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Critical Role PSA: You are not Matt Mercer

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I totally get where @Jester David is coming from. It‘s a rare session that ends and I don’t feel like it could have gone better in certain places and a decent number where I end up kicking myself for a grand cockup (my melee on the run thread is just the most recent case) that upsets the flow of the game because of my incompetence.

I envy you DMs that have no trouble adjudicating actions and running the game, spending no time second guessing yourselves. Perhaps I’ll get there in another 10 years if I don’t give up due to my own sense of failure.

Yes it’s not ideal, but it really is quite common for those saying Jester needs to seek help. People try new things out all the time only to give up on it because it just didn’t work for them, a hardy few sticking with it until they achieve the skill they desire. I would guess it’s a small portion of the population that is happy having an entire evenings entertainment rest on their shoulders.

I second guess myself all the time. I just usually try to do that all after the session. In the shower or right before sleep, when I do my real thinking.

While I am running the encounters, I am usually too into it at the time, or just keep on going as if I didn't just make a mistake. Typically, my players don't notice, and it all works out into a fun evening.

 

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jgsugden

Legend
There is no DM that finishes a session and thinks everything went perfectly.

However, the way you deal with that realization can span a spectrum - and some of that spectrum is healthy, while other parts of it are not.

A healthy response is to learn from our mistakes, laugh at ourselves a bit, and figure out how to proceed in a way that might even make the mistakes pay off. Often, I've turned mistakes into unexpected twists that took things in interesting, fun or just plain crazy new directions.
 

Longspeak

Explorer
About DMing?
Heck yeah.

Okay, the drinking problem was a joke I tried to play off. But many people become upset when we fall short. Work, play, life, it doesn't matter. If I run a session which is an utter disaster and it's my fault? Yes, I will be that upset.

I haven't fallen THAT far short in a long time, fortunately, but I still get upset when something fails. Especially when I feel like I could have avoided it.
 


Maybe I am reading this all wrong, but has Matt Mercer ever told anyone else to be Matt Mercer? Seriously, asking for a friend.

As in has he ever asked anyone to DM in his style or with his acting skills? No. Not even once I'd bet.

Has he asked people to be like him personally, a warm, geeky dude who is passionate about many causes (I remember he was part of a group trying to get Voice Actors Unionized a few years back)? Probably, he does ask people to help give to charity and support their friends in their endeavors.
 


Scott Christian

Adventurer
The debate here seems unwarranted. Just my own opinion, but DM'ing is tough (we all know that). And we can spot a good DM from a terrible one very quickly. If we have an open mind, we may find some that do not use our playstyle, but are still good at what they do. And of course, the realist in me says there are many great DM's, just depends on the day and session.

Those are the four paths. I don't see any others. And none of them have anything to do with Matt Mercer, who is a great DM with a lot of great days and sessions.
 

MarkB

Legend
There is no DM that finishes a session and thinks everything went perfectly.

However, the way you deal with that realization can span a spectrum - and some of that spectrum is healthy, while other parts of it are not.

A healthy response is to learn from our mistakes, laugh at ourselves a bit, and figure out how to proceed in a way that might even make the mistakes pay off. Often, I've turned mistakes into unexpected twists that took things in interesting, fun or just plain crazy new directions.
Great, now in addition to feeling guilty that I may not have run things correctly last session, I'm going to be feeling guilty that I'm not feeling guilty correctly. :oops:
 

jgsugden

Legend
Great, now in addition to feeling guilty that I may not have run things correctly last session, I'm going to be feeling guilty that I'm not feeling guilty correctly. :oops:
If you're having unhealthy responses to situations, it is something you should address, especially in the current times. If you're beating yourself up because you made a mistake as a DM, you should feel like it is something you need to address and improve. It is unhealthy and there are a lot of resources out there to help.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
If you're having unhealthy responses to situations, it is something you should address, especially in the current times. If you're beating yourself up because you made a mistake as a DM, you should feel like it is something you need to address and improve. It is unhealthy and there are a lot of resources out there to help.

To use a passé phrase, mostly because it's kind of funny now with more modern connotations, all GMs have pulled a boner from time to time. It's not that big a deal as long as you learn from it, not beat yourself up about it.

The rules in Advanced Squad Leader actually have good guidance on something like this. If a mistake occurs at the table and you catch it immediately, correct it. If other turns have been taken by the time you catch it, just move on and do it right the next time it comes up. It's good advice about moving on and resolving to do it better the next time.
 

Monayuris

Adventurer
One thing to me is that people really seem to take Critical Role too seriously. Maybe, I just feel that people are being too unfair to themselves.

Sure they are playing D&D, but it is in the context of an entertainment show, first and foremost. The people playing, the way they play, and the setting / game content, involved are set up to provide an entertaining D&D watching experience. But most people don't play to entertain others they play to entertain themselves.

People don't give themselves enough credit. If you are a DM and your game is fun for your players, you genuinely care about the experience you players have, you work to constantly improve your skills, etc... in my opinion you are a good if not great DM. Full stop.

I've been DM'ing pretty regularly for about 12 years now. I'm by no means perfect and I can always go back and realize at least one thing I've done during a session that I could have done better. I just make a note and try to learn from it for next time. If I've made a ruling that was detrimental to someone's fun or experience, I make an effort to work it out. Also if I end up ruling too far favorably in the players favor and I end up unbalancing things, I'm also not afraid to talk it out and fix things.

In my own personal opinion, I think this stuff is 99% of what makes someone a great DM. So, I spend more time working on these kinds of skills over working on voice acting or characterization / narrative techniques.

I know I'm never going to portray a character as richly as Mr. Mercer and I'm probably never going to weave a rich and storied narrative as he does.

Instead, I focus on being a facilitator and I hope that the game experience we all have as a group together creates the same end result. A fun evening of gaming.
 

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