DM Tales, “A State of Mind”


Between the my fiction writing, my blog, and my near-weekly sermons I write a lot. Writing is, in fact, my favorite way to express my inner thoughts and both provoke both thought and encourage wisdom. So imagine my delight when I discovered, the first time I DM’d a session, how much being a Dungeon Master felt like writing. It’s collaborative writing, to be sure, but the psychological space is much the same. The DM and party work together to create a story which takes random turns, shaping characters who give the gaming world life. And often, when you have a party of folks who have spent much of their lives pressing the “Shiny, red, candy-like button” when people tell them not to, the story can take some rather strange twists.

What’s a DM to do with a party which tends to think, “Oh look, let’s do this thing that will throw plans in a crevasse?” Some DM’s may throw their hands up in despair 1. But I have a strange personality trait.

I’ve spent most of my live pushing the “Shiny, red, candy-like button” when people tell me I shouldn’t.

So my DM-style has incorporated trying to imagine what buttons the party is going to press because…shiny…and see if I can meet them there. Sometimes, I’ll even get to the buttons ahead of the button pushers. One such instance of this occurred in my last session, when we discovered a whole new state of mind. Enjoy!

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  1. And there’s no judgement, there. I’m sure there are DM’s out there who feel like they’ve planned out six paths for the party to take, and don’t feel like creating a personality for another generic NPC who they put in the corner as an extra.