I have had extensive experience Dungeon Mastering for various table top role-playing games (RPG). I still distinctly remember being around the age of 14 or 15 and going halfsies with a friend on the d20 StarCraft RPG that was put out by Wizards of the Coast (WOC) as an RPG starter pack set in the, you guessed it StarCraft Universe. I remember reading the rule set with this same friend and we had no clue what was going on. Fast forward to a week later we then bought the Diablo RPG also released by WOC. We decided to actually play this time and we invited a few friends over. I was nominated to Dungeon Master our first experience. I had not even read the adventure that was provided in the package. So we sat down at the table for around two hours and could not even figure out how to do the first room (a bow and arrow does what?). We were too invested in getting the rules to work; story was the last thing on our minds. We ended up playing computer games shortly after this failed attempt. I try not to consider this my first DM experience but truthfully it is and was a disaster.
Time traveling leap forward to a year later and I found a cheap copy of the d6 Star Wars RPG. I really wanted to play it and I had thousands of ideas for stories that I would love to tell in the Star Wars universe. Sadly I had not forgotten about my previous failed attempts at trying to run a successful game. So I had a caustic amount anxiety when I decided to form my first group of players. It is very daunting for a first time DM to set down with friends that have never played a table top RPG before. In my case there was much fear of embarrassment. Are they going to enjoy themselves? Do I know the rules well enough? What is truly going to happen? I just had to suck it up and play, or in this case suck it up and Dungeon Master the game.
In the end we had a lot of fun; my players enjoyed the game even if it went slow at first with the pesky rulebooks getting in the way of the game. Once I got over the idea of being a rules lawyer and decided to let the story happen crazy things ensued. Jedi jumped out of windows Taxis were painted pink and refitted with E-Webs, the discovery of the famous bar in the Star Wars universe the Fish and Chips. Over time I became known as the Star Wars guy, and we played the game like it was meant to be played. To this day friends send me messages reminiscing about the game I ran which makes me feel good. I just have never forgotten how hard it was to DM a game without ever having played an RPG before.
Over the years my time to play has slowed down, bur recently friends from home have moved into the area I now reside. We have restarted role-playing by running Pathfinder after a failed attempt to play 4e, and I am doing some of the best Dungeon Mastering I have ever done. My players are going to be in for some twists and quite a few very exciting experiences. I am so glad I decided to dive into playing RPGs and took the risk to DM 10-11 years ago. My experience would have been smoother if I had the chance to play before I created but it has always been hard for me to find DMs so I naturally fell into the role my group lacked. To this day I still feel like I do not know the rules as well as I should so I let story drive the action. I still struggle to DM for strangers simply because I do not know what they truly expect from me. I am hoping with this blog and some time I will soon get over that. I still have many years ahead of me in this hobby.