When I first decided to run a D&D game for my friends, I was incredibly nervous. I worried about forgetting rules or plot points. I hoped my NPC’s would come off as unique from each other instead of varying tones of the same exaggerated English accent. I hoped I wouldn’t bore my friends to the point of them nodding off. I hoped I could inspire them to embody their characters instead of just statically playing a bunch of numbers on a sheet of paper.
All of those worries have seemed to melt away now that I’ve DM’ed three sessions with my players. I have enthusiastic players that so far have become at least invested in the story to the point of wanting to do insane things and making the narrative interesting. But I’ve learned a lot about myself as well.
I’m not as bad at telling stories as I thought
I’m running the Lost Mines adventure to introduce my newer players to the game and I was worried that if I didn’t follow the adventure to the word, the narrative would get lost and my players will lose immersion. What I soon realized is that this adventure (and I’m presuming the other published adventures) are designed to allow the DM to mix and match the quests and plot points, giving them freedom to weave their own story without worrying about losing narrative flow. All that is required is a DM creating a well devised plot thread that links the plot points together. And so far, it seems I’m pretty good at this. There have been times where I’ve genuinely impressed myself with how clever I’ve worked the narrative. There have been a few stretches as well, but now I understand how to recognize them and work to patch the plot holes.
My players are fucking insane
Nothing kills a D&D game faster than players with no imagination. Thankfully, I have players who are willing to take chances and come up with ridiculous plans and reactions. The player playing a half orc bard plays him well to his low INT score and makes him incredibly aloof and goofy. The dwarven paladin’s player came up with a very interesting secret in their backstory. And the group’s rogue has a habit of urinating on the corpses of their dead foes.
I’m not too bad at improv
I have a habit of not being able to talk as fast as my brain comes up with things to say. Because of this, I tend to stutter or mumble sometimes. Sometimes I literally have to stop and close my eyes so I can piece together my thoughts into a coherent sentence. But for some reason, I don’t have this problem during the game. I’ve done pretty well coming up with unique dialogue and reactions to players’ actions. It helps that I’ve chosen my own character to act as mentor to the group, so I know this guy in and out. Knowing my character well leads me to having more creative banter.
I’m brimming with future adventure ideas
I’ve tried to write novels and short stories and have found myself losing interest in progressing the story because I just seem to run out of places to take it. However, I’m currently working on some quest lines and narratives for my group after they finish LMoP, and I’m overflowing with ideas about what I would love to see them deal with. Writer’s block is non-existent. I’m enthusiastic about researching Forgotten Realms lore to tie my players’ adventures into it. It’s a surge of creativity, effort, and motivation that I’ve never really experienced in a long time. It’s refreshing and exciting.
I’m genuinely rooting for my group
I’m coming up with some very challenging things for my group to face in the future, but I want them to succeed and have their individual moments along with group success so bad. I hope they get all the treasure, all the amazing gear, and get to level 20 and become gods. It’s still early, I know, but there is a lot of potential in this group. Right now, they’re a bit novincial with roleplaying and I’m a little loose with the rules until they get used to their characters, but I’m optimistic about the future of the Delicious Dungeoneers.