So, I'm pretty confident at this point that I can point new Dungeon Masters, particularly those who want to DM for a group of Kids, to a set of videos on Youtube, and have them pretty darn equipped to start running games this weekend.
Seriously, these videos pretty much sum up what I think one needs to know to get a group of kids sucked into a game and rolling dice in pretty short order. If you're getting ready to DM for some kids for the first time, and you have no idea where to start, I'm hoping that you will find this post to be a life saver!
|Photo by Nika Benedictova on Unsplash|
Bear in mind, these videos will help you run the game. You will still need some basic components to get going, but I've got those covered in these posts:
- The Ultimate Budget Gamemaster!
- Counting the Cost
- ...and if you're online: You down with VTT? (yeah, you know me...)
The Absolute Basics
These are the videos that teach you the core mechanic[s] of the game. Understand these fundamentals, and you can probably make up the rest of the details. Literally, all you need to understand to be a great DM for your players is in these first two videos. Yes, there's still character creation and combat and all of those things, but if you get this core mechanic, you are 70+% there. The rest is the surface details that flesh out the game. These first two videos are the skeleton / internal organs... basically the entire innards / foundation of the game.
Understanding the Core Mechanic
The Core Component - Helping your players make a Character
Game Space - Making a Safe Environment.
The Essential Pillars
These videos outline the details you will likely need to play the game. These are the rules that support the core mechanic of the game, allowing you to build great experiences for your players.
You don't have to be a professional voice actor to provide solid role playing experiences for your players.
Why these videos??
So, why did I choose the above videos as being representative of the entire D&D experience? I find them the most useful. There are a ton of folks making videos about playing D&D from Colville to Mercer, from the Dungeon Dudes to Ginny Di, and all are great! The above videos, from my perspective, most succinctly explain these ideas to a new DM, without a lot of fluff and fiddly bits. I love the, "This is what you need to know" approach. Now, that said, I branch out a lot more in this next section, which I consider to be the next steps. This is where you reflect and improve on this new-found skill.
The Quest for Improvement
These videos are ones you should check out after you've tried running a game. They will help you reflect on your experience and improve / expand your DM toolbox. I actually watch and re-watch the above videos frequently as well, and I've been playing and Dungeon Mastering off and on since 1992...
|"Level Up letterpress" by artnoose is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0|
Improving your Understanding of the Core Mechanics
- Bob World Builder - D&D Dice Explained | When To Roll?
- D&D Prep: Stop Flipping Through Rulebooks! (Dungeoncraft #85)
A deeper look at Character Creation
- Making Characters, Matt Colville Running the Game #4
- How to Make a Character in Dungeons & Dragons
- Simplified Character Sheet & Insanity Rules for D&D! (DungeonCraft #66)
More on Safety Tools and Session Zero
- The Ultimate D&D SESSION 0 Checklist! (Bob Worldbuilder)
- Guide to RPGs | Safety Tools (Random Tuesday)
- Rime of the Frostmaiden Session Zero and Campaign Outline (Slyflourish)
The Pillars - Advanced Combat
The Pillars - NPC's and Role Playing
- DungeonCraft #28: Designing NPCs
- How To Create Non-Player Characters for RPGs (Game Master Tips with Matt Mercer)
- 3 NPCs for your Tabletop Game from Ginny Di
- How to Instantly Create Memorable NPCs - D&D Beyond
The Pillars - Exploration
Playlists & Channels for new DM's & Players
There are tons of creators out there providing really great content that gets into the finer details of running and playing the game. I am subscribed to so many of them, and I don't want to leave anyone out, but these are the go-to playlists / channels for folks who are just starting out.
- Handbooker Helper - from the folks at Critical Role, this is a super-helpful & simple rules primer.
- Dungeon University - All of PDM's videos on playing the game stolen from his playlist.
- Most Useful SlyFlourish Videos - The 8 Steps of the Lazy Dungeonmaster is a life-changing revalation... and that's just the first video.
- DM & Player Tips from Bob Worldbuilder
- VTT Resources - My Playlist of videos by myself & others on playing online.
Again, there's so much more. I'm just trying to get you started.