A PC trying to be a DM

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I have this friend who's interested in trying dnd out. She knows absolutely nothing anout it besides what I've told her. I've always been a PC and now I'm trying to be a DM. Frankly, I'm feeling a bit out of my league and I feel like I need some help. Any tips any of you could toss my way would be most appreciated!!
There's a wealth of good knowledge on the forums, so perusing a lot of existing topics well get you far! If it's your first time, picking up a pre-existing scenario will do you a big favor. It'll give you an idea of how DMing works, and provide a tight adventure while showing you how to run a game.

My biggest advice however, is to source your players for ideas. Ask them what they want in an adventure or campaign. Take these ideas and run with them! If people want to be integrated into the plot and have their backgrounds tie into the main story, make it so. If they enjoy trap dungeons, specific sorts of combats or themes, find ways to tie it in. D&D is a group activity, so let them take part of that creation process. Try not to railroad them, and reward them for their ideas and creativity. It's worked for me for the past 8 years of DMing!

There's a lot more to the whole process, but that's my bit of advice and contribution.  
"Contemplation is the womb of treachery." -Imperial Thought for the Day
I have this friend who's interested in trying dnd out. She knows absolutely nothing anout it besides what I've told her. I've always been a PC and now I'm trying to be a DM. Frankly, I'm feeling a bit out of my league and I feel like I need some help. Any tips any of you could toss my way would be most appreciated!!

The main thing is not to sweat the rules right off the bat. Do your best, err on the side of the players, and say "Yes, and..." as much as you can.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

All the advice you have been given is spot on. You will make mistakes, just don't worry about it. You can only learn by doing.
Also, see if you can get the 2 choose-your-own adventure adventures from Dragon Magazine, then get the newGM and 1-2 players and run through those (the adventures are setup for 1 PC + companion, so ad-lib around that if there are 2 PCs).

These are short, simple adventures with plenty of advice/streamlining.  They make a great 1st step for someone who has never GMed before.

edit: Dragon 382 and media.wizards.com/downloads/dnd/Ghost_To...
There's a wealth of good knowledge on the forums, so perusing a lot of existing topics well get you far! If it's your first time, picking up a pre-existing scenario will do you a big favor. It'll give you an idea of how DMing works, and provide a tight adventure while showing you how to run a game.

My biggest advice however, is to source your players for ideas. Ask them what they want in an adventure or campaign. Take these ideas and run with them! If people want to be integrated into the plot and have their backgrounds tie into the main story, make it so. If they enjoy trap dungeons, specific sorts of combats or themes, find ways to tie it in. D&D is a group activity, so let them take part of that creation process. Try not to railroad them, and reward them for their ideas and creativity. It's worked for me for the past 8 years of DMing!

There's a lot more to the whole process, but that's my bit of advice and contribution.  

Thank you very much for your reply. I'm actually trying to get The Sunless Citadel and Scourge of the Howling Horde off ebay

Sorcing out the players for ideas? Why didnt I think of that? :-) None of my past Dms have ever done that. Thats a really good idea! Thank you! 
I have this friend who's interested in trying dnd out. She knows absolutely nothing anout it besides what I've told her. I've always been a PC and now I'm trying to be a DM. Frankly, I'm feeling a bit out of my league and I feel like I need some help. Any tips any of you could toss my way would be most appreciated!!

The main thing is not to sweat the rules right off the bat. Do your best, err on the side of the players, and say "Yes, and..." as much as you can.


So you're saying keep things kind of loose? Ok, cool! Thanks alot! :-)
All the advice you have been given is spot on. You will make mistakes, just don't worry about it. You can only learn by doing.

Thank you iI appreciate your support! :-)
Also, see if you can get the 2 choose-your-own adventure adventures from Dragon Magazine, then get the newGM and 1-2 players and run through those (the adventures are setup for 1 PC + companion, so ad-lib around that if there are 2 PCs).

These are short, simple adventures with plenty of advice/streamlining.  They make a great 1st step for someone who has never GMed before.

edit: Dragon 382 and media.wizards.com/downloads/dnd/Ghost_To...

Thats awesome! I just went to paizo.com to order the Forgotten Realms world map back issues! Question though; what new GM are you refering to?

Your suggestion is kind of perfect, right now theres only 1 player so thank you very much! 
by 'newGM' I meant the person who wants to start GMing
All the advice you have been given is spot on. You will make mistakes, just don't worry about it. You can only learn by doing.

Thank you iI appreciate your support! :-)



And dont be afraid to admit your mistakes.
DMing is not hard, at least that's what I think after starting a group of my own. I've found that new players are a hassle and can be not only the most difficult to work with, but the best way to learn how to DM. I think that all you really need are a good set of rules, a big voice, the ability to hold peoples attention, and knowing how to tell a story. But if theres one thing that I've learned, Be Confident. Do that, and everything else will fall into place on it's own.
DMing is not hard, at least that's what I think after starting a group of my own. I've found that new players are a hassle and can be not only the most difficult to work with, but the best way to learn how to DM. I think that all you really need are a good set of rules, a big voice, the ability to hold peoples attention, and knowing how to tell a story. But if theres one thing that I've learned, Be Confident. Do that, and everything else will fall into place on it's own.

Thanks for your advice! I'll try to keep all that in mind! :-)
Best advice I can give you is... don't forget your players. 1) Their characters should be the focus of the story. Let them be awesome. It's okay to challenge them. Not too difficult. Not too easy. Juuuuuust riiiiiiight. 2) Make sure the players playing those awesome characters have choices. If you make a powerful evil villain, that doesn't mean the players have to stop him. What if they want to join him? Or ignore him altogether to explore foreign lands?

Roll with the punches. Improvise.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
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