I’ve been feeling a bit down about dungeon mastering lately because the focus on tabletop as a performance has pushed this idea that top be a good DM you have to be the mastermind of sweeping, serious epic plots… but then the other day my players were all reminiscing about stuff they liked from my campaigns and it was all the funny little scenarios I threw in there. The time they went trick or treating with monsters to collect sweeties to appease a Lich etc.
— Kate Holden (@darthmongoose) March 31, 2018
FWIW, I’ve had similar issues. My preferred DM style is pretty laid back, focusing on emergent funny or weird things. I’m not a grand weaver of plots or epics. The central element in my last session was a garbage chute.
— Mike Mearls (@mikemearls) April 1, 2018
Wow it's actually a huge relief to hear that from you! 😅
I always liked how stuff like Star Wars is made up of little escapades strung together. It's definitely a style with a place.
— Kate Holden (@darthmongoose) April 1, 2018
2 thoughts on “I’ve been feeling a bit down about dungeon mastering lately”
This is an excellent point, and it’s also poignant. I’ve been DMing for a long time, and playing since 1st ed when I was a teen. The player has changed, on the whole. It’s more prep to me and the game feels a bit more work since the 4e, Pathfinder era. I teach and sometimes it feels like D&D is the Common Core of D&D. haha! Teacher joke. With that said, the game can feel a lot like a story now and that’s great too. I Seriously though, I understand. For me, it took a while and I had to create a whole homebrew to make myself happy so I could do it “my way”. Now, a session is a big deal because I know to make all happy I need to make a sweeping serious plot with a few cursed items so I can still have my laughs…lol I also only do every other week because it’s too much work. And when I want an aside or something more fun I tell the players I’m doing a 1-3 session one shot, and we put the campaign on hold. But not all players are that way, so since the game is getting more popular, it’s easier to find easier going types. If your players want too serious and you’re in the mood for less….play for a while! Then, when ideas build, come back and DM. That’s what I do. But I feel your pain, and it was refreshing to hear someone express a simple reality of our ever evolving game.
And the trick or treating thing was so awesome!!