There are a lot of people out there talking about a lot of things. People who cast their thoughts and opinions out for all the world to see, and maybe, just maybe, someone will listen. Many of us just hope that our words may reach and inspire so much as a single person. Then, and only then, can we know that it was worth it. On the subject of gaming, there are a few people whose thoughts and opinions really do continue to inspire me. Most of them are close friends, but there are a few industry professionals whose works I do follow. One of my current favorites has been Chris Perkins.
For those who don't know, Christopher Perkins is the Senior Producer for Dungeons and Dragons. He has been writing a column on the D&D homesite since February 2011 entitled The Dungeon Master Experience. He's put it on indefinite hiatus as of last Thursday. I can say right now, I'm gonna miss his posts.
Back before I even knew who the heck this guy was, I ran across a video on YouTube wherein he ran a one-shot for some of the writers for Robot Chicken. I remember hearing in the DM's commentary that "if someone who's never DMed before comes away from these video casts thinking 'that doesn't look hard at all. I want to try running a game.' then I have accomplished something." I'll be the first one to admit that, yes I did think that, and yes I did run a game. Thumbs up to you, sir. Now, many moons later, I find myself re-reading his articles, and being further inspired. Inspired to put more work into my game, and to better craft my campaign worlds.
Personally I think people like this are important to the hobby. There are too few ready to take up the challenge of running for others, and even fewer ready, willing and able to teach those who came after. Not many of us have someone who'll show us the ropes, and most of us end up thrust upon the mercy of our players. It's an easy job, but a complex one that is more an art than a science, and the benefits of experience are paramount. Every little bit of insight is worth it's weight in gold, and much like currency, it's worth more in circulation than out.
It strikes me that if we want more people to play and more people to DM, there are a few things we can do. Help. Encourage. Inspire. Teach. For you Forever DMs out there, teach someone else how. Show them how things work, and help them through the process. Encourage them to not give up. Failures are going to happen, and that's totally okay. Put some care into your craft and it'll show through, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. The easier it seems, the easier it becomes, and attitude is infectious.
I'm going to keep this one short and end it here, but first some food for thought. Who has inspired you as a DM? What advice would you give to a new gamer looking to DM? And how can you make this look easy to someone totally fresh off the turnip cart?
Until the next encounter, Stay classy!