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D&D Players: 5 Tips Make Your New Dungeon Master’s Life Easier
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D&D Players: 5 Tips Make Your New Dungeon Master’s Life Easier

You gotta start somewhere, so why not start now? Starter Kit delivers you to the world of roleplaying games in a fun and easy-to-digest manner! Join host Jason Charles Miller and special guests each week to help build up your Starter Kit and begin your own adventure!

Dungeons & Dragons is the first experience of tabletop RPGs for many people. Part of D&D Fifth Edition’s success was making a version that was easy to understand for new players while also keeping a mix of elements from previous editions for returning players. The new edition also has a lot of new Dungeon Masters creating adventures for the first time. Dungeon Mastering is a skilled art that can be a little scary at first. For those tables full of first-time players and first-time Dungeon Masters, here are a few things you can do to help out the person that’s taking a risk on the other side of the screen.

Say Yes


RPGs have benefited in recent years from designers who have their feet in both the geek and improv worlds. One idea that really keeps the game moving is saying “yes” whenever the Dungeon Master throws a problem at the players. If the players spend time refusing the quest of the shadowy man in the corner of the tavern, that’s less time for awesome heroics and witty banter. There will be time for more personal quests as the players develop their characters and the Dungeon Master develops the world.

Roll Damage and Attacks Together

Pacing is one of the areas where new Dungeon Masters often have trouble. Keeping a table’s attention for hours at a time is difficult, but even small things on the player’s side can help them out. Keeping combat fast is certainly something everybody wants and a good way for players to do that is to roll the attack and the damage at the same time rather than rolling one, seeing if it hits, and then rolling the damage if it does. The other dice don’t matter on a miss, but they might also give whoever is describing that moment of combat a little more inspiration if a big miss could have meant big damage.

Write Down Your Powers and Abilities Clearly

Everyone at the table should be helping to keep the rules straight. They don’t have to be strictly followed, but the more things a player has written down on their character sheet, the less time spent looking up spells or special abilities. Character sheets don’t always have a lot of room, but even doing something as simple as writing down a page number next to a spell or an ability will speed things along until character abilities are second nature. (Hint: index cards are great to make personal reference cards for this sort of stuff.)


Pick Up Your Own Supplies


Most of the time, the Dungeon Master is the one who buys all the initial supplies for a game like the books, the dice and so on. This is alright when a group is just starting out, but as a campaign rolls on, it can be very helpful for each player to pick up their own supplies. It can be simple as a set of dice to cut down on passing around a communal set or even by grabbing an extra Player’s Handbook to speed up rules consultations or reading the book to a greater degree in between games.

Be A Good Guest


A good Dungeon Master knows hungry players means grumpy players, and often times, they’ll share food (or even cook) for the group. There’s a lot of prep work, a wonderful experience if done right, and requires some cleanup afterwards. If the Dungeon Master is hosting, be sure to bring some snacks, drinks or other items that make the burden of hosting a little easier to bear. If the game is at a bar or game store, show your appreciation by picking up a drink tab or buying snacks to keep the Dungeon Master working at peak efficiency.

New to RPGs? We got you. Catch our show, Starter Kit with Jason Charles Miller and friends. The show is full of tips for new D&D players, and is available exclusively on Alpha with new episodes going live every Thursday!

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Featured image: Wizards of the Coast

Image Credit: Teri Litorco, Wizards of the Coast, Geek & Sundry

Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves and is a writer for the Star Trek Adventures RPG line. His blog is here, where he is currently reviewing classic Star Wars RPG adventures. His Twitter is here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.

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