DM Commentary #1 / by Anthony Morales

Writing helps you refine your thinking, it can make you happier,  can lead to increased gratitude, increase productivity and improve communication skills. In other words, it's good for you. Writing has never been my habit, but I do like talking about D&D, so I'll give it a shot here. I’ll share my thoughts about the games I run, preparations, the lessons learned, etc. Through this I hope to get some feedback: tips, improvements, problems I miss, etc. 

Over the first four weeks of this campaign I steadily reduced my preparation time. I’ve poured over dozens of articles online by Chris Perkins,  Sly Flourish, NewbieDM and others. I sampled a few books too. My focus on reducing prep time is motivated by 3 things. 1) Taking several hours from a busy schedule every week to play a game is difficult enough. 2) The 5E campaign I was playing in ended because the prep-time was unreasonable for the DM. 3) I remember, as a new DM 20 years ago, not playing because I felt I wasn't prepared.

Background:

  • Homebrew D&D 5E campaign 
  • New DM/Player (I’m no rules expert, play 20 yrs ago doesn't count today)
  • Weekly session, 3hrs max
  • Goals: good story

Best DM advice received so far? 

  • Don't over-prepare. -- most common advice, hardest to follow
  • The DM is playing too. (from @ChrisPerkinsDnD:  @antm I play the role of the DM about 99.5% of the time.)