Times we have made mistake as DMs and how we would do things differently

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I definitely should have done step 1
Well #1 is the least important of those listed when it comes to running a game. I'm not saying having some sense of what you are going to do in a session is not needed, most of us are going to run better games with some planning and preparation. But the most important thing is to give it a go, reflect on lessons learned, and try again, incorporating the lessons learned. If you skip #1, one of your lessons learned is likely "have a plan", but it is often also "huh, I don't need to spend as much time planning and preparing as I've convinced myself I should be doing."
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Back when I started I made a number of errors as a newbie GM.

I found myself in an adversarial situation with a couple of the players who seems to enjoy nothing more than trying to derail my games.

I did my best to try and keep them entertained but I reached a breaking point and we parted ways.
That's always a tough one. Sometimes people are just jerks, but mostly they have different expectations from the game. If said players are people I otherwise enjoy spending time with, I find it more enjoyable to play a different system. InSPECTREs is my go to for beer-and-pretzels no-rails TTRPG. One of the Dread-based games could also work, but I would go with one of the games the creator made for other genres using similar mechanics than try to run a horror/suspense game with people who are not going to buy into the theme.

I know a lot of people will run completely open world, improv, slap-stick games using D&D, but as a GM, I don't enjoy running such games with D&D mechanics. And, regardless of the system, I wouldn't want to run an ongoing campaign with a group like this. More than likely, I would likely switch to party games like Werewolf, Secret Hitler, JackBox games, Wavelength, Anomia, or Code Words.
 

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