When you DM, you have access to every information, so it’s really easy to lose track of what’s obvious and what is not.
What’s your name? Who are you?
My name is Guillaume. I’m a French art student who has TTRPG and gaming as a whole as a hobby. I’m around 24 years old and I’ve known D&D for a looong time. I played lots with my best friend when I was a teenager: but I have been DMing only for the last 2 years.
I recently wrote about how my first session as a DM was a total disaster. How did your first session as a DM go? What system were you running?
My first session as DM was a session of Shadowrun 5e (yeah, didn’t choose the easiest) with 4 of my friends. I misunderstood a few rules, combat was a bit sluggish but I managed to lay down the cyberpunk mood with some background music and descriptions. Players had fun and they succeeded. It went honestly better than expected.
Tell us about how you game these days. How many games do you run? Do you mostly play online or in person?
Nowadays I don’t game much because I moved away from friends and players. But next year I’ll come back and I’m eager to prep some campaigns! I usually game in person for D&D 5e and Shadowrun 5e (because if I don’t DM it, nobody will).
What do you think is the biggest hurdle DMs face?
Biggest hurdle to me personally is improvising on the go. It’s a skill I have a hard time learning. As a whole I’d say “thinking like a player.” When you DM, you have access to every information, so it’s really easy to lose track of what’s obvious and what is not. Especially in heist/investigation scenarios.
If you could give advice to yourself before you ran your first game, what would it be?
Chill, and if anything slows the game down, try to get rid of it somehow instead of losing your players scratching their heads for hours.
Who are three DMs, online or in person, that you admire? Why?
- Bamce from the Without a Net Shadowrun podcast for the gritty, down to earth, realistic stories and characters he manages to pull off.
- Mr. Johnson from The Arcology Podcast; it’s always fun to listen to the shenanigans he comes up with for the PCs. His way of DMing is really streamlined.
- Aram from the Godsfall podcast, for his great tone and amaaaazing worldbuilding. The world he created truly feels alive when he starts describing it.
What custom creation of your own are you most proud of?
Don’t know if it counts but I made an ambient/intro music track for my Shadowrun games. I’m afraid I can’t find it anymore though. Also a few artworks.
Quick, in one sentence, invent a magic item. No stats necessary.
Circlet of Sunlight: An ornate brass circlet which when worn around the head produce intense light around the wearer. The wearer can see clearly as if it was day in a large area. The wearer is really hard to look at without any kind of protection. Any creature with an aversion to sunlight takes energy damage when around and cannot look directly at the carrier. The owner is not bothered in anyway by the intense sunrays and heat that radiates from them.
Naming just one tool, what’s the most valuable tool you use to help you prepare for your campaign?
The Internet, of course, is a goldmine, but to be more specific the software Chummer. It’s a character creator for Shadowrun that takes care of all the maths for you. It streamlines the character creation process so much that pretty much nobody in the SR community makes PC by hand anymore.