I first took the seat as a Dungeon Master a year ago in August. Since that time, I have killed a player character, gone soft on several occasions and not murdered several others, and realized the most important lesson anyone wearing the DM hat could ever learn — convoluted plans are worth squat when your players have the freedom to do as they will!
Planning is great, of course. The type of session I hold, however, is very much about player choice; the action (or inaction) the players take affect the world in many different ways; I try to make the world fluid and never stationary. I imagine many DMs do it, to differing levels of success.
Me? I fumble with words, sometimes. I’ve always been much more gifted with the written word than with the spoken one; I am actively working through that particular flaw, and — though it takes effort — I’ve become better. This last year has helped me improve a great deal — as a storyteller, improviser and even as an actor.
Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve always been an amazing actor!
Improvising has been a problem in the past, however; not so much now. When you’re constantly forced to do something, you either get better at it, or get murdered by a mob of angry players ( or “friends,” as they keep insisting they are) for sucking.
What lessons have I learned?
My players are evil sunsuvbiscuits.
That’s about it, actually.
On a serious note, I had an amazing time exploring D&D. Here’s to ten more years!
With the amount of evil wizards, priests of lost gods and what-have-you-not having been awoken due to dreadful decision-making by said players, we’d be lucky to wrap Act I by then.