Since I returned to D&D about a year ago, almost my entire experience has been as a Dungeon Master. This was a scary thought a year ago – that the only way I was going to get a go at this game was to “bite the bullet” and do the hard work, boring role of DM.
After a year, I enjoy the “work”, so it’s not work, it’s fun. And it’s not boring. I get to set up situations for my players. I read resources and imagine what my players might do in the situation, or how I can splice this interesting idea into the story we are playing. I get to draw maps (which satisfies part of my creative streak) to set them up for Roll 20 (at the moment).
Then in the game, I have to be several characters. I have to rearrange everything when the players do something I had not expected, either to go with them, or sneakily guide them back to the main story. I can play off their actions and build some humour, and threat into the scene.
Yes, it’s busy, and yes, I can’t just rock up 5 minutes into the session and roll with it. But it’s not scary, and it’s not boring.
With COVID and a few other factors, I found myself helping a couple of my players help a new DM out. I think he’s DM’d before, but this was the first time he used Roll20 (and there was something else I had to learn at the start). Pretty slow, as expected, as we talked him through layers and tokens, dynamic lighting, rolling dice etc.
After that, the group has launched into Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
And, ummmm, I’m kinda bored.
Now, the DM is still learning Roll20 and seems to get bogged down in the details, but not always does this happen with just intricacies of Roll20.
I sit and wait my turn in combat. I listen in so I can play off the others and try to have my actions planned out before I have my turn. This keeps the game flowing, but I feel like I spend ages waiting for the others. Do all players feel like this?
I desperately want to know what’s around the next bend, but we’ve got to go slow so we don’t “illuminate” the bad guys (or move straight past them because they’re on a different layer) and ruin the surprise.
I’m starting think I don’t like being a player. Or at least a Roll20 player. Maybe I’d be less bored if we were all sitting around a table together?
Now, this group (apart from 1 other player) I’ve only just met, and only online. So there’s very little rapport built between us. That’s part of it, I’m sure.
Heck, maybe its just that it’s a dungeon crawl (well so far) and there’s no thing driving us? Maybe I’d like a more RP heavy adventure. Or at least a mystery or something?
But are there others out there that find being a Player boring, especially after being a DM for a while (or as a large part of your playing)?