Hey folks! In today’s post, DnD 5e Top 5 More GM Tips, I’ll be covering some more tips that I think will benefit you as a GM. If you’ve been wondering when the next post of the different planes of existence will be, rest assured, next week you’ll have that desire fulfilled!
So make sure your brain is nice and ready to have some information shot at it as we dive into this week’s post!
GM Tip 1 Set Expectations
This is a pretty simple one. It’s something you should do when starting a new campaign with your players. It’s essential to have them on the same page. You need to let them know what kind of campaign you wish to run. Personally, I give them options for types of campaigns.
This allows your players to create characters and backstories suited to the type of campaign you plan on running. If it’s more roleplay-focused, they may choose particular backgrounds or skill sets to complement that. If it’s going to be more classic D&D dungeon crawling, then they can base their characters around that.
Setting these expectations early really allows everyone to be in sync, and will mostly prevent any issues where players have characters that don’t get to shine in the environment they find themselves predominantly in.
GM Tip 2 Be Consistent
This goes back to a tip I gave in the first post. When making rulings you need to make sure you are consistent. It’s important for your players to know what to expect when they come up with a plan. With all the different rules in DnD, planning can revolve mostly around making sure the plan works within the rules so that you don’t get caught out by something you missed.
So you owe it to your players to be consistent with your rulings. Of course, you are welcome to change these rulings, just give the players a heads up. Another thing you can do if you find yourself making a lot of changes is to keep track of your custom rules and put them in a place everyone has easy access to.
GM Tip 3 Your Table is Unique
While it’s all well and good to follow generic advice from places like Reddit that can have a more uniform idea of how a DnD game should be run, always remember that your table will always have its own unique quirks.
The reason this is important is that you’ll see a lot of advice about things to stray away from in terms of storytelling. Personally, I’m of the belief that if you’re GMing for a table, you should know what to stray away from. I don’t think sexual assault or gory torture scenes have much place in DnD.
What tales you decide to present your players is something that no one can really tell you how to approach. It is something wholly unique to you, the media and stories that have influenced you, and the specific players at your table. Use your own judgment here, if it’s a group of close friends, there are likely no subjects that are taboo, or you will at least know what to avoid. In a similar vein if you are GMing for a group that you are not intimately familiar with, then try to keep things light or leave certain things up to the imagination.
GM Tip 4 Voice are Optional, but Fun!
This is one that seems to be a love it or hate it kind of thing. However, I think as the GM you set the tone. If you get into the role of the various NPCs in your campaign, giving them voices and mannerisms, then your players will be more likely to follow your lead.
Trust me it can be goofy at first, but as you practice it, you’ll get a whole new sense of appreciation when your players recognize a certain NPC just by voice and mannerism. It can be really good when they meet back up with an NPC near and dear to them that they haven’t seen in a while.
GM Tip 5 Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This is a big one. I know I’ve spoken about the Mercer effect on the blog before, but it doesn’t just go for Matt, it goes for any famous GM out there. These people have had backgrounds and more importantly a lot of time to hone their craft. Us hobbyists will take longer to get close to that level.
Your GMing journey is your own, of course, you should take advice on board from as many sources as you can, and store them somewhere in your GMing brain, it all works together so that you can find your own style and ultimately what makes you want to be a GM.
So try not to get down on yourself when you see another GM do something impressive, take what they did on board, and try to implement it in aspects of your own games. Likely, it might be clunky at first, but trust me, you will stumble on this journey, but if you stick with it, you’ll beam with pride when your players reach out to you and thank you for the game, plot point, or unique battles, dungeons or puzzles.
I’ve been a little busy with some other things going on which is why I’m posting these shorter posts just now, but I hope that they do help you in your GMing journey. I’m hoping to pick up the Plane of Existence series again next week, but these past couple of weeks I’ve had a lot going on in my professional life.
Anyway as always I hope this helped and until next time, I hope your week is a Critical Success!