Hi! Welcome to the forum. I'm wrecan, the Forum Guide. With the switch in editions, there's been a lot of confusion as to what threads should go where. This post will (hopefully) explain whether you should post something in this forum. The What's a DM to Do? forum, essentially, covers a handful of topics. If you feel your intended thread fits one of the topics, then post away!
- Table Management: These threads cover the things that DMs do to make a game run more smoothly. DM screens, battlemats and minis, streamlining combat and getting people to focus on the game are all topics that fit under this heading.
- Player Relations: This topic covers any interpersonal problems between a DM and his players, or among players. How to handle cheaters and chatterers, encouraging roleplay and quelling poor player behavior are all covered here.
- DM Style: This topic covers anything a DM does to enhance the atmosphere of the game. Using props and costumes, improving one's descriptions of battle or scenes, playing music and talking in accents are covered here. Also covered are ideas for running different styles of campaigns, from high fantasy to grim-and-gritty.
- Encounter, Adventure and Campaign Tailoring: This topic covers creating a memorable game for your specific players. Lots of threads will discuss how to write a campaign that your specific players will enjoy playing. Do your players like hack-and-slash or politicking? Do they prefer traps and puzzles or environmental hazards? Ask for help in tweaking or entirely devising a new campaign for your gaming group.
- Fun and Humor: Not all threads ask for advice. Some of them are just a way to share stories and ideas with fellow DMs. A lot of the "1001 Threads..." are ways to kick back and relax. The competitions on the forum are another way to interact with your fellow DMs. Although listed last, this is the most important category because D&D should always be first and foremost about fun.
Well, that's a lot of categories!! So what are some of the threads that people often post here inappropriately?
- Rules Questions: D&D is a complicated game. And although DMs are the ultimate arbiters of the rules at the table, that's not what this forum is for. There are plenty of forums where rules should be discussed. For questions about 4th edition rules, check out the D&D Fundamentals section of these forums. For questions about the rules of any previous edition, check out the D&D Previous Editions section of the forums.
- Product Reviews: Any discussion of a product that is specific to a campaign world (such as Forgotten Realms or Eberron) shold be discussed in the forum for that campaign world. Any discussion of a specific product should be discussed in the 4E General Discussion forum (for 4E products) or Previous Editions General (for products of other editions), unless the product has not yet been released, in which case, discussion of it belongs in the Future Releases forum.
- Not D&D: Lots of people want fellow DMs' opinons on a host of topics. but if that topic is not directly relevant to the tabletop version of D&D, you should post your question to the Off-Topic Tavern.
- Shopping for Players: You can't be a DM without players. You can post for new players in your geographic area in the RPG Gamer Classifieds. Of you can set up an online game (by post) in the Play-by-Post Haven.
Please note that a thread might combine some topics. As long as it primarily includes some of the appropriate topics, don't worry if it also touches on the three topics above. Also, if you're new to the forums, you should really read mudbunny's How to Be a Good Forum Member! Welcome to the What's a DM to Do? forum!!