The other side of the screen

Posted: October 3, 2011 in Books, Games
Tags: , , , , ,

This week I’m blitzing my way through some 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons books. Having played with my regular group for almost exactly a year now (should we have a party?) I finally worked up the ovarian fortitude to ask if I could be the dungeon master for a module. As I flip through the Dungeon Master’s Guide I start to get really excited. There are so many possibilities. I remind myself to keep it simple and stick with the module for this first outing. Then the players – my players now – start asking me questions. Can I have this weapon? Can I reroll my strength? Can I play a monster race?

The module that looked so restrictive at first glance is now a godsend. I know that it’s balanced and fair. That’s several less things to worry about. But I’m in the comfy chair now. I’m the one behind the screen. And this isn’t Oz. Here, the woman behind the screen really is great and powerful. And responsible. Responsible for managing everyone the players aren’t in control of. Responsible for providing story. Responsible for thinking on the fly when the players pull an idea from left field. Responsible for the fun.

That’s what building a game is about at its heart: taking responsibility for providing fun. This is an exciting and powerful first step on the trip.

  1. Craig says:

    Good luck on the DMing. I was never quite as good at “thinking on the fly when the players pull an idea from left field” as my brother. He was truly an artist when it came to pen and paper adventure.

  2. LX says:

    Thanks for the good wishes Craig. I think it went pretty well for my first outing. There’s some definite room for improvement in terms of handling the out of left field ideas the players come up with. (I did give the “stuffing leaves in the chimney” idea a fair roll of the dice though.) It’s a new skill set and I’m enjoying it.

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