February is Dungeon Master Appreciation Month
To honor and highlight that very important player at the table, who week after week organizes your games and leads you on epic adventures, February has been pronounced Dungeon Master Appreciation Month by Wizards of the Coast since 2009, 8 years now!
Shelly Mazzanoble first celebrated the yearly appreciation of Dungeon Masters in an article published in Wired Magazine.
Since the mid-nineteen nineties, I have enjoyed being a Dungeon Master (DM). Running games like Dungeons & Dragons has become a big part of my life.
My first DM-ing experience was a far cry from the best - I didn't know all the rules, I had problem players - but I didn't give up! After many years playing, I picked up tips and gained experience until DM-ing became the highlight of my day.
If you're looking to appreciate your DM this month, check out these five mystical items that helped me along the way... and let's celebrate all those new DMs out there!
1. Published Adventures
I wrote my first adventure, and while I'm glad I was creative, a published adventure module written by an experienced world builder would have really been more helpful. Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars RPG, and 13th Age have published adventures by some amazing writers.
2. Dungeon Master's Screen
Keep it secret, Keep it safe! A Dungeon Master's screen can hide a DMs tricks and surprises, as well as keep information, reminders, and rules handy. Almost every game system has a published DM screen, or you can customize your own with the World's Greatest DM Screen.
3. Dice Rollers
Being able to roll one's dice in a leather cup with a secure top and then dump them out on the table has a fun feel to it. Bounce the dice off the wall of a tray, or drop down a dice tower - combining dice rollers with the fate of the player's character makes using dice that much more enjoyable.
4. Battlemat & Minis
Being able to draw abstract maps or build a landscape with Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles adds so much dimension to the gaming table. Adding minis to represent the Player's Characters and the Monsters helps to gain perspective in a situation that might have a lot of obstacles. I definitely wish I started my Dungeon Master career with at least a battlemat and set of pens.
5. Food & Snacks
Bringing your Dungeon Master their favorite snacks will keep them happy and energized throughout your game. Food could be the difference between succeeding in that negotiation with the Goblin King or a TPK (Total Party Kill). Your DM probably spent all day prepping for your game and forgot to eat - Help them out!