So I’m a player in my old mate Mark’s game of D&D 4e. This is after about 8 months of solidly running weekly games. I needed a rest, Mark wanted to run Scepter Tower of Spellguard, I wanted to play, we all wanted a chance to ‘start again’ etc. etc. Loads of good reasons right there. What I hadn’t realised is how much I would learn about my own DMing style from being on the other side of the screen.
Lesson 1: It’s good to have the bad guys surrender and/or flee when the fight is done. Mark does this in the majority of our encounters and I never did. He’s right, I was wrong. Last session we got three encounters done and that’s rare in our group. All because of some well timed surrendering, which crucially, didn’t leave us feeling like we’d cheated.
Lesson 2: It’s hard to focus all the time. There’s loads of options on the character sheet in front of you and everyoneelse’s options interact with yours. That means you need to be disciplined at times. It also means the DM might think you’re not paying attention, when actually it’s the opposite!
Lesson 3: You’re blind, deaf and dumb without the DMs input. The players have a responsibility too though. I only realised Julio’s cleric had a shield because I helped him with his character after last weeks game. Now I can visualise it more accurately.
Props to Marky for stepping up to the screen. Lord knows we don’t make it easy!