Basic training DMing 101

It has been said before that you are your own worst critic. In my case it is true, and after Monday night’s D&D game I came down pretty hard on my self. The food was great! I actually made my very first vegan meal (see Portland vegan population) and it was delicious, though the game was not on par with the food. The session, while enjoyable, did not live up to my expectation. The players role played well and had fun with it too. I gave them a simple task of walking north of town to find a lost shipment of goods. The group took that and ran a few different directions with it– they even went out and haggled a local farmer for a horse and a cart. The players and the role play were wonderful, more than I had expected, and they were not the problem.

The problem was me–more my ADHD than anything. I felt like I rushed things along because I had other things I wanted the group to do after the game. When I get rushed I tend to lose focus and then things fall apart. I had a great terrain obstacle to try out, but completely forgot the flavor text and thus it made little sense. I also didn’t do a great job of explaining the room in detail, something I often get aggravated with when I am a player.  I also didn’t really tell the players much about their opponents, again something that frustrates me. Exposition is key when trying to paint a mental picture. The map and the figures on the map shouldn’t tell the whole story; they should tell the tactical portion of it. The DM should tell the details of the story, and I was feeling rushed and I let the board tell the whole tale.

So what am I doing to avoid this next time? Simple; I’m going back to the basics. I created a simple PDF file for my self so I can keep track of what I need to tell players about a room. It’s a script, and I know there are tons of people out there who don’t like scripts, but I don’t like forgetting things. And besides it’s more like notes; I’m not going to write any box text to read aloud.  Here is a simple version of what it looks like.

The point of this is to help me remember not to speed my players through rooms. Anything I can do to make the game more enjoyable and coherent I am all about. I know I can use programs like master plan for this but I am going to learn my way with some basic tools before I get hooked on all the new digital tools. I don’t want to be too dependent on my game aids and not be able to function with out them.

That’s it for this Friday, short sweet and hopefully helpful. If you are a stud with word processing and want to beautify my room tracking sheet above feel free, I would gladly use it.


You can download a pdf of my room tracking sheet here, or on my downloads page.

Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
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