Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why do we DM?

I wonder sometimes, why do I DM? I enjoy playing D&D, a lot. However, my best gaming experiences are when I am the helm of the ship. I am by no means an ego manic, matter of fact, I am completely the opposite. I am unsure, self doubting, and have an awful case of low self esteem. I always question of my group is truly having fun playing, or if they are hating every minute of my games. For a long time this caused me undue stress which lead me to step away from the game for a good year. (This is not only reason I stepped away, that was the same year my daughter was born and I did not want to miss a minute away from here.)

Eventually I overcame a lot of these feelings and was able to move forward and got the group back together. Sure, I still get a awful case of butterflies before each game, but now I realize they are having fun and they keep coming back for more. I am sure I am not the only person that feels this way.

I digress. Why do we put ourselves through this? Why are DMs? What sets as a part from the group?

My theories:

I've been there, done that:
DMs are the guys who have played the longest and no longer get a thrill from the game and chose to take their past experiences and apply to their own game.

God like powers:
Some people are attracted to god like powers. When you DM you do have the ultimate power to decided what is going to happen to your PCs. Sure, you may have dice rolls to determine an outcome of any random event, but if you DM you know there are times where you flub a roll to advance the story. With that being said, if you abuse said god like powers, you run the risk of becoming a power-monger and turning the game into a bad experience for your players.

Creative outlet:
I think I fit this one the most:
You love fantasy adventures, read the books and comics see the movies, and you want to translate these things into your own game world. You have more ideas than time for games, you are always thinking of new things to bring to the game or ways to increase game play through props and voices.

Why do you DM? Or Why do you think your DM does it?


luis791 said...

Well as fellow DM and a friend, I would agree with you on your 2 out of 3 of your theories. I have been playing DnD for about 2 years and I think I have ran some good games, even tho I have never really had much experience and only really read the dm or players handbook just enought to understand the rules set. But I do get a great creative outlet and you know my small ego that I don't lover power.(heheh) Nice blog btw.

Ryan Walters said...

I think you and I are both are not really the type of guys to have these huge egos that think their shit don't stink. (Can I say shit on Blogger? I guess I just did.)

I also think sometimes if a person know too much about the game, meaning they have read all the books, all the supplements stuff and are rule czar, they tend to lose some of the creativity to over using the rules.

Don't get me wrong, I have read a lot of the stuff, but I pick and choose what I think will work with my group and stick with my choices though out the entire game.