For ages I deliberated offering to run a game of D&D for my friends. I felt like there was no way I’d be able to do it, no way to cover all the bases. I was doomed to fail. Little did I know it’s now easier than ever to run a game!

This secret confidence not only comes from just running a game (and having a great time doing so) but from the wealth of content I’d watched beforehand online.

Where to start!

A great place to start is Matt Colville’s ‘running the game’ series. These are the very first videos I binged when considering to DM and are extremely helpful. He covers everything from your very first dungeon to dealing with toxic players and is an excellent resource for new DMs. Similarly, Matt Mercer has produced a small series with geek and sundry called ‘DM Tips’ and offers his take on the D&D FAQs. Just these two series alone are enough to prepare you for your first session. If you’re anything like me, after watching these, you’ll be eager to start!

Now of course you need an adventure to run. A quick google of D&D will bring up the Lost Mines of Phandelver. This adventure is a great starting block but a huge commitment for new DMs to undertake. Instead I’d suggest heading to the DMs Guild. Here you’ll find tonnes of content which will probably be overwhelming at first. Simply whack on a few filters and you’ll be able to find a popular, fun adventure suitable for new players . I’d personally recommend the hilarious ‘wild sheep chase’. This one-shot provides a great role play, exciting combat and a good story to go along with it!

Finding players can be difficult. If your friends are unreliable or not interested in playing it can be hard to start a game. That being said, Roll20 and other online platforms exist that are overflowing with people willing to play! Alternatively, Discord is a great way of finding new players, brainstorm ideas and seek advice!

Taking games to the next level!

If you’re looking to take your games to the next level, there are tons of crafting channels to help you! People like Black Magic Craft and The DMs Craft are all helping thousands of people create scenery, paint minis and design physical battlegrounds for their tables. I personally found LukesAPS to be extremely useful when it came to painting my first set of minis. Whilst they’re not perfect, they’re certainly serviceable, and my players were impressed with the effort I’d put into them!

5 Miniatures

A handful of miniatures I painted for my players. Not bad, but not great either!

Kickstarter has also been a platform for some amazing D&D content to really ramp up your gaming experience. Holographic spell cards, Reference cards, and Herobooks are all extremely popular kickstarters improving gameplay fluidity and helping new players get the hang of D&D. Most famously, the aforementioned Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers supplement has broken records for the most funded D&D Kickstarter ever. This has allowed him to ramp up his video quality and is starting a live streamed game (similar to critical role) extremely soon!

Unfortunately with the number sponsorships and online resources, I feel like the original magic of the game has somewhat been lost. Heading down to the hobby store and exchanging stories, designing dungeons and forming a small community doesn’t seem as prominent as it once was. I dread to think about the hobby stores that are losing out on customers due to the online market being so vast. That being said, the online community is still thriving well, and the games popularity is only on the rise (as discussed in a previous post).

Just do it!

Don’t wonder whether or not to start running a game, just do it! We’re lucky to be living in an era where help can be found within seconds online. There is no need to fear the role of dungeon master with all this content out there. So get watching it! Just don’t get stuck as a DM like I have!