Do you ever wonder what makes a good DM? I have, mainly because I am always striving to try and be one. Well, as I have been thinking about the question I have started to jot down some ideas, so I thought I would share them with you all and see what you think. I’ve split each point into a separate waffle, so stay tuned to hear the rest – just use the subscribe button and you will get an email whenever I actually post anything. First on my list – smiling!
What makes a good DM? – They start off smiling.
As the DM/GM/Keeper we are literally the linchpin of the session. We bring everyone together to enjoy a few hours exploring the world and fighting foes. No matter what has been happening in our lives that day or week we always need to click on that webcam and start smiling. Welcoming the players to the game and asking how everyone is,I think, is important especially if there are new players. We need to make everyone feel welcome and at ease. For many players, actually being on a webcam and interacting with possible strangers can be quite intimidating and so that initial smile is very important.
What makes a good DM? – They smile throughout.
One thing that we all know, is that we never know what might happen within the session. Yes we have the plot line in front of us but how the players interact with it and how they progress is anyone’s guess. Sometimes things can get hectic and, although we need to maintain that air of being in charge, we need to relax and enjoy. I think it is important to bring some amusement to the game. See the funny side of things, join in the players jokes but always being prepared to bring the session back on track when needed. Sometimes players do silly things or perform actions which they have not thought through or may later regret, but we are there to reduce the impact of these or to show them the possible funny side of things. Having that approachable face as a GM/DM/Keeper also makes us more approachable for players to interact with us and challenge us which, despite what they may think, we actually encourage and want.
What makes a good DM? – They are still smiling at the end.
Sometimes sessions go very well – they are packed full of action, role play and will probably be talked, or sung, about in the tales/songs of bards for years to come. However,we can not always possibly hope for this perfection in every game. Once we have brought the session to an exciting or ultimate conclusion, it is important that we smile again and hark on about the positives of the sessions and what people might expect for the next one. I always like to celebrate players successes within the discord channel when doing my after session activities. Once the cameras have been turned off and the Roll20 session terminated, I always have a smile to myself – why? – because I actually enjoy my job as DM/GM/Keeper.
So that’s the first attribute I think that all DM/GM/Keepers must have in order to be good at their job. Do you agree? What do you think might be coming up next? If you have any comments then please add them below in the comment section – signing up is very easy and don’t forget to subscribe to get an email about the next attribute.