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D&D 5E Meanwhile - new DMs are having fun! How was your very first session as a GM/DM?


My first experience was actually pretty bad. I was only 10 or so, didn’t comprehend the rules and the test character my dad helped me put together got killed by skeletons in the first encounter we tried.

Still, somehow, I kept at it and was so in love with fantasy I couldn’t walk away and eventually got better and better.

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The first time I ran a game was as a temporary fill in while our real GM was on vacation. It was...mildly infuriating because in reading the rule book to prep I realized that none of us, including the normal GM and the professed "expert TTRPG players", actually understood the rules. Between that, the large group (I think there were 11 or 12 of us), and the fact that we had to stop every 40 minutes or so because everyone but me smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day it was not a terrific experience.
For some reason I kept doing it, eventually taking over as the normal GM and switching from Serenity to Pathfinder. now whenever I get frustrated with a group I just remember I'm not having to stand outside in the snow on a tiny balcony crowded with cigarette smoke and whatever I'm mad about seems more manageable.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My first time DMing was back in the 80s, with Moldvay's Red Box Basic. I learned of the game at summer camp but never got to play. During the rest of the year there was no one who had even heard of D&D. I had never played or seen it played, but if something was going to happen I was going to have to DM. So I made up an adventure called "City of the Underlings" because as a pre-teen (what we called tweens back then) I didn't have money to buy one - this was before D&D was "big" enough to be in Toys 'R Us. I had my dad make up a party of four and tried to run him through. Half an hour in he said "I don't get the point of this game" and abandoned it.

Things have gotten better since. :D

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I think my first DMing experience was trying to run something out of Dragon magazine or maybe some simple home-brew. My first strong memory is of trying to run "Against the Giants" and it being a total crap-show, though we had a great time. I remember that my friends were reading the module along with me as we were trying to figure it out. And I also had a character in the party; back then the DM always had a character that they would play as a party member, and we took turns DMing (that way you didn't get punished by having your character miss out on earning experience because you were DMing).
We did the same thing, DM has a character. Most of us tried to not favor our characters, at least in an obvious way lol


My first tim DMing was a long, long, long time ago. We also rotated DMs and I'm sure our games for the first year or so were largely "go to the dungeon and kick in doors". But it was still fun.

None of us knew what we were doing, but it's not like the rules were particularly robust back then.

Thought I would share my son's text

He ran his very first RPG last night for his college housemates (on my recommendation, he's running Phandelver)

View attachment 273001

I actually don't remember my very first game I ran, we were a crew of 5 with 3 of us cycling DM duties - I was 13. Clearly I had enough fun that I'm still running games 44 years later

How was your first ever game behind the screen?
How old is your son? The previous discussion seems to have come round to the biggest obstacle for new DMs is maturity, or at least the lack of self confidence that tends to come with it.

Are you serious? What is wrong with you lol. omg. you actually wrote that lol.
I'm a teacher. The vast majority of children start out believing they can do anything. It's only once they have been knocked back a few times that self-doubt starts to creep in. And it's self-doubt that makes adults reluctant to try DMing.

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