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So sadly, after almost two years, our DM has kinda had a burnout, though that was obvious to us months earlier as our once a week game became one every few weeks to months. Long story short, he's taking a hiatus, and even if he does come back, it won't be with these current characters. He specifically said "world", but I would have to assume these characters as well. However, I still heavily love playing with this group, we all started playing online anyways so in person didn't matter. The problem was that all of us were relatively new to the game, this campaign being our first ever. One of the other players only ever set up one-shots for us but I was hoping to play a full campaign again, this time in the DM's chair. I'm scared to try though. Should I try my own homebrewed world (still based in the regular mechanics just not any rewritten story) or is there a rewritten campaign I should look into like Ravnica or Sword Coast or something?

TLDR; I want to try DMing but don't know if I should go with my own world or an existing module.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what kind of answer you are after. Pick a prewritten campaign, or make your own, depending on which you feel like doing. Is there any particular thing about using prewritten/your own that is concerning to you? \$\endgroup\$ – gszavae Jun 19 at 4:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a side note, you should generally wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer, so that all time zones have a chance to read your question. Unless you think your question is already 100% answered and you really don't care for more input. \$\endgroup\$ – WakiNadiVellir Jun 19 at 6:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. We might be better able to give you advice if you more clearly lay out the parameters of the question. We can't just tell you what you "should" do, as it's entirely opinion-based, but depending on what issue you're encountering, we may be able to help you edit your question to ask something we might be able to answer. In essence: Why are you asking whether to try your own homebrew setting or an existing campaign setting? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 19 at 6:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ As an addition to @V2Blast comment, some stackable questions in my opinion would be: Understanding the different challenges between running a homebrew vs a module or asking which is easier for a new DM to adapt to. But being honest your problem seems more like being anxious for little reason. Try to take a look at the new-gm questions to check what are the most common issues that will show up in the table. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 19 at 18:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, do note that it is important to specify the game system you are planning to play. Since you are using "DM" and talking about Sword Coast and Ravnica, we can easily guess Dungeons & Dragons, but still it is unclear what edition (again, we would guess 5e, but that's guessing). The site has very strict policy on not guessing the system and likely the question will be closed as Unclear until the system is clarified. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 19 at 18:22
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Starting with a premade campaign is generally easier than making your own. All you have to do is read the adventure, then follow the steps. If you have no preference for either, than starting with a premade is going to be simpler.

That said, building your own world is extremely rewarding, and you will learn to be a good DM a lot faster by having to set up everything from scratch. One of the big problems with premades is that DMs feel like they have to follow them, which may leave your players feeling like they don't have much choice but to go with the flow and not do anything too creative.

I would encourage you to play a premade 1 shot, and then maybe start by making your own 1 shots, which can be fleshed out into full campaigns when you feel comfortable. 1 shots are an incredibly valuable tool, you can try a lot out without committing to huge campaigns.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the feedback! I would love to get into building my own world but didn't know if it would just have been easier to learn through a module. I'll try and give that a premade one-shot then I'll go from there. \$\endgroup\$ – WayTooZoned Jun 19 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WayTooZoned Ultimately if building your own world is what you really want to do, you should do it. Don't worry if it's a little harder than playing a premade, I think you should do what you enjoy. Playing a premade 1 shot, or at least reading 1, may give you a starting point to understand the structure though! \$\endgroup\$ – gszavae Jun 19 at 5:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Starting with a premade campaign is generally easier than making your own." — That's really a matter of opinion. I find that absorbing a prewritten campaign to the point where I'm confident I can run it is much harder than writing my own. \$\endgroup\$ – Quentin Jun 22 at 0:04
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You are obviously scared because being a bad DM carries a 10-year jail sentence

Oh wait, it's armed robbery that carries a 10-year jail sentence, my bad. Being a bad DM carries no consequences whatsoever other than the opportunity to try and do better next time. And the next time. Until, hey presto, you are now a good DM. This is, in fact, how you get good at anything.

Seriously: what is the worst that can happen? You have a few sessions where you and your friends don't have the most fun possible. A bad RPG session is still better than a good abdominal surgery.

See also: Is starting a group with 5 newbies (DM included) possible?

As for if you should use homebrew or a bought module: the answer is yes, do one of those. Homebrew requires more preparation time and you would be wise to keep your ambitions in check. A bought module is quicker to prep and will probably have a broader and deeper story than you can manage but it won't be yours.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ yes, matt mercer is a very amazing dm, I just don't want to end up boring my friends \$\endgroup\$ – WayTooZoned Jun 19 at 5:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WayTooZoned do you not trust your friends enough to a) cut you some slack b) tell you that you're boring? \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Jun 19 at 5:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like just stating Go for it without also lending some of our (in this case your) expertise to help get them started is a disservice. Any safeguards to set, things to pay attention to, places to get good general advice, good practices for handling your mistakes afterwards? Also, are there any considerations for which of a homebrew or premade module one should use? Because using them is different, suits different folks, and I feel an expertise answer should be able to address that. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 19 at 9:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ And on rereading the question: the only part here which answers the question is the last line. I'm not sure just giving encouragement is sufficient for an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 19 at 10:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil nope. Blaze your own trail. Fail your own way. That’s where the fun is. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Jun 19 at 10:38

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