Sometimes DMing is a lonely job...

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  1. #1
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    Sometimes DMing is a lonely job...

    Sometimes DMing is a lonely job. For obvious reasons, you can't talk much about your future plans for the campaign with your players. Sometimes you have these adventure/plot ideas bouncing around in your head you want to try but you have no idea how the players will react. Sometimes it helps to tell other gamers, provided they're interested, but strangers usually can't help actually critique the ideas for your group much because they're not used to the campaign and the players. It's worst, I think, with the big, sweeping ideas.

    I've been DMing for almost two decades and I've found about the best way to evaluate these ideas is to hold off doing anything with them for a couple of weeks and see if they still seem cool then, though that's hard with cool ideas bouncing around inside just bursting to get out.

    In a way, I envy BA from "Knights of the Dinner Table" for being able to go out with the other DMs and just shoot the breeze without worrying about giving anything away. (Though it seems like most of the DMs in Muncie are jerks...)

    I suppose if I have an actual question it would be "does anyone have a better way of dealing with this?" Mostly, I just wanted to see if other run into the same thing I do.
    Max Kaladin


  • #2
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    Well I find it helps to talk about here, as there is more than good chance no one here games with you (unless you TELL them to come here! ) Hope that was helpful.
    Duly appointed Evangelist, Herald, and Sage of the Scarred Lands.

  • #3
    Yeah, it can be at times.

    For PCs D&D is always about hanging out with friends, eating chips and slaying goblins. Most importantly though, they always get to do what they want to do.

    For the DM, it can be about spending time by yourself, trying to figure things out, and in the end being led by the nose by a bunch of yahoos who decide that the dungeon you spent hours preparing isn't interesting enough.

    I don't want to be a downer, I have DMed 85% of the time I have been in RPGs, and have plenty of good memories. I am glad I had a chance to share this though. Thanks for the thread MaxKaladin.

    Irda Ranger

    PS - Maybe I would feel better if I charged admission to my gaming table. That way even quests where half the puzzles I made are never used, I still get "compensated" for. Do you think a movie ticket would be fair? Or just free chips and beer?
    I don't "tell stories" when I play D&D. I adventure. Afterward, when the gold is counted and the bodies piled high, we may tell stories about how it all went down. Or not.

    The slaughter will continue until play improves.

  • #4
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    A friend of mine and I are working on running a campaign soon- with me as the main DM and he as the co-DM.

    Its been great because I get to bounce ideas off of him, and he gives me valuable and critical feedback on the ideas. Sometimes he tells me straight that ideas stink or they simply don't work. We see eye to eye on a lot of things related to D&D, and so I take his critiques seriously.

    A lot of the work I do myself, but its nice to get together sometimes and say- "boy, I was thinking for this part of the campaign we could do this..."

    Takes a lot of the loneliness out of it I guess.


  • #5
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    Well, this board is the perfect thing for it. Several of my players lurk here though. In fact, 2 odf the current ones I recruited off this board.

  • #6
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    DMing can be lonely. I like it and hate it when the players do something that perfectly forshadows what I have planned down the road. I can chuckle or grin evily, but I can't tell anyone. It's so frustrating. Or when you think of something absolutely brilliant, and the PCs don't appriciate all the hard work you do or just how brilliant the job you did was.

    DMing is also a thankless job.

  • #7
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    DMing is a tough job. Every week I prep an "adventure" and attempt to plan for possibilities the party will take. Sometimes, they go off in a random direction, and I just deal with it. I think sometimes the players forget that the game is a cooperative experience, the players get out of the game what they put in. It's a lot of work, but it can be immensley fun to watch them ponder their scenario in character....
    It's more cooler with the thing...

  • #8
    I have found that having other GM's around that are not in your active group to discuss with very helpfull. Right now I try and get together with other GM's in the area, that I have met at conventions or at the local Wierd Pete's. Usually try and have a couple of beers and talk game it's great to hear what another Gm is doing in his game, sometimes it helps kindle and Idea or two of your own. Just last week My freind and I met and discussed his game and how to work out some kinks. I guess the point is we need to associate with more of our own, the PC's got the whole rest of the party to talk with about the game. Of cource having these nice formus here is a good outlet but it seems best too be able to discuss with people face to face. Every trip down to the game shop is a chance of meeting another lonley GM so keep your eyes open.

  • #9
    Wow... I had never thought about it... but your right... DMing itself on the table is fun and all... but what comes before can be somewhat lonely. Most of us here probably have a thousand ideas they want to use and dont have time or opportunity to play out... discuss... or even evaluate.

    My brother that is a beggining DM is in my case is a person I can talk to and evaluate ideas... he does the same in my case. I then help sort out better his ideas. (We dont DM much for one another so no problem... we usually are players in the same campaigns. )

    A good Co-DM is any DMs dream... helps keep players in control and work out rules. The DM doesnt seem a tyrant with hard decisions since another person is backing him up...
    Temple of Evil - Authorized Cultists Only - Trespassers will be Sacrificed

  • #10
    In my past 7 or 8 years of roleplaying I'd guess I've DMd 95% of the time. It's not that I overly enjoy doing it, I'd love to play more. But my players (even ones that don't mind DMing) would always rather play in a Campaign I ran. I suppose I should be flattered that they value me so, still though...

    Anyway, finally found someone who's played briefly in one of mine and would like to try DMing. Currently "training him up" as it were He's asked a lot of questions, I've answered as best I could, or given him FAQs, pointed him to here or the Wizards boards etc.

    On the idea bouncing.. he's asked me a few times what to do "if" or "would going in this direction be silly?" which I try to reply impartially. I'll be playing in his campaign (finally!) so it's relatively hard to go into too much depth. He's running the Realms, which I've run a few times before (altho not the 3e version), should be interesting.

    In conclusion, post here plenty of intelligent people willing to offer advice and discuss ideas. Just make sure your players don't read it or, if they do, let em know to ignore your posts

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