Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Pro Tips For New Dungeon Masters

A Dungeon Master’s task is not easy! Here are 10 tips that DMs can use in their upcoming campaigns

Being a Dungeon Master is not an easy task. We’ve put together 10 tips that will make your campaign awesome.

1) Establishing A Good Cast Of Characters

First things first, you’ll need some good characters to run around. It’s vital to have some personality to your players, otherwise your campaign will lack flavor, and the players will become stale. Make sure to avoid having players with conflicting personality traits that will prevent them from adventuring together. If you are completely stumped, use this random character generator to help you out.

This also includes NPCs. Creating good non-player characters for your players to interact with is an important part of building a rich and interesting world. One idea for creating memorable NPC’s is to use the seven deadly sins as inspiration. For example, if you are creating a character that will have an antagonistic role in the world, you can use the seven deadly sins to influence the character. For example, if you are creating a character who is prideful, they may be the ruler of the land, or the richest person in the world, or perhaps they are famous due to their status. You get the idea.

2) Creating An Interesting World

If your players are to have any investment in your campaign, you’re going to need to give them something to get excited about. First, get a good idea of the parameters you are working with. What are the politics of the world? What are the countries like? What are the religions like? What are the laws of the world? What are the population? What are the ecosystems like?

Next, think about the flavor and tone you want to convey in the setting. Is it a grim and gritty world? Is it a free and open one? Is it a stylized world, or one that is realistic in its portrayal of life?

After this, think about the scope of your campaign. Is it going to be a small, one-off adventure, or a sprawling epic that will span many adventures? These questions will help you develop the feel of your campaign.

Finally, know the limitations of your world. This is going to be a very important step for you as a DM. It’s important to know what you can and can’t do with your world, and even more importantly, what your players expect of the world. If your players want a more free and open world, or one that is less stylized, or more realistic, then it’s important that you adhere to that. Even if you had a great idea that needs to be implemented, it’s better to take a step back and re-evaluate the world to match the players’ expectations. This will prevent resentment in the long run.

3) Building A Sufficient World

Now that you have a good idea of the parameters of your setting, you can begin to build it. It’s important to start small and build your world as the players go along. One way to do this is to build a town or a city, and build up from there. This allows you to establish your world’s feel and scope, and you can build up the mechanics of the world as the players go along, and as you begin to run out of ideas.

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4) Know Your Players And What They Want

This is a very important tip. Know the people you’re playing with, and what their expectations of the campaign are. This is going to be a very important and time-consuming task, and one that you need to take seriously. If you don’t know what the players expect from the world, you’ll end up with a bad campaign, and a lot of unhappy players. Talk to your players, get to know them, and learn what they like. This is an important step, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

5) Creating Some Interesting Quests

It’s important to have some interesting quests to run your campaign with. Having good quests is key to creating an interesting campaign world. You need something that is engaging, and something that will encourage your players to explore the world you’ve created. A good way to do this is to do some research on some interesting myths and legends. You can also pull your inspiration from history, religion, and popular culture.

6) Use The Players To Your Advantage

Another important step is to use your players to your advantage. It’s important to use the players’ strengths and weaknesses to your advantage, and to create situations that they are good at, or situations that they are bad at. If you are having trouble running your campaign, challenge your players, and reward them when they are good at the task at hand.

7) Be Flexible

Another key to being a good Dungeon Master is to be flexible. Remember that the players are in control, and that you are there to facilitate their fun. If they want to go in a different direction with the plot, allow them to do so. This will help them enjoy the game, and they will have a more vested interest in the campaign world. This is a very important step to take, and one that will create a good campaign.

8) Save The Big Battles For The End

When creating a campaign, it’s important that you have a good mix of combat, exploration, and problem-solving. When writing your campaign, it’s important to save the big battles for the end, so that the players are not bogged down by combat in the middle of the campaign. This also helps prevent burnout, since your players will know that situations are always going to get more dangerous, and that there are always going to be bigger monsters.

9) A Dungeon Master’s Best Friend

Dungeon Masters have a lot of responsibilities, and a lot of work to do. It’s important that they have a good friend that they can rely on for some help. If you have a friend that is good at writing, have them help you create a document with a lot of world building information, so that you can use it as a reference. One of the most exhausting things a DM can do is create a world from scratch, so this can really help you out.

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Another way you can improve your campaigns is to use an RPG generator. Many such tools exist on the web, and they can generate an entire campaign world, complete with NPCs, quests, and dungeons for your players to explore. This can be a very useful tool for you, especially if you are simply burned out on creating your own world.

10) Run Some Practice Campaigns

The best way to become a great Dungeon Master is to run some practice campaigns. Pick up some pre-written adventures, or create your own, and test out some of the techniques discussed in this article. If you are having trouble creating worlds, run some practice campaigns using one of the RPG generators on the web. Once you feel like you are starting to get the hang of it, create your own campaign world, and give it a shot.

About Paul Bellow

Paul is a gamer and an author. He loves reading and playing RPG’s. Paul has authored a few books, and hopes to release his first series, The Tower of Gates, in the near future.

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.

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