Hello and welcome back to another night here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. Tonight I wanted to have a Free Talk – February edition where I look at something that I think we need to address in the Dungeon Master world. Tonight’s topic is perhaps getting a bit real, a bit idealist if you will but it involves a topic that was brought up by some other excellent DMs I had a discussion with tonight. Setting expectations.
Free Talk – February
Setting expectations is crucial to a successful TTRPG group. For a new player this could be a simple as introducing yourself as the new DM and asking people to ‘bear with’ or have some patience as you may not know all the rules off by heart. This is pretty much a given one where you give yourself some buffer by providing an expectation to the kind of DM that you are or what you aspire to be.
But this is another expectation to set. What do you expect yourself to be? We all have a journey in the world of TTRPGs and they all start with a fundamental interest in the game system. Whether its, like me, a family spawned hobby or if its someone you idolise we normally have someone we look up to for advice when it comes to RPGs. For some of us we set our sights high and we look to the figureheads of RPGs.
But this is as much of a topic for new System Masters as it is experienced ones. We can’t be Matt Mercer. We cant be Mark Hulmes. If we aspire to be the exact DM/GM as some of these giants then we will always fail. We may be as great, we may be better in some aspects but what they bring to the table is different and uniquely theirs.
Understand what our limit is. One experienced awesome DM from tonight’s table doesn’t do voicing for NPCs. This is perfectly fine. Other DMs may love dark-grit fantasy and think that perhaps the current edition of D&D is a bit too PG for them. This is also perfectly fine. What I bring to my table is different to the other DMs I spoke to tonight, new and old. This means my style of Dungeon Mastering is different but I am still here to facilitate a great game which is not only entertaining but enriching for both the players and myself.
How we play our game, how we run our table has to have limits. We can’t be everyone and everything and the Dungeon master and players having that discussion around expectations of each other, the campaign and the general flow of things can make it better. However tonight’s Free Talk – February edition does have a message.
As I do in my professional career. Find what you enjoy. Find something that you truly thing produces wonderment in yourself and others and aspire to do that. Whether its the phenomenal Narrative and storytelling of Mark, or the voices and energy of Matt. Or the ability to keep your players on track (like a few DMs from tonight) find something you aspire to do and set it as a goal. We can’t establish growth without a benchmark.
Thanks for joining me tonight after I have spoken about D&D for more than a few hours today with other fine DMs. If tonight’s encounter (where I failed my initiative check and rocked up late) has a closing message it would be, quite simply this.
Inspire yourself to be the best you. There is only one Dungeon mater you need to aspire to be like and they greet you in the mirror. There will be new DM’s out there, potentially your current players who admire what you bring to the table. You become their aspiration, what you bring to the table becomes their benchmark. So be proud of what you bring. This isn’t an easy gig, its quite challenging at times even for the most veteran of us. So for being willing to give this a shot, to continue to bring your best to the table I want to say thank you for inspiring others to pick up the mantle.
Tomorrow I hope to bring another Zine, and if time permits two. So don’t forget to come back for that and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
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