5E Advice on how not to feel like a lousy DM


Rotten DM
Rule 0. Unless a dead PC is on the ground at the end of session don’t worry about bad calls.
1 Do you retcon the play later using the correct rule? NEVER DO THIS unless you correcting during the next round of combat. Opps Sorry Lanefan take 6 hit points less.
2 Do you let the ruling stand and lock it in as a campaign houserule going forward? (Insert lots of bad language) Never do this as it becomes a huge tower of bad house rules which will crash and burn.
3 Do you let the ruling stand but explain it as a one-off exception that won't happen again? And both the players and DM need to read up on the rule. I had Ghost of Saltmarsh session with all DMs Sunday. Lots of discussion about how spells worked and how others decided. I read the rule on truesight made a call and told the players My Table my Ruling. Half of the table wanted to treat as a video game radar so all the players would know where all the enemy were even if they were hidden by walls.
4. Don’t be a jerk and don’t let your best friend or other table mates be a jerk.
5. Fix major things as soon as possible even if going to tick people off. Hey jasper that magic missile light saber is too powerful I reducing to a +1 sword. Hey Bob that third party/UA/homebrew class is too uber. Bring a PHB class of the same level and I will adjust the magic items.


By reading all the responses here and utilising this great and supportive site, you are already on to a winner.

I have found it incredibly useful as a new DM to ask lots of questions here and gauge how near I was to the general answers to see how I am doing as a DM.

Oh, and nice one for becoming a DM!