Ask Other DMs—A Tip for Dungeon Masters
You are not an island. Sure, when you are running the game, you are pretty much on your own when it comes to making the decisions. But, all that time away from the table, there you have friends and allies waiting to help. You should use them.
One of the greatest tools in any Dungeon Master’s kit is other Dungeon Masters. If you aren’t already, you should join a group of fellow game runners, whether that is through Facebook, Discord, TikTok, Blogs, YouTube, or even a local group. It doesn’t matter how long you have been playing, you can always learn something new, and often those new things come from some of the newest people in gaming.
Share your thoughts and concerns about your current game. Getting a fresh set of eyes on a problem can go a long way to solving it. Think something is super cool, but you’re not sure it will work? Run it by some other DMs. Need some new puzzles or traps to challenge your players? Other DMs may have just what you need.
Not every bit of advice you get will always be what works for you, but that is the nature of the beast when it comes to advice. If you want good advice, make sure you ask questions that can’t just be answered with a yes or no. If you don’t understand what someone means, ask for clarification. Just like in the game, communication is key.
As part of a community, you will also be able to dispense advice of your own. Listen, don’t judge. If you are the one giving feedback, make sure it is productive. Just telling someone their idea sucks or that it’s great doesn’t really mean all that much. If you don’t like something, explain why. If you think someone is really cool, talk about why it is cool. Don’t be afraid to be a little wordy. However, accept that everyone has their own style of play, so don’t assume that your way is the only right way to play.
With as long as games have been around and the millions of people that have run them, there is a never ending well of support. Drink deep.
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