The Joy of Being a DM in D&D

Dungeons & Dragons

Welcome Time Wasters!

I’m just going to start this out honestly. I was way too busy to waste time this week. Four of the five days leading up to Saturday were complete busts for gaming. I even have a game ready for the Time Waster, but only got to play about 20 minutes of it. Sometimes that’s enough for shorter games, but this one is a rogue-lite that deserves a little more time.

You’ll notice that I did have one day this week where gaming was an option. The only reason that I didn’t get any gaming done that day, outside of those 20 minutes, is because I got incredibly wrapped up in something else: Dungeons & Dragons. I know, I know. We don’t often talk about tabletop gaming here at GiN, but I’ve expressed my love of Magic: The Gathering via the Time Waster before. I figure D&D is closer to video games than MTG, so why not talk about it?

The classic D&D art gives off such a great high fantasy feel.

I’m no D&D veteran by any means. I have some experience with 3.5 as a player. I also went on to be a Dungeon Master for a group of friends just getting into the hobby a few years back with Fifth Edition. What I learned during that campaign was that I love being a DM. Unfortunately, that adventure never reached completion.  It’s also hard to get that group back together again because of various life changes.

In fact, it seems hard to really get any group together for D&D. Some friends and I have done campaigns via online tools like Roll20, but it just doesn’t capture that same magic that collecting around a physical table brings. At least, I don’t think so.

That’s why I was really excited to learn that some friends and acquaintances were looking to do a one-shot next month. Better yet, my friend hosting the event asked me if I would be willing to be the DM for it. Of course I said yes. I’ve never actually got to create my own adventure before, having only been the DM of pre-made campaigns.

That’s where the trouble with the Time Waster comes in. See, I got so caught up in the idea of creating a unique one-shot for my friends, that I completely spent the one open day I could have used for the Time Waster planning out that one-shot. I really love creating settings like this, and I love to see players having fun in the games I DM. There’s some weight on my shoulders to make something interesting, but I’m confident in my ideas.

A DM’s best friend!

What this all comes down to is I love being creative. D&D is a great outlet for this as it really gives the DM a lot of freedom to create all sorts of interesting experiences. What’s even more interesting is watching other players react to them. I shared a few basic details with players because they are necessary for the one-shot. After doing so, I couldn’t help but take great pleasure in seeing how they used this information to craft their own backstories and come up with interesting ideas for their characters.

And that’s really the crux of this whole piece. One month from now, a group of experienced and new D&D players are going to come together to play this short little one-shot. Right now, that story is one that I have crafted, but when its all said and done, it will be something that we all crafted together. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no greater satisfaction for a DM than this.

If you’ve never played D&D, or a similar tabletop game, I highly advise it. If you’ve only ever been a player, give being a DM a chance. It’s a completely different experience that isn’t for everyone, but if it clicks, it’s one of the greatest-feeling gaming experiences out there.

That’s all, everyone. Have a fantastic weekend!

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