Critical Role PSA: You are not Matt Mercer


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
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.

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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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