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Monday Muse; Learn from Failure.

 

I can boldly say after 30 plus years of running games that I am pretty good at it. I can even go so far as to say that I have had other players and game masters ask me things like.

I wish I was as good a storyteller as you?

-or-

I don’t try because I could never be as good as you.  

I absolutely hate hearing that from new players. It might seem like a compliment but it is a self-defeating statement. When I see a new young gamer make this assumption I never say thank you. I remind them that we all have to start somewhere, and when I started there were plenty of bad games that I ran. Yet instead of giving up because I was bad I walked away determined to do better next time. And the next time as well as the next time. Each time Learning a little something from my failures until failure became something that happened more and more rarely.

I remind them that we all have to start somewhere, and when I started there were plenty of bad games that I ran. Yet instead of giving up because I was bad I walked away determined to do better next time. And the next time as well as the next time. Each time Learning a little something from my failures until failure became something that happened more and more rarely.

It is only by making mistakes can we learn from them and improve. So if you are too doubtful or scared to take that first step then you will never make a mistake to improve on. With the top two definitions of failure being an example here. You can either chose to try and fail or never try at all. If you never attempt to run a game you will never know if you will or will not be good at it. If you try and fail at least you have laid the groundwork to set the bar for improvement.

1. an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success:

“His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure.”

2. 
nonperformance of something due, required, or expected:

“A failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.”

So the only time as a Game Master you fail is when you do not learn from your failure. TPK your party? Better learn your encounters better. Forgot parts of your story? Better learn better not taking skills and so on.

Here are a few golden tips for a starting GM to remember when he wants to compare himself to another Game Master.

  1. Have fun 
  2. Be Prepared
  3. Mistakes Happen
  4. Learn From Your Mistakes
  5. If you make a Mistake & No One Notices… Don’t Worry About IT! 

In the end, as long as you and your players are having fun, you are winning at being a Dungeon Master. Give it time you will only get better.

Until next time!

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