Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Swordgleam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Female

    Default Getting your players to try DMing

    The DMing thread reminded me of this. It's a common problem - a lot of people DM only because no one else will, and even the most passionate DM wants to play sometimes. So how can we get our players to try DMing?

    I've found the best (well, only, so far as I've managed) way to do it is with lighthearted games like Toon. In Toon, everyone runs a half-hour one shot with a really simple goal, and you take turns going around. I don't know if that's in the rule book, but that's how we've always played it, and it works at giving players at least a taste of DMing.

    I keep hoping for one of them to like it and want to run a game themself, but the best I've gotten so far is a greater appreciation for how much work DMing is.

    How about you? Any strategies for getting players to DM even a single game, or better yet, start a game of their own?
    Some things I do that you might enjoy:
    Chaotic Shiny - Random generators of all types for gaming and writing (including characters, names, taverns, cities, pantheons, languages, and 60+ more)
    Chaotic Shiny Productions - Flavor-packed D&D supplements (mostly 4e), plus some systemless free products and software
    Latest: Kingdom Builder Generator Pack II

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vvardenfell

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Flat-out refuse to do it yourself, forcing them to do so to get their fix?
    Books Owned:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player's Handbook
    Dungeon Master's Guide
    Monster Manual
    Monster Manual III
    Complete Adventurer
    Complete Arcane
    Complete Divine
    Complete Warrior
    Draconomicon
    Fiend Folio
    Frostburn
    Heroes of Battle
    Heroes of Horror
    Libris Mortis
    Lords of Madness
    Planar Handbook
    Sandstorm
    Savage Species
    Stormwrack
    Unearthed Arcana
    Races of the Dragon
    Races of Stone

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    I have this problem quite a bit myself- I'm the only guy who regularly DMs in my group, with one other guy who occasionally gives me a break.

    That being said, I've tried to get the others to DM some, and one of them tried it once. And from that I've learned something- not everyone who is a dedicated player makes a good DM. Especially when the person who usually DMs is the best optimizer in the group, since there's just that much more power being brought to bear against an inexperienced DM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ernir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Iceland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Use the same tactics you always use when you want your friends to do something for you. You know, bribe them with beer or threaten to tell everyone what really happened in that summer house in 2003. Whatever is the norm in your circle of friends.
    Halfling healer avatar by Akrim.elf.

    My sarcasm is never blue.

    Personal stuff: The Diablo 2 game (DMing), BBCode syntax highlighter for KDE
    CharOp: Lists of Necessary Magic Items
    Homebrew: My proudest achievement, a translation of vancian spellcasting to psionic mechanics. Other brew can be found in my Homebrewer's Extended Signature.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    randomhero00's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Its ironic, in my group its the opposite; we have 3 DMs that *like* DMing and have trouble deciding who gets to.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AslanCross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    I just went on DM Strike. After I finish my current campaign (in about 2-3 sessions), I had planned to start Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. However, it seemed to me that the players were taking it for granted, and I had too many concepts I wanted to play, so I told him I'm not running a game until I get to play.

    At least one person has stepped up.


    Eberron Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal. NOW COMPLETE!
    Sakuya Izayoi avatar by Mr. Saturn. Caella sig by Neoseph.

    "I dunno, you just gave me the image of a nerd flying slow motion over a coffee table towards another nerd, dual wielding massive books. It was awesome." -- Marriclay

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Swordgleam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    Especially when the person who usually DMs is the best optimizer in the group, since there's just that much more power being brought to bear against an inexperienced DM.
    I think I see why you have this problem. Why would you bring anything "against" a new DM? Make a mediocre character, sit back, and try to help him out. If you were teaching someone how to box, would you start out by pummeling them every time their guard dropped? Why do the same to a new DM?
    Some things I do that you might enjoy:
    Chaotic Shiny - Random generators of all types for gaming and writing (including characters, names, taverns, cities, pantheons, languages, and 60+ more)
    Chaotic Shiny Productions - Flavor-packed D&D supplements (mostly 4e), plus some systemless free products and software
    Latest: Kingdom Builder Generator Pack II

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Totally Guy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    We do it with systems.

    One guy does D&D 3.5.
    I do Burning Wheel (Formerly I did D&D 4E but it didn't work out).
    Another player will run nWoD (Vampire/Changeling).
    Another guy can run Serenity RPG. (But we've not played that in years.)

    It's good because the GM gets to really learn to engage a system along with the players. After a short while you can really open up and push them to the limits.
    Attempting to say controversial things that everyone will agree with.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordgleam View Post
    I think I see why you have this problem. Why would you bring anything "against" a new DM? Make a mediocre character, sit back, and try to help him out. If you were teaching someone how to box, would you start out by pummeling them every time their guard dropped? Why do the same to a new DM?
    That's my problem- I have a tendency to break games even when I'm playing weak classes. And even when I'm trying to coach a new DM, showing them the ropes and all. Which has contributed to my lack of fellow DMs. I mean... in the game in question I overwhelmed a new DM with a Ranger 2/Fighter 2/Ninja 1, completely on accident. I even chose to go unarmed and unarmored...

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kaun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The DownUnderdark!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Yeah i have tried the "I am not DMing anymore!!" tactic but it just ends up in there being no game.

    Most of my players have tried it (DMing) once or twice but it takes a decent level of motivation to keep a game going and often they will run 1 or maybe 2 sessions and then decide they dont like it and stop doing it.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    IonDragon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central California, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    There's always the option of 'round robin' DMing. Agree to either a set length of time, or adventure arc. One person runs for that adventure. Then characters rebuild/level up to a level determined by the next GM who does the same thing, probably with the same characters so there's a feel of reward there. I like this idea, though I haven't done it with my group.

    What we do is this:

    Each of us likes a certain style of game. One of the players likes a high powered world, one likes the mass battle system in which you command a group of troops, and personally I like either a high power game or coop story telling. Each of us runs what we like. Since running the game, you get to play the NPCs you really do get to play when running. You just have to remember you're playing to lose. We've also got a 4th player who's tried really hard to run, he's just TERRIBLE at it and a newbie who's learning the rules.

    Usually two of us run games at the same time, once every other week so that we have a game each week. Though for finals, we are currently on break.
    My games:
    Have you ever wondered How to Succeed in Evil?

    Thanks licoot for the awesome Pip avatar!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Enroll them in a DM mentoring program, where they spend six-weeks in a real dungeon shadowing an actual experience DM as he (or she) plots hooks, baits traps, and buffs up killer monsters! With an additional, nominal fee, they can get a bard to write songs to send back home to tell their parents of their exploits!*

    * - Offer not valid in all kingdoms. Check your local Adventurer's Guild for details.
    1. Have fun. It's only a game.
    2. The GM has the final say. Everyone else is just a guest.
    3. The game is for the players. A proper host entertains one's guests.
    4. Everyone is allowed an opinion. Some games are not as cool as they seem.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    I'm currently training a new DM now. I find it's easier to get them started using canned material. It's not incredibly inventive, but it gives them a chance to stretch their wings.

    It's honestly a long and arduous process, but she seems to be enjoying it. Now, if I could just boost her confidence enough to allow multiple players into the group we would good to go.

  14. - Top - End - #14

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Umael View Post
    Enroll them in a DM mentoring program, where they spend six-weeks in a real dungeon shadowing an actual experience DM as he (or she) plots hooks, baits traps, and buffs up killer monsters! With an additional, nominal fee, they can get a bard to write songs to send back home to tell their parents of their exploits!*

    * - Offer not valid in all kingdoms. Check your local Adventurer's Guild for details.
    I... I don't think I've ever asked this before, but can I sig this?

    Anyway, in my group finding a DM doesn't really seem to be a problem. I do it because I think it's fun, really, and I'm usually the one to come up with the unique campaign ideas. Out of our group of five, three of us have DM'd (myself and my one friend are considered the best though, the third was pretty meh as a DM), and the other two have plans for a campaign; one plans on making a LARP-like thing over the summer (with D&D rules... as long as we're having fun, who cares how stupid it is?) and the other is going to be running a Mass Effect style campaign (trying to make his own classes, which probably won't go well since he doesn't know balance much, and since D&D isn't the best system for this).
    It's been a bit, GitP. If you're reading this, you're either digging through old stuff, or I've posted for the first time in forever.

    If you want to stay in touch, reach out to me on twitter (same username).

    The best answer is always to ask your DM.
    Unless you're the DM, in which case you should talk to your players.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    demidracolich's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    In my group, everyone except me dms because I don't have the time and don't like dming. However, it is too bad that our best dm moved away this year.
    Really really really awesome avatar thanks to neoseph7

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    In our group, we have one person who usually DMs for us, but a few weeks ago we were finishing a campaign, and when we started thinking about characters for the next campaign he just said he didn't have any plans at the moment.
    I had plans for a little campaign setting and campaign, so I'm DMing at the moment.

    The best advice I can give, is for the group to just be honest with each other, and if you don't have a plan for the next campaign, just say so, and let one of the players volunteer to run a game if they have a plan and want to do it, if not maybe you should take a short break from RPGs and do something else together while someone gets an idea for a campaign.

    GENERATION 14: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Swordgleam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    That's my problem- I have a tendency to break games even when I'm playing weak classes. And even when I'm trying to coach a new DM, showing them the ropes and all. Which has contributed to my lack of fellow DMs. I mean... in the game in question I overwhelmed a new DM with a Ranger 2/Fighter 2/Ninja 1, completely on accident. I even chose to go unarmed and unarmored...
    Maybe you could sit out their first couple of games, act as a kind of co-DM, and give them advice? Then play when they're a little more ready, and can handle your game-breaking ways.
    Some things I do that you might enjoy:
    Chaotic Shiny - Random generators of all types for gaming and writing (including characters, names, taverns, cities, pantheons, languages, and 60+ more)
    Chaotic Shiny Productions - Flavor-packed D&D supplements (mostly 4e), plus some systemless free products and software
    Latest: Kingdom Builder Generator Pack II

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    demidracolich's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Also in my group we tend to be ADD about campaigns and characters. We always have multiple campaigns running at the same time and frequently change character ideas.
    Really really really awesome avatar thanks to neoseph7

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kaun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The DownUnderdark!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordgleam View Post
    Maybe you could sit out their first couple of games, act as a kind of co-DM, and give them advice? Then play when they're a little more ready, and can handle your game-breaking ways.
    yay so not playing at all

    I know what your getting at and i all so know what its like when long time DM's finaly get to play.

    You dont let any opertunities pass you by because lord knows when you will get to play again!!! Its hard to hold your self back, its like getting behind the wheel of a quarter mill worth of sports car and being told to drive at 20 miles an hour.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordgleam View Post
    I think I see why you have this problem. Why would you bring anything "against" a new DM? Make a mediocre character, sit back, and try to help him out. If you were teaching someone how to box, would you start out by pummeling them every time their guard dropped? Why do the same to a new DM?
    Because their defense skills will improve much, much faster that way? Perhaps not pummeling, but landing a solid blow. Solid optimization will get a new GM thinking on their feet that much faster, and teach them they can't plan for everything, and even the best ideas aren't perfect. Also, do keep in mind some people seem to view not optimizing at least competently when one can as a moral failing...

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vvardenfell

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Wanderer View Post
    Because their defense skills will improve much, much faster that way? Perhaps not pummeling, but landing a solid blow. Solid optimization will get a new GM thinking on their feet that much faster, and teach them they can't plan for everything, and even the best ideas aren't perfect. Also, do keep in mind some people seem to view not optimizing at least competently when one can as a moral failing...
    Bolt of Divine Retribution spamming solves everything. Either the player stops optimizing or stops playing with you. I call it a win-win.
    Books Owned:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player's Handbook
    Dungeon Master's Guide
    Monster Manual
    Monster Manual III
    Complete Adventurer
    Complete Arcane
    Complete Divine
    Complete Warrior
    Draconomicon
    Fiend Folio
    Frostburn
    Heroes of Battle
    Heroes of Horror
    Libris Mortis
    Lords of Madness
    Planar Handbook
    Sandstorm
    Savage Species
    Stormwrack
    Unearthed Arcana
    Races of the Dragon
    Races of Stone

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    See, i've never understood this problem. In my group my friends and i all love DMing; its actually a bit of an issue to decide who gets to DM each campaign.
    Monk sucks, but you know, it's not actually worth negative LA.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kaun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The DownUnderdark!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by krossbow View Post
    See, i've never understood this problem. In my group my friends and i all love DMing; its actually a bit of an issue to decide who gets to DM each campaign.
    There is an exception to every rule.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Fiddler View Post
    I... I don't think I've ever asked this before, but can I sig this?
    Go for it. First time I've been sigged in this forum, I think.

    (It should have been "experienced" not "experience". *sigh*)
    1. Have fun. It's only a game.
    2. The GM has the final say. Everyone else is just a guest.
    3. The game is for the players. A proper host entertains one's guests.
    4. Everyone is allowed an opinion. Some games are not as cool as they seem.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Getting your players to try DMing

    I don't really push my PCs to DM, since I enjoy it plenty, but I always encourage them when they have a new idea.

    That said, I find it very rewarding to play in games that my PCs are DMing, even when they're inexperienced DMs, because there's a certain satisfaction that comes from knowing that they learned their style from you It's sort of like the student becoming the master, in a way :)

    One trick that I've used to get PCs more comfortable with the role of DM (and to make my job easier) is to ask them to RP as some of the NPCs that other PCs face when I'm running a larger game and their characters aren't directly involved in the current scene. For example, in a political intrigue game that I run, 2 of the PCs always RP as the Zhentarim spymaster duo when those NPCs come into play. PCs who do this regularly get bonus exp as if their character was present in the action.

    Another thing I've started to do is to ask them to help me design the game world with me, and flesh out the part of the world where their character is from. I give out a free, PC-created (with DM input) bonus feat for this that only applies when the PC is in their home area or with people from their region.

    I've also asked PCs to make random NPCs that could be used as friends or foes of the party's ECL, including statblocks and tactics suggestions for me. Again, there's usually an in-game incentive for this. I also encourage PCs to update our wiki or keep character journals for some games.

    So all of my PCs have some experience with world-building, making characters, and playing NPCs. Right now 3 of my ~12 PCs run games of their own regularly, while all but 2 of the others have attempted to run at least one game. I'd call that a success, even if I still DM about 75% of the time.
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
    Spoiler
    Show

    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •