How prepared Should you be to Dm / GM your game ?
And does anyone ever notice how much work you put in ?
How prepared should you be as a DM ? Well at the very least you should always have read the module your going to run tonight/whenever before hand . That is minimum .
It is also all you need to do .
No seriously you are playing 12 parts , bad guys , villain , all the NPCs , and that special npc you tossed in to keep them from wandering to far away from their adventure rails . It sounds like alot , but it isn't .
You see , Dming is like this , it tells you what your party needs to find out in this room , or alley or where ever they are , and they give you these points like . “ they hear rumors of the undead being Heard at night by old Marshall's farm . Everytime anyone asks Marshall about it he waves them off and laughs about his farm being to close to the tavern , and walks away”
Ok so , now you can have them learn this 2 ways , have them roll , and when someone succeeds , you read this blurb , or , you pick an npc , even if you make him up , and have him talk about his cousin telling him this , and he asked Marshall about it but Marshall said the response to him , grumble about his opinions on Marshall , and move on .
if they dont ask him that , keep having the npc rant about it to anyone who will listen until he gets tossed out .
now this scene feels like its planned well but really your just acting out what the book told you .
And the answer is to the second question , no if your doing it right it will seems effort less . they should not notice any hard work you did because the focus is on the story . not on recognition . and the best reward is them getting frustrated and laughing , and nearly losing and cheering all because you put extra work in based on your players .
But do you need to do the extra work ? no .
I bring dice towers , blame dice , inform them the safety is off and party members can die ( even though im often lying but i need them afraid ) , give inspiration for everyone crying out greeen flame when it is said by me at the table in some way . i write npcs that i may need to keep some players from derailing a game . and most of all i never say no . i try to be prepared for anything they toss at me and if im not i make a note and use it against them later . I put alot of effort into my game .
not because i have too because i like it .
I was so frustrated that when rolling advantage they had to borrow another d20 or would reroll their own …. i bought everyone a new set of dice when we got taxes back .
Because i love our game and though i want to play more often than DM , ill never let us not play for not having one .
and if im your DM , ill make sure you are having a good time .
I once invented a fat , teleporting , time traveling , naked dwarf , who would pop up and make commentary during the game .
because simply making the popping noise would make them all laugh at who ever was about to get made fun of , and often it would be silly things like “ oh sorry forgot my keys” and silliness like that .
Because if your having fun they are too , and thats about as prepared as you will ever need to be . to have fun .
Listen to them tell you , the story , all you do is show them the road .
Have fun , and may your adventures live forever .