View Full Version : Duo-DM processor, any good?

2008-04-18, 08:52 PM
My friend and I are going to do a double DM campaign. He is really good at coming up with story lines and maps and what not, and I am good at fleshing things out (trapping a dungeon, giving quirks to the NPC's, special systems for activity X Y or Z). When we do this we are planning one one of us (not sure who yet) to do all the story/traveling/town stuff, and the other to do the battles/interactions/etc. Obviously we may mix and match these, but thats just a general idea.
Also we might have it so we each do part of something (each take a level of the dungeon, or one gets outside of it and the other gets inside) so we can prepare everything before hand and just keep going when they switch areas.
Has anyone ever done a duo-DM campaign? And how well did it go? What are some pros/cons?

2008-04-18, 09:00 PM
I have done something similar before, and it went alright. Just make sure you either plan out every possibility way in advance, or agree to not try and step in (unless asked) when the other person has been deemed "in charge". Also, make sure that you talk over and agree on any major decisions, again do this way ahead of time.

2008-04-18, 09:00 PM
The closest I've had to this would be the DM having an assistant. He played the villains, helped new players, etc. I'd like to try this as it seems like it would work and might be pretty fun. the player's might get confused if you guys have very different styles though.

2008-04-19, 05:59 AM
I would think the best thing about two DMs with separate responsibilities would be that, in game, whichever one's "in charge" automatically has an assistant to do all the essential drudgery for the other guy; and the best part is he wouldn't get absolutely bored of it, because he's only doing the little things half the time. It would take at least a few long conversations between the two DMs, but think of the streamlining...

Then again, no one in my group likes DMing (over playing, anyway), so it would be hard to get two of them to do it.

2008-04-19, 10:26 AM
I really enjoyed it when a friend and I DMed a game together. We both put in way more effort together than we would have done DMing individually and the campaign went really well. What was most fun was the roleplaying aspect of it, since the NPCs were able to interact with one another as well as the players. There was a much more dynamic background cast than their usually is, and it meant that both DMs had an opportunity to do some roleplaying too.

Some tips:

Make sure you agree on all the major stuff in advance, so that either of you answering a question from a player on an important matter would give roughly the same information. Always be able to listen when your partner is talking so you know what stuff he comes up with on the spot. It is worth planning in advance who will adlib on what subject so you can get just one person's coherent thoughts instead of two.

Dr Bwaa
2008-04-19, 01:53 PM
I've never done it, but I've been in a couple games with co-DMs. They didn't work it exactly the way you're describing, but I really, really like how they've done it (the fact that they're both great DMs by themselves helps a lot, too).

In the longer-running one (still going), basically they just switch off DMing (approximately) every session. They also each have a character; these characters are identical twins who cannot exist on the same plane as each other except if they are called, and then only for something like 1 minute/day (there's some really weird temporal stuff going on; don't ask). But in any case, that way one of them is always playing and the other is DMing; the rest of the party knows about the weird phasing thing so it's perfectly normal when one of them randomly disappears and the other one shows up.

They collaborate on the really-big-picture stuff, and also on some of the details. However, each of them will generally have a couple ideas of his own that he doesn't share, so the other will still get the experience of being a PC with no idea what's going on every so often.

Obviously that's not quite what you're looking for, but something like that would be fairly easy and definitely worthwhile to do. It works great in our group, and with a few small modifications (DMs working a little more closely), I think it would fit your situation.

2008-04-19, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Obviously we are still working on straightening it out, but the experiences you all talked about are a help.