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Three reasons to let someone else DM

Our weekly Dungeons and Dragons session went a little of the beaten path for us as we were missing two of our players. Since we were in the middle of an adventure, we decided we needed to either do something with different characters or possibly an alternate timeline.

As our usual DM, I offered to give up my seat to a player in our group who DMs a couple of games of his own. I figured this gave him a chance to work with our group as DM instead of as a player while giving me a chance to play. Turns out this was a good idea.

So, with that in mind, here are three good reasons to step back and let someone else DM.

  1. See the players from a different perspective – It’s one thing knowing what the players need to do versus trying to figure out what you need to do. I got used to sitting back waiting for players to make a certain decision, or say a certain word, or find a certain hidden item/door. This weekend as we played through the scenario, I found myself in the player’s proverbial shoes as I was now trying to figure things out. As a DM now acting as a player, it was interesting to switch perspectives.

Cody watches on as the players try to decide how to handle a group of giants.

  1. Gives you a better appreciation for player struggle during combat – Players want to do the best thing possible during combat. Whether that’s casting a spell, saving or friend, or whatever else they can dream of. As a result, it takes them some time to try and figure out what it is they are going to be doing. As a DM, I found myself getting frustrated when players took forever trying to decide what action/reaction they were going to do during their turn. Now, I may have to re-think it. I still think they need to have a good idea of their action, but combat is ever changing and, as such, so are their actions/reactions.

Icingdeath prepares to attack our party.

  1. Gives your group a breath of fresh air – Our campaign has been grinding. It’s been fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been wearing on me and the party. By allowing someone else to run the story for a week, it gave me a chance to take a break and not worry about planning anything. Plus, seeing someone else in action gives me ideas on how to better my DMing style. After all, I am always looking to improve!


How about a bonus reason?

So, I have a cleric that I was “playing” in our campaign that has since become an NPC. With having someone else DM it gave me a chance to play him again. Which was great. Especially since we did an alternate timeline-type scenario and we were all 14th level. Sweet! Right?

At first, it was great! My cleric seemed to be unstoppable, but, as the party started getting beat up, I came to a quick realization: Your cleric will always need to heal someone and won’t be doing a whole lot of damage. <sigh> Oh well.

In the end, we had a good time without disrupting our current storyline. Which is great! Thanks to Cody for stepping up and DMing for us!

How about you? What reasons to you have for letting someone else DM for a bit? Let us know in the comments.

Patrick Cossel is the publisher of The Forge Herald. He can be reached at pcossel@gmail.com



© 2017, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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