Are you a successful dungeon master?
Successful session checklist
When I look back on a session here is how I judge if it was successful or not? What are your criteria?
- I spent less than 1 hour preparing the session.
- I had fun during the game.
- All the players had fun during the game.
- Combat encounters were fast-paced and unique.
- The story moved forward through a roleplaying encounter.
I spent less than 1 hour preparing the session
I rarely find big blocks of time for game preparation so I have to be efficient. It was not really an issue when I was just hanging out, doing nothing (college). But time marches on and I sometimes have to prepare a game in 30 minutes – which can be plenty.
I had fun during the game
Lack of preparation combined with stress – the mind killer, or was that fear? – is my DMing nemesis. It’s sometimes better to call a game off than play a crappy session.
All the players had fun during the game
If the players have fun, I have fun. It’s that simple. So I make sure I involve all their characters during every session.
Combat encounters were fast-paced and unique
One of our house rules is that you can just declare that your character attacks, you have to describe the action. I also like to try to make fun combats last longer if the PCs are just owning the monsters.
The story moved forward through a roleplaying encounter
I like to plant clues in social interactions – it makes roleplaying rewarding for the players.