DDAL Things I learn from being a DM for 500 Adventure League sessions.

jasper

Rotten DM
1. The rules and guidance will always be adjusted, late, and location will change.

2. Players will be from all races, education levels, economy levels, skill levels, interest levels, and various backgrounds.

3. Some people will love your DM style and others will hate it. Both will talk about you.

4. Reputation for starting on time is important. Wish the players would be on time.

5. DMing for Autistic and other special needs players is interesting, a joy, and sometimes a pain.

6. Players will give you with snackage, dice, and other gifts. Thank them.

7. Run the adventures/modules you want to run.

8. Don’t run when not feeling well.

9. Say no to your players as needed. Talk about safety tools with them.

10. I will spend more than I should.

11. Breaks are important. Both physical and mental.

12. Listen to constructive feedback.

13. What the internet and forums think is a big deal will be dismissed by causal players.

14. Different groups have wildly different dynamics.

15. Don’t DM for people who don’t play well with others.
 

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I DMed numerous Living City adventures back in the day. All of these are spot on and true then as well.

Having a reputation for being punctual and fair carried me through a number of issues. People came to accept adverse rulings much more when other players at the table stood up for you. People who couldn't handle any "loss", regardless of how subjective or minor, soon quieted down when the rest of the table was on my side. And, smoothed over a number of complaints to coordinators.
 

TheSword

Legend
1. The rules and guidance will always be adjusted, late, and location will change.

2. Players will be from all races, education levels, economy levels, skill levels, interest levels, and various backgrounds.

3. Some people will love your DM style and others will hate it. Both will talk about you.

4. Reputation for starting on time is important. Wish the players would be on time.

5. DMing for Autistic and other special needs players is interesting, a joy, and sometimes a pain.

6. Players will give you with snackage, dice, and other gifts. Thank them.

7. Run the adventures/modules you want to run.

8. Don’t run when not feeling well.

9. Say no to your players as needed. Talk about safety tools with them.

10. I will spend more than I should.

11. Breaks are important. Both physical and mental.

12. Listen to constructive feedback.

13. What the internet and forums think is a big deal will be dismissed by causal players.

14. Different groups have wildly different dynamics.

15. Don’t DM for people who don’t play well with others.
Excellent advice for all DMs whether AL or otherwise.

I think the snackage point is a really good one.

I spring about £50 in petrol to do the 3 hour drive each way to our monthly game, plus as DM I buy most of the books, most minis, maps, tokens, VTT subscription, VTT modules (we play online and F2F) and I never mind doing all that because the players are very kind and provide food and snackage. It’s really appreciated not having that to worry about.
 
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