tellers and familiar with all the rules. They create immersive worlds and bring your imagination to life. For people looking for a little help at storytelling, it is always best to read books of murders, and thrillers. From Narrative combat to better use and understanding of phrase is the key to their excellent improv. Watching Critical Role is one of the best way to learn how the god mode DM works.