Starting Out: Game Master Series


The art from the Dungeon Master’s screen for Dungeons and Dragons. Image cred.


It’s theater/radio/improv/imagination/story-telling in an oral tradition that goes back millennia. It’s D&D y’all.

I’ve decided to become a DM (Dungeon Master). This is not an altogether well-thought-out decision, as being a good DM or GM (Game Master) means an awful lot of time alone spent creating and planning and memorizing rules for a few hours of fun that WILL be derailed and will NOT go as planned and MAY make friends hate each other afterward…or not.

I’m still going to do it. It’s a bit like saying you’ve decided to be a poisonous frog catcher in the Amazon or a tornado-chaser in Oklahoma. Everyone’s like, “yeah, that’s super cool, you should totally do that!” and everyone is also thinking “that’s cool yeah, but also insane, and I’m so glad I have a normal hell like customer service or nursing. I’m definitely the smart one here.”

I’m not bitter. I’m insane. Probably.

My brother put down world-building as one of his skills. He’s also a DM. A far better one than I will ever be, also being a voice actor. I can put world-building down as one of my skills as well because apparently, that’s the kind of thing to run through families, or over them, and I’m a writer, so there’s….that. Which may or may not make me a good DM. It may mean I wax eloquent in my descriptions and my NPCs will say “er…um…great!” a lot because I’m not so good at the improv or actual real life conversations.

I don’t know yet. I’m just starting out. I haven’t even finished reading the Dungeon Master’s Guide. I think I need to sleep with it. Okay, not with it, obviously, but like, under my pillow so I can memorize rules by osmosis. Dream about it. Some people put pictures of loved ones under their pillows to dream of them. Ha, amateurs. I’ll be over here dreaming of monsters and people staring at me waiting for me to deliver an awesome story. Wayyyy less embarrassing/awful. Play me a tiny violin. *tears*

I’m not a complete noob at this point though, if I have to be honest (and everyone’s honest on the internet). I did run my aforementioned amazing DM brother through the opening of Curse of Strahd, which took like eight hours. It gave me a pounding headache and a sore throat for a few days, but it was so awesome. He was in America and I was in Korea, so we had to Skype, and I called him when I was ready wearing a black paper raven mask and playing creepy vampire music. Oh yeah, it was epic. I even lit a candle labeled “Dark Woods” or something, but of course, the smell was only metaphoric for him.

I decided to blog about this because I think it would be cool to see how it was starting out after I’m a very good DM who is semi-famous somehow. I will definitely have my own website with a picture of me holding the tips of my fingers together and one eyebrow up as I look over my DM screen.

Step 1: Learn to raise one eyebrow.

I’m going to be so great at this.


4 thoughts on “Starting Out: Game Master Series”

    1. Thanks man! Yeah I’ve been watching Critical Role for a couple of years and now that I’m getting into the DM side, I’ve been watching Matt Colville and the Web DM guys as well for tips. There is a lot out there!


      1. You should also check out the Angry DM, if you haven’t already. He’s got a great article for first time DMs.

        Mercer’s great if you’re just looking to entertain. I wouldn’t recommend his style or advice for a home game, though; your players are not the same as an internet audience. (But I don’t know your situation ~ maybe you’re planning to record your sessions and post them online.)


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