When should one start DMing?


Advice

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Grand Lodge

Choon wrote:

I've been playing Pathfinder for over 9 months now and I was curious when someone had enough experience or became "qualified" enough to DM competently. I have a good (yet not encyclopedic) grasp of the rules and have at least tinkered with most if not all the classes.

The group I would be leading have all been playing for years longer than I have and I really don't want to suggest I do it and then muck it all up.

So when did you, oh pathfinder message board denziens, first start DMing?
What qualities or experience levels should I look for in myself before seriously considering taking up the title?
If you would deem someone like me able, what are some common pitfalls to avoid in introducing and running a homebrew world (as that is my ambition) that I should be on the guard against.

Thanks in advance.

My only advice is do a one off with pregens and a module as your first kick at the can, something like the free games days stuff, or any of the modules designed for first level (my favourite one off may be 'We Be Goblins."

The point here is to get your feet wet running the game, and GMing NPCs while not also having to work creating the adventure, having it all fit together, the CRs being appropriate etc.

In fact I might argue that being the GM and being the world builder are actually two separate roles, that are often done by one person. You can be an amazing GM while being awful at making your own world and vice versa.

Liberty's Edge

Crypt of the Everflame (among a sea of great suggestions for a first module) is a great place to start. It is intended for 1st level and it has a wide variety of challenges. It was also the first module made to run under the Pathfinder rules so there are notes and sidebars explaining various rules and such to help those that were transitioning to the PF rules. It's a great read, easy to run, and my players had fun with it. Depending on how much time you have, it could be finished in one long sitting, or over a few shorter ones.


Start as soon as you can so you can get used to this brand new system to envision your world to your players. Even if you don't start soon, the best advice I could give is this... What is you're worlds like/ about. The moment you start rambling about what your world is and what the party might face, your ready to go. Everything from that point on is merely guideline in how you run the system in this world.

You don't, or are even expected to memorize or know a majority of the rules. As long as you have the basics down: basic roleplyong ( telling the story- the part made easy) and combat. Combats easy if you want it to be. All of this influences you for being ready to DM.

It's one thing to be tossed into the deep end and learn everything as you go. That's fine. However, having some basic knowledge will help you tremendously when compared to the person who knows next to nothing in what they are doing. If the basic knowledge is roleplyong, then you'll learn how to get better at combat/ rules. If its the mechanics side you know basics about, but suck at storytelling, you'll get better at that. Everyone has something they can use as a stepping stone to go from NOT DM'ing to DM'ing. Just find yours, and go from there. The rest is trial and error.


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Speaking from personal experience, I started Dm-ing about a 25 years ago, when I was the last left at the table who cared enough to do it; Dm-ing is more responsibility than any sane human being would want, but don't let that stop you. :)


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mem0ri wrote:
Thorkull wrote:
The Best Goblin! wrote:
Well, where did the first DM come from?
Do you really need to ask?
Are you sure it was Gygax and not Arneson? Just sayin' ...

You are correct to doubt. The first DM was David Wesley.


Irontruth wrote:
mem0ri wrote:
Thorkull wrote:
The Best Goblin! wrote:
Well, where did the first DM come from?
Do you really need to ask?
Are you sure it was Gygax and not Arneson? Just sayin' ...
You are correct to doubt. The first DM was David Wesley.

Very interesting article -- TY for posting it. I always knew that Blackmoor -> DnD had occurred in Arneson's basement and grew out of wargaming ... but I had never known of Braunstein or Major Wesley.


It really is. The advice at the end of it is slightly out of date (written prior to Arneson's death), but there are still a few OG's left to talk to and hear their stories. More people should document them for posterity.


For your first time you're gonna want to pick a simple premise(the players are hunting down a bounty of some sort for example) then pick a location either homebrewed or a campaign setting you frequent and start coming up with some character creation guidelines. I recommend the players know each other to start(you can do the more advanced stuff when you feel more comfortable) and try and keep your first campaign short, maybe 1-3 sessions max. If you have any other cool ideas for them to do either social or combat be sure to blend it in so that it flows well with your core idea. Oh, and never get in over your head with your ideas. Simple and easy are best for first timers. If you have trouble free forming(as I do) writing important info down is a must.

And always remember that you will mess up and that it's totally okay when you do so long as you can bounce back from it.

Grand Lodge

mem0ri wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


You are correct to doubt. The first DM was David Wesley.

Very interesting article -- TY for posting it. I always knew that Blackmoor -> DnD had occurred in Arneson's basement and grew out of wargaming ... but I had never known of Braunstein or Major Wesley.

Man, and I read that article a few years ago, too! *sigh*

Still, my main point was to illustrate that the first DM was clearly one of the inventors of the game/genre.


Irontruth wrote:
mem0ri wrote:
Thorkull wrote:
The Best Goblin! wrote:
Well, where did the first DM come from?
Do you really need to ask?
Are you sure it was Gygax and not Arneson? Just sayin' ...
You are correct to doubt. The first DM was David Wesley.

All hail David Wesley!

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