being a dungeon master

What Westworld can teach you about being a better Dungeon Master

You can’t deny it, you’d love to roll some dice with this man. 

Westworld immediately grabbed my attention in part because it was a story about how stories are told, with all the challenges involved therein. Given that the whole show is about the running of a massive immersive game with thousands of interconnected stories I quickly realized that many of the lessons it espouses can also be applied to running Dungeons and Dragons.

Though I won’t be talking about the whole series in depth, there will be minor spoilers as I talk about setting and plot elements. So be warned before continuing onward.

Keep reading

Going to be DMing for the first time, which is also my first time playing Dungeon Dragons as well. Reading the campaign book to get a feel and I’m almost done however I feel like I’ve already forgotten most of what I’ve read. For those that DM, did you ever feel like this?

 We don’t start the game for a while, so hoping I gave myself plenty of time to prepare. 

First time DM needs help....

So its my first time being dungeon master for D&D and I have no idea what I should do… I have a basic plot and stuff but I need events to happen. The first session will be a jail break…. but if they get out easily due to good rolls or the fights are too fast…what can I do to make the session longer but still entertaining? Help please?

Part 2 of 3.

In the second dream, I was playing a tabletop role-playing game with her. We were in a group of five, and the other five people… their faces and bodies were hazy and blurry because nobody cared about them. Sometimes, people are good for nothing but being the furniture of our stories.

She’s the dungeon master. She has a way of stepping away from the chair to physically enact the scenes she’d built up. The others were compelled to follow suit. I watched her knight one of the players. She used her grandmother’s walking stick as a substitute for a sword. Then, when she was done knighting, asked us to wait a while as she rushed back to return the stick to her grandmother’s room.

I woke up after that.

This was an odd dream. We weren’t alone, so we couldn’t have been very intimate. At the same time, there we were, together. Maybe the dreams are showing me all the memories, I thought: not just the ones where we were alone.

That dream was stuck in my head for so long, I grew tired of it and wanted it purged. Then finally, one day, it progressed. The others were gone, and she was alone at the table, drawing the map of a town on a large, white sheet of paper. I was cleaning up the packets, wrappers and the glasses.

“Is that for a computer game or a roleplay?” I asked, pausing before her.

She turned to grin at me. “Roleplay. But when you ask me like that… I’m tempted.”

“Tempted to do what?” I bent over.

“Tempted to turn it into a computer game,” she said, “And then I’d make you play it and laugh at you every time you died.”

“You’re mean,” I pouted.

She kissed me on the lips and went back to drawing on the paper. The layout of the city on the paper is vividly clear for me in the dream. I pinched the paper by the edge and once she stopped working on it, I pulled it off the table and looked at it closely.

Why was it so real?

And then, her face.

It was painted in horror.

She looked at me with fear, a kind of panicking, insanity-driven fear that only exists in dreams. And then she screamed so loudly, the walls fell, and everything fell, and there were gongs sounding in my head while the paper fluttered in front of me.

The dream was lucid.

I’d violated the dream.

I lowered the paper, but it disappeared. And she was gone, too. There was just darkness now, in every direction. The din stopped, and soon, there was nothing but silence. It was as if the tape cassette of my dreams had hit a blank spot and there was nothing recorded here.

I tried to eject from the dream, but it didn’t work. I tried to bring back the scene as it was, but that didn’t work. Then, my alarm finally sounded and rescued me.

Today’s throwback poem is about poetry on the doorstep.


Repost, don’t reblog.


NAME: Anna
PRONOUNS:  she/her
SEXUALITY: Heterosexual
TAKEN OR SINGLE: Single (and probably ending up with a bunch of dragons)


ONE: I love cold weather. I am King of the North!
TWO: Huge fan of tea, my favorite is with a bamboo and strawberry and Milky Oolong.
THREE: I love poetry.


HOW LONG (MONTHS / YEARS?): When it comes to RPing 6 years, 3 years of being a Dungeon Master and 10 years of writing.
PLATFORMS YOU’VE USED:  Now just Tumblr, though also I had an account on Quizilla, Forumpolish (several forum servers), used GG, Skype, Guildwars or just wrote it on the paper with my friend.
BEST EXPERIENCE: Tumblr I think.


FEMALE OR MALE:  Female, I am bad at writing male muses.
PLOTS OR MEMES:  All again?
LONG OR SHORT REPLIES: Depends on the mood and the other person.
BEST TIME TO WRITE: When I have eaten and my work mood kicks in. I don’t like to write if I am on mobile or outside the home.
ARE YOU LIKE YOUR MUSE(S): I would rather say that when it comes to the character she is my opposite, but we are both dog-loyal persons.

Tagged by: @dustysixshooter (thank you)
Tagging: @pxrxdcxical-wrxtcr, @singingspirit8cookies, @anathesniper, @shortstoutandswedish

Day 2: Geography

What is a world without terra firma? Space? volume? Location? This is the part of world building where you get to wring your hands together and play the part of a biblical deity, shaping the mountains and pressing down the valleys. You fill the seas, and sprinkle towns on their coasts.

This step usually rests at the forefront of any world or map creation. You set down some rivers and decide that a town uses those rivers to handle trade, or that a kingdom is isolated by mountains, or placing a town in a vast desert with a secret at its heart that helps them thrive where others would get buried in the shifting sands.

Feeling a bit intimidated? Then draw it back, make a local area and fill that up. You can create a peninsula and fill it out with local points of interest. If you are telling a story of a single person or group, then this may be their whole world for now. A fantastic tip I’ve heard for being a Dungeon Master in Dungeons & Dragons is to only worry about the local town that the group starts in, then create the nearby cave they explore, then as time rolls on, the world will flesh out naturally, soon they’ll be sent to the nearby city capital, which is much larger and feels like an ocean to a group of small fish who’ve only been flopping around a pond.

Geography also determines climate, weather, local fauna, convenient travel routes, inconvenient travel routes, but these are all questions for another day, and first determining the lay of the land is the first step to answering those questions.

Additionally, if you’re designing whole solar systems for a sci-fi setting where planet hopping is going to be happening, don’t fall into the trap of treating each planet as a single continent or gimmick. These are worlds after all, each planet may have the complexity that Earth has.

Well time to moonlight as a cartographer and…


I see all these posts about first time dungeon masters being worried and I’m just sitting here, literally like the only dungeon master in my town, almost never being a player in my life.

To be a Dungeon Master.

I’ve recently seen a post reblogged by someone i follow. I work soon, and should of been asleep 3 hours ago, but to be honest, reading it and the tags, it saddens and angers me. D&D is meant to empower the players, to make them feel as though they can be heroic. As the dungeon master it is your job to bring out the hero in all of your players, to make them feel as if their characters can have some sort of impact in your world that we rarely feel that we have in our own lives. often, it is improbable, perhaps even betraying the feasibility of logic, that an outcome that only a natural 20 can bring to us is only allowed if we let the suspension of disbelief to be our savior. this is a game that is meant to be shared with our fellow players and our DMs, both of which are friends. To some people, being a Dungeon Master, it is often viewed as YOUR world. YOUR rules. YOUR story. people make the mistake of railroading the plot into a singular linear piece as a book, making it seem as though the players characters have no say in the end. making it so they can only change their plot WHEN and IF you say so.

That is a bad Dungeon Master. When a player attempts the extraordinary in skill checks in a way their DM does not agree with, the answer is not “break their spirit.” that player is not attempting to “break the game with a Nat 20″. That player is attempting to have fun.

In the example that was used, a half orc attempted to charm an elven princess. yes, success is amazingly far fetched, but to make the DC in the 1000′s with disadvantage? to suggest that anything less than a natural 20 would have him executed on the spot? that is a DM who is a tyrant looking to punish the actions of the player. in this situation, yes, the DC should be high, and though a natural 20 should not always dictate the success the player was looking for, even a failure would not be dire with the right words put to it. with the right description, at the very least a favorable outcome is plausible, even if it is a simple no with an appreciation of the flattery.