Five DM Tips

Matt Finch of OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry, and now Uncle Matt’s RPG Studio had this little interview with Jim Wampler of Mutant Crawl Classics and Marvin the Mage. Yeah it’s long but well worth the watch and, of course, I thought this was a good idea.

So here you go. My five DM Tips:
1. Yes and…: Yep I agree with Jim Wampler on this one. I blogged about it before on the old blog that has long gone away. Always give the players the opportunity to do something. You don’t have to say, “Yes, and..” There’s always, “Yes, but..” or “You can try.” So avoid giving the players a flat out “No”.
2. No Plan Survives Contact with The Enemy: That’s an old military saying. To apply it to gaming. No adventure survives as written when the PC’s get involved. The same is true for rules. Don’t be afraid to improvise and change things. No game designer can ever anticipate all of the crazy plans players come up with. The same goes for your tightly plotted adventure or the fascinating NPC that you came up with.
3. Sometimes it’s more important to know the players rather than the rules: At first this seems like a bad thing but it’s easy look up rules. But knowing what the players like, dislike, and what makes them angry or upset and then use that familiarity to customize the adventure will lead to better sessions.
4. Preparation beyond reading the adventure: Have a full set of tools on hand to improvise when the PC’s leave the plot train. See No 2 above. It’s makes your job easier and keeps things moving rather than everyone running for snacks while the DM comes up with an encounter.
5. Kill Batman Do NOT have a Batman NPC to show up, kill the monsters for the characters, and then slip of into the night. Don’t have this guy bail them out if things get tough. Murder Batman.

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