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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Hello, everyone. I run a podcast called Side Quests, and this week my co-host and I discuss what we feel to be the nine commandments vital to being a good DM. If you are a seasoned veteran, this won't be new information, but you're still welcome to have a listen. We made this podcast with the beginner DM in mind, so if you are just getting your feet wet in the realm of dungeon mastering, please come have a listen!

    LINK: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    While we go into greater detail on each point in the show and do our best to explain our choices, the nine commandments we lay out are as follows:

    1.) Your personal story isn't as important as the communal story. Your players will never care about your world as much as you do and that's okay.
    2.) Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.
    3.) Don't be afraid to make problems of your own.
    4.) Ripping off other campaigns, video games, books, etc. is acceptable and oftentimes encouraged.
    5.) The rules, much like the pirate's code, are more of a guideline. Don't let them trip you up.
    6.) Know your players and play to their strengths and their interests.
    7.) You are the arbiter and messenger, not the enemy. Your job is to make sure everyone has fun, not to make sure everyone dies.
    8.) All DM's should be aware of Rule 0 and when to invoke it.
    9.) D&D is largely improv. Instead of saying 'no,' say 'yes, and' or 'yes, but.'

    What do you think? Are there any commandments that we missed? Is there anything you think new DM's should know that isn't listed here, or do you disagree with any of these points?

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    Hello, everyone. I run a podcast called Side Quests, and this week my co-host and I discuss what we feel to be the nine commandments vital to being a good DM. If you are a seasoned veteran, this won't be new information, but you're still welcome to have a listen. We made this podcast with the beginner DM in mind, so if you are just getting your feet wet in the realm of dungeon mastering, please come have a listen!

    LINK: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    While we go into greater detail on each point in the show and do our best to explain our choices, the nine commandments we lay out are as follows:

    1.) Your personal story isn't as important as the communal story. Your players will never care about your world as much as you do and that's okay.
    2.) Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.
    3.) Don't be afraid to make problems of your own.
    4.) Ripping off other campaigns, video games, books, etc. is acceptable and oftentimes encouraged.
    5.) The rules, much like the pirate's code, are more of a guideline. Don't let them trip you up.
    6.) Know your players and play to their strengths and their interests.
    7.) You are the arbiter and messenger, not the enemy. Your job is to make sure everyone has fun, not to make sure everyone dies.
    8.) All DM's should be aware of Rule 0 and when to invoke it.
    9.) D&D is largely improv. Instead of saying 'no,' say 'yes, and' or 'yes, but.'

    What do you think? Are there any commandments that we missed? Is there anything you think new DM's should know that isn't listed here, or do you disagree with any of these points?
    I'd say a large number of these are group-specific. In particular, I've had groups get quite. . . attitudinal about #4, as they were interested in playing they OWN campaign, not in re-hashing some other campaign/tv show/movie/novel.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I'd say a large number of these are group-specific. In particular, I've had groups get quite. . . attitudinal about #4, as they were interested in playing they OWN campaign, not in re-hashing some other campaign/tv show/movie/novel.
    You're absolutely right, and that is a point we make. A lot of the 'commandments' are fairly situational, and, as we say in the show, at the end of the day, you know your game better than we do. Not every group can be shoehorned to fit these rules and that's why number six--knowing your players--is arguably the most important of the lot. Everyone has different playstyles, different goals, and different reasons to play the game. Your mileage may vary with this list; we just found it to be a good starting platform for beginning DM's. Thanks for your response!

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    An important rule is 'Never resolve an out of game problem in game.'

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Commandment #11: Learn when to actually say no. As in "No, you cannot strap a xylophone to your halberd."
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Commandment #11: Learn when to actually say no. As in "No, you cannot strap a xylophone to your halberd."
    How did this ruling come about?

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    An important rule is 'Never resolve an out of game problem in game.'
    Oh most definitely. Bringing real world issues into your fantasy world is a recipe for disaster. Awkward, awkward disaster. Good one.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Commandment #11: Learn when to actually say no. As in "No, you cannot strap a xylophone to your halberd."
    Now, I'm normally in favor of "say yes always, no matter what," but I have to ask.. story time on this one?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    What do you think? Are there any commandments that we missed? Is there anything you think new DM's should know that isn't listed here, or do you disagree with any of these points?
    I'm not so sure about #1. If players A to C like X, but the DM likes Y, then the game must do X. Well I'd say that having three players do the thing one DM wants, is just as bad as having one DM doing what three players want to do.

    And as for seven...I have always been a two hat DM. A DM should try to ''kill the characters'' when they are acting out a role in the game...like a foe.

    And I don't think many players like nine.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    An important rule is 'Never resolve an out of game problem in game.'
    Equally important is keeping in-game problems from becoming out-of-game problems. If your friend's character pulls a prank on your character, or does something that really ticks you off, don't let it affect your out-of-game relationship.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    13) Your group will contain a spread of playstyles. If you favour one too much, your group will have fewer.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    Hello, everyone. I run a podcast called Side Quests, and this week my co-host and I discuss what we feel to be the nine commandments vital to being a good DM. If you are a seasoned veteran, this won't be new information, but you're still welcome to have a listen. We made this podcast with the beginner DM in mind, so if you are just getting your feet wet in the realm of dungeon mastering, please come have a listen!

    LINK: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    While we go into greater detail on each point in the show and do our best to explain our choices, the nine commandments we lay out are as follows:

    1.) Your personal story isn't as important as the communal story. Your players will never care about your world as much as you do and that's okay.
    2.) Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.
    3.) Don't be afraid to make problems of your own.
    4.) Ripping off other campaigns, video games, books, etc. is acceptable and oftentimes encouraged.
    5.) The rules, much like the pirate's code, are more of a guideline. Don't let them trip you up.
    6.) Know your players and play to their strengths and their interests.
    7.) You are the arbiter and messenger, not the enemy. Your job is to make sure everyone has fun, not to make sure everyone dies.
    8.) All DM's should be aware of Rule 0 and when to invoke it.
    9.) D&D is largely improv. Instead of saying 'no,' say 'yes, and' or 'yes, but.'
    Aren't (5) and (8) basically the same? Also, with respect to Rule 0, you should know when to invoke it and when not to.

    Love the second sentence of (9).
    Last edited by Barsoom; 2013-07-10 at 04:47 PM.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    Now, I'm normally in favor of "say yes always, no matter what," but I have to ask.. story time on this one?
    Have you never had this player? I thought every DM encountered this player over hte years. This player can be recognized by the following:

    "I'm chaotic neutral so I thought my character would only speak in limericks, but he has only intelligence 5, so he doesn't actually know what a limerick is."

    "Can I buy 200 live chickens instead of adventuring equipment?"

    "My familiar is a banana pancake."

    "I punch the king, because I'm so random."

    "The guard is arresting me? Don't tell me how to play my character!"

    "Combat is starting? I'm starting to juggle!"

    "I'm half goldfish on my mother's side, so my long term memory is only five seconds."


    Now, these were all invented. But I do remember the time I had a player who played a pacifist fighter who was, amongst other things, afraid of:

    Small furry animals, dark rooms, spiders, water, the undead, magic, people with weapons, the colour blue and fresh fruit.

    Afraid enough to run away at full speed. Of course, this was the first campaign I ever ran, I was a newbie DM and I was trying to run a premade adventure to learn the ropes.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2013-07-10 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Tork View Post
    I'm not so sure about #1. If players A to C like X, but the DM likes Y, then the game must do X. Well I'd say that having three players do the thing one DM wants, is just as bad as having one DM doing what three players want to do.
    If you and your players share intrinsically different ideologies on what constitutes quality D&D, there's unfortunately little you can do to fix the problem. But, as the DM, it is up to you to ensure that the game runs smoothly and the players enjoy themselves. An accomplished DM will be able to incorporate ideas, themes, and scenarios he or she wishes to have happen as well as the things his or her players desire. For example, let's say you want them to investigate the dealings of a demonic cult that's going to eventually lead them to the greater campaign arc, but they are more interested in the intrigues between the thieve's and adventurer's guilds. Build on that intrigue, that rivalry, encourage that storyline and have them incorporated into their chosen guild. The adventurer's guild starts finding that the thieve's guild has ties to a demonic cult, helping them procure goods needed for rituals. Something. Anything. There's always a way to tie the story back to where you want it to go without railroading. And now you have an entire subplot built by the players, including memorable and important NPC's to use as resources. This is what rule number one means. If you have a story and your players want to tell a different story, your story takes a back seat to "our" story. That doesn't mean your story has to go away; you just have to be creative. And being creative is what being a DM is all about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barsoom View Post
    Aren't (5) and (8) basically the same? Also, with respect to Rule 0, you should know when to invoke it and when not to.
    Within the context of the podcast, rule number five refers to dealing with rules lawyers and letting the rules slow down the pacing of the game, where rule eight more covers your ability and the extent of your authority as the DM, and when it is and isn't okay to invoke absolute law on your players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Have you never had this player? I thought every DM encountered this player over hte years. This player can be recognized by the following:

    "I'm chaotic neutral so I thought my character would only speak in limericks, but he has only intelligence 5, so he doesn't actually know what a limerick is."

    "Can I buy 200 live chickens instead of adventuring equipment?"

    "My familiar is a banana pancake."

    "I punch the king, because I'm so random."

    "The guard is arresting me? Don't tell me how to play my character!"

    "Combat is starting? I'm starting to juggle!"

    "I'm half goldfish on my mother's side, so my long term memory is only five seconds."

    Now, these were all invented. But I do remember the time I had a player who played a pacifist fighter who was, amongst other things, afraid of:

    Small furry animals, dark rooms, spiders, water, the undead, magic, people with weapons, the colour blue and fresh fruit.

    Afraid enough to run away at full speed. Of course, this was the first campaign I ever ran, I was a newbie DM and I was trying to run a premade adventure to learn the ropes.
    I know the type. I don't DM that type, but I know of it. And my response to it would not be to say no, but when a player says, "My character is afraid of furry animals, darkness, spiders, small rocks, gentle bursts of wind, a child's laughter, etc.," I would quiz them on their character's motivations, why such a coward would want to brave the dark places of the world, how that player intends to have their character grapple with and overcome these worries, how that character is going to move forward and develop as an individual, how these qualities are going to help define his character as a compelling member of the party.. if they can answer all those questions earnestly, I give them a pass and let them try their hand at their oddball character. But usually showing your players how serious you are about DM'ing makes them serious about playing and weeds out the wise guys.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Weeelll...

    It's a good idea, but it I don't think it will work. In my experience, they don't put that much thought into their character, apart from "lol random". At best you might get a very short answer like "childhood trauma, he's not talking about it" or "he was cursed by the goddess of love for writing dirty poetry about her".

    The one I had probably could, the guy's smart and he's also a pretty good story writer, usually.
    If you tell him not to play what he wants, he'll probably either sulk or make a scene and throwing out someone during character creation has a habit of tainting a game session.

    Plus, the guy was my best RL friend at the time. I only knew him and one other person who were even remotely interested in fantasy of any kind. Couldn't really kick him.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2013-07-10 at 05:29 PM.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    Now, I'm normally in favor of "say yes always, no matter what," but I have to ask.. story time on this one?
    Player was playing a bard and did not want to be told that she had to put away the halberd in order to play her instrument, which was a xylophone, so she decided to strap it to the weapon and play it while engaged in combat.

    She also attempted to strap on a lit torch, turn her xylophone into one of those little drag behind kids toys that plays by itself, and bolted a hooded lantern to her head (not helmet, head).
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    What do you think? Are there any commandments that we missed? Is there anything you think new DM's should know that isn't listed here, or do you disagree with any of these points?
    As others mentioned, several are group and / or system specific. They're certainly not all "vital to being a good DM". As you note in a follow up post, some are situational. If they're situational, how are they vital?

    Some specifics:
    #1 - Personally, I agree. However this is not universal. Many prefer tightly scripted adventures.
    #2 - While I agree with the sentiment, I'd reword it. Absolute statements tend to be disprovable.
    #3 - Depends on your definition of "problem". Personally I'd say you should create in-game conflict, situations, dilemmas, and drama. None of those are what I'd consider problems in the context of a game.
    #4 - Sure, no real objections...inspiration may come from a variety of sources. I often use news, not much weirder than real life. ;)
    #5 & 8 - These are system and group dependent. Some systems depend on arbitrary GMs while others don't need (or even discourage) arbitrary decisions. Most importantly, don't break the social contract!
    #6 - Depends on the game / system. Some intentionally explore specific concepts.
    #7 - Agree until "your job is to make sure everyone has fun". You can't force fun. Perhaps more importantly, the GM is a player of the game also - just in a different role. He / she should also be having fun. It's a group effort to ensure no one is having fun at another's expense.
    #8 - See #5.
    #9 - It's a decent guideline, one I try to keep in mind. It's not an absolute. Don't be a doormat! So not something I'd call a commandment.

    To come up with valid "commandments" you'll need to paint with a broad stroke. I'd say the single most important thing a GM needs to do is communicate. The GM is the players' window into the campaign and setting as well as a referee. Communications are key.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Player was playing a bard and did not want to be told that she had to put away the halberd in order to play her instrument, which was a xylophone, so she decided to strap it to the weapon and play it while engaged in combat.

    She also attempted to strap on a lit torch, turn her xylophone into one of those little drag behind kids toys that plays by itself, and bolted a hooded lantern to her head (not helmet, head).
    Was she playing a gnome, perchance?

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Player was playing a bard and did not want to be told that she had to put away the halberd in order to play her instrument, which was a xylophone, so she decided to strap it to the weapon and play it while engaged in combat.

    She also attempted to strap on a lit torch, turn her xylophone into one of those little drag behind kids toys that plays by itself, and bolted a hooded lantern to her head (not helmet, head).
    ... but the xylophone things there are amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raum View Post
    #5 & 8 - These are system and group dependent. Some systems depend on arbitrary GMs while others don't need (or even discourage) arbitrary decisions. Most importantly, don't break the social contract!
    Uh... just to check, you do realise that 'arbiter' is not the same as 'arbitrary', right?
    Last edited by Raineh Daze; 2013-07-10 at 06:37 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    Was she playing a gnome, perchance?
    No, just insane. She also sobbed loudly when her character was killed after charging blindly into a dark room she knew to be filled with monsters.

    Like I said, sometimes the DM really should just say no.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Raineh Daze View Post
    Uh... just to check, you do realise that 'arbiter' is not the same as 'arbitrary', right?
    Yes. Items 5 & 8 are talking about making unilateral decisions without or in spite of published rules. That's arbitrary.
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    arbitrary
    adjective
    1. subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion: an arbitrary decision.
    2. decided by a judge or arbiter rather than by a law or statute.
    Do note, I did not assign a value judgement to making arbitrary decisions. I simply stated it isn't appropriate in all situations / groups / game systems.
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Player was playing a bard and did not want to be told that she had to put away the halberd in order to play her instrument, which was a xylophone, so she decided to strap it to the weapon and play it while engaged in combat.

    She also attempted to strap on a lit torch, turn her xylophone into one of those little drag behind kids toys that plays by itself, and bolted a hooded lantern to her head (not helmet, head).
    Maybe these are the sorts of things that fall under #9's "Yes, but--" thing?

    Such as, "Yes, you can strap a xylophone to your halberd but your halberd is now unwieldy and the xylophone's keys are falling out."

    "Yes, you can strap a torch to yourself if you want to be on fire."

    "Yes, you can turn your xylophone into one of those drag-behind kid's toys that plays itself, though it works pretty crappy on rocky terrain and gets stuck whenever there's mud."

    "Yes, you can jam some bolts into your skull if you really want to. You can no longer feel your right arm."
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    My cousin and I started playing D&D together; my first game was his first game. The biggest problem I ever had with him, regarding the game, was that he felt that players should never lose. If his characters died, he would get upset (sometimes he would get upset at even a relatively minor setback or embarassment). When he DMed, my players just could not ever lose. (I don't know if he was consciously aware of his bias or not)

    I did not enjoy his games.

    If I can tell that a DM is being soft on me (or "us"), either by fudging dice in my/our favor or having npc's do uncharacteristically stupid things, then I just lost virisimilitude and now enjoy the game less. I like challenges, and if I only got by through "cheating", then I'm going to feel cheated.

    So, some of these "commandments" need to be tailored to the specific players.
    Last edited by Seharvepernfan; 2013-07-10 at 11:07 PM.
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Raum View Post
    As others mentioned, several are group and / or system specific. They're certainly not all "vital to being a good DM". As you note in a follow up post, some are situational. If they're situational, how are they vital?

    Some specifics:
    #1 - Personally, I agree. However this is not universal. Many prefer tightly scripted adventures.
    #2 - While I agree with the sentiment, I'd reword it. Absolute statements tend to be disprovable.
    #3 - Depends on your definition of "problem". Personally I'd say you should create in-game conflict, situations, dilemmas, and drama. None of those are what I'd consider problems in the context of a game.
    #4 - Sure, no real objections...inspiration may come from a variety of sources. I often use news, not much weirder than real life. ;)
    #5 & 8 - These are system and group dependent. Some systems depend on arbitrary GMs while others don't need (or even discourage) arbitrary decisions. Most importantly, don't break the social contract!
    #6 - Depends on the game / system. Some intentionally explore specific concepts.
    #7 - Agree until "your job is to make sure everyone has fun". You can't force fun. Perhaps more importantly, the GM is a player of the game also - just in a different role. He / she should also be having fun. It's a group effort to ensure no one is having fun at another's expense.
    #8 - See #5.
    #9 - It's a decent guideline, one I try to keep in mind. It's not an absolute. Don't be a doormat! So not something I'd call a commandment.

    To come up with valid "commandments" you'll need to paint with a broad stroke. I'd say the single most important thing a GM needs to do is communicate. The GM is the players' window into the campaign and setting as well as a referee. Communications are key.
    Hi, thanks for the response. The intent of the podcast was to lay down some ideas for new DM's that would help them create the best D&D experience possible. In the show itself, we go into detail about what each point means, the caveats attached to each, and in the end we decide that the entire list of commandments are, similar to the rules of D&D, more of a guideline; nebulous, open to interpretation, and don't fit everyone's playstyles. I could understand how the truncated version of our thoughts I've posted here could seem incomplete, perhaps even incorrect, which is why I'd encourage any new DM's looking for information to listen to the podcast, where I feel we better explain ourselves. But I'm thrilled to see the subject bring such conversation, and many wonderful points have been brought up, yours included!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seharvepernfan View Post
    My cousin and I started playing D&D together; my first game was his first game. The biggest problem I ever had with him, regarding the game, was that he felt that players should never lose. If his characters died, he would get upset (sometimes he would get upset at even a relatively minor setback or embarassment). When he DMed, my players just could not ever lose. (I don't know if he was consciously aware of his bias or not)

    I did not enjoy his games.

    If I can tell that a DM is being soft on me (or "us"), either by fudging dice in my/our favor or having npc's do uncharacteristically stupid things, then I just lost virisimilitude and now enjoy the game less. I like challenges, and if I only got by through "cheating", then I'm going to feel cheated.

    So, some of these "commandments" need to be tailored to the specific players.
    I agree absolutely. I use the word 'commandment' but it's just a buzz word. These things aren't hard set in stone. And the disconnect and dissatisfaction you felt with your DM going easy, I feel, is covered by number 6: know your players. As I mention in the show, my group is much more character-driven. They love their characters and are attached to the point where if we had a TPK it would probably end the campaign. So I have the task of making a campaign difficult enough that the worry of death is prevalent, but not pushing it to the point where I wipe the group. But every group is different and none of them are wrong.
    Last edited by Prymetime; 2013-07-10 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    I feel, is covered by number 6: know your players.
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    Maybe these are the sorts of things that fall under #9's "Yes, but--" thing?

    Such as, "Yes, you can strap a xylophone to your halberd but your halberd is now unwieldy and the xylophone's keys are falling out."

    "Yes, you can strap a torch to yourself if you want to be on fire."

    "Yes, you can turn your xylophone into one of those drag-behind kid's toys that plays itself, though it works pretty crappy on rocky terrain and gets stuck whenever there's mud."

    "Yes, you can jam some bolts into your skull if you really want to. You can no longer feel your right arm."
    No, we attempted that (the DM and myself who got sick of a 2 hour diversion every time one of these things popped up). She wanted to dictate not only what she wanted to attempt, but the result as well, and logic had no effect. Even to the point of physically showing her how big a xylophone was and what happened when you tried to secure it to a halberd (by strnage coincidence, we actually had both on premises at the time).

    So, yeah, I maintain that the DM needs to learn when, on those certain occasions, he/she is required to simply say "No."


    In any case, I will unhijack this thread slightly and comment more towards the OP.

    Specifically, commandment #1. I would typically rephrase it thus: "Plot/story in game does not work the same as plot/story in a novel, movie, or television show. It is, simply put, what the characters do, not a progression from point A to B to C creating an overarching predetermined story."

    Can't tell you how many games I've quit based on what I view as this misunderstanding. Both as a DM and as a player.
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    No, we attempted that (the DM and myself who got sick of a 2 hour diversion every time one of these things popped up). She wanted to dictate not only what she wanted to attempt, but the result as well, and logic had no effect. Even to the point of physically showing her how big a xylophone was and what happened when you tried to secure it to a halberd (by strnage coincidence, we actually had both on premises at the time).
    *Dictating results is not one of the rights a player has. Remind them of this. They can choose their actions and make their decisions. But the world - even physical laws, need to react to them

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Even to the point of physically showing her how big a xylophone was and what happened when you tried to secure it to a halberd (by strnage coincidence, we actually had both on premises at the time).
    Now that's a story i wanna hear.
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Haart View Post
    Now that's a story i wanna hear.
    Sure.

    Now, you got to keep in mind I was wearing an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Scow2
    *Dictating results is not one of the rights a player has. Remind them of this. They can choose their actions and make their decisions. But the world - even physical laws, need to react to them
    Yeah, I know. And we did remind her. But she detonated at least three separate gaming groups entirely. The survivors of the fallout, luckily, got together and have formed a fourth and seriously keep it under wraps that they're even still living in the same state let alone gaming.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Prymetime View Post
    7.) You are the arbiter and messenger, not the enemy. Your job is to make sure everyone has fun, not to make sure everyone dies.
    I've said before that the books should do a better job of emphasizing the fact that to "win" the game is to have fun, not to "beat the DM" OR "beat the players".

    Making sure everyone has fun, though, is the job of the whole group. If the DM offers you plot hooks to go west, south, or east, the players shouldn't head into the northern wastes and demand the DM conjure a story for them out of nothing.

    That doesn't invalidate this rule, but there should be something similar on the "9 rules of being a good player".
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    Default Re: The Nine Commandments of DM'ing

    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    Sure.

    Now, you got to keep in mind I was wearing an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time . . .



    Yeah, I know. And we did remind her. But she detonated at least three separate gaming groups entirely. The survivors of the fallout, luckily, got together and have formed a fourth and seriously keep it under wraps that they're even still living in the same state let alone gaming.
    How in the world did you let one person wreck three successive gaming groups? No one had the cojones to boot the person?

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