So, a few days ago, I posted an old review in response to a Creighton Broadhurst post. That post led my best friend to suggest that I start a blog wherein I review old gaming material. I started working on a post for this potential project. While I was working on that blog post, I realized something…I don’t remember why I got started GMing.
Granted, it has been over 30 years, since I sat down and started GMing, but I do not remember the steps between my first experience playing D&D that Sunday afternoon in March at Davy’s house and sitting down at my parent’s kitchen table drawing Lungold…I mean, Mythgold. I know that I must have played D&D more than that one time. I had an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual that my parents gave me for Christmas. So, what led me to wanting to create my first dungeon? What led me to craft an overland map that led the PCs to Mythgold? What set me on this path that I will not willingly leave? I don’t remember.
I remember long hours of playing my cleric Gregor O’Dragon nee The Gaunt, but a fair number of those hours happened after I first ran Players through parts of Mythgold. I remember being fascinated by the descriptions of the rooms in the module B1 – In Search of the Unknown. I remember stealing ideas right out of that module for Mythgold. I just don’t remember why I wanted to DM.
Our gaming group, in the early days, consisted of Davy McMillian, Michael McMillian (Davy’s cousin), Stephen Goff (my cousin), Clyde Smith(Davy’s friend), and Mark Inabinette (my cousin). Davy started out as DM, because he had the books. Shortly, thereafter, Davy and Clyde began taking turns at DMing. I don’t remember what happened at most or any of those games, but it was during those early days that I must have begun to desire to sit on the other side of the DM’s Screen.
What if my memory is faulty? What if I am wrong about which AD&D book my parents bought me for Christmas? What if I started drawing Mythgold before I had any D&D books of my own? It doesn’t really matter, because the truth of the thing is that I wanted to create. I wanted to make a dungeon. I wanted PCs and their Players to interact with the monsters that I had placed within it. I just don’t know why?
Even if I do not remember why I started GMing, I know why I do it today. I do it today, because I am a poor player. I have a hard time sitting on the far side of the Game Master Screen and not think about how I would run the game different. I enjoy creating. I get a great joy spending time designing maps. Working up NPC personalities gives me great satisfaction. Writing secret cards helps me to think outside of the box and fuels further creativity. Running games makes all the creative work I do worth the effort and time that goes into creating. Being caught off guard by my Players and having to maintain composure, think on my feet, and give the illusion that I had everything already planned out gives me a thrill that outweighs the glory of creating. Watching a story unfold, a story that I could not have crafted on my own, is like watching a flower bud open. It is a thing of beauty. Seeing Players getting caught up in the moment gives me energy to go deeper and draw forth more better encounters and adventures. It helps me make my world a more real place, at least for a short while, than the rest of reality in which we dwell.
So, why do you Master Games, my Good Readers? What draws you into the bright darkness that requires us to fill crannies full of goblins and sow the seeds of dragons? Until next time, Game On!