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About a year ago, a saw a Dungeons and Dragons beginner set on Amazon. I was curious because I heard so much, but didn't know anyone who played. I bought it, read the books that came with it. And then rounded up a few curious friends so they could try too.

It didn't go well, we spent almost an hour killing some starting wolves. Then they went to a town and then they were all bored by this time so we stopped playing.

Is there any books I can read on being a dungeon master? And how do you begin if you've never played/no one you know has ever played?

I still have all the character sheets/scenarios, but I'm just generally unsure what it is I'm supposed to do with them.


marked as duplicate by mxyzplk May 9 '14 at 11:53

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There is a lot of good reading in the 4E Dungeon Master Guides, it includes solid advice built up from many years of seeing what works, and much of it can be transferred to other games. I wish I'd had that available when I started. D&D is a complex game though, and takes a few times through to learn the ropes. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Slater May 9 '14 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Think of the game as being an interactive story. Your main role as a dungeon master is to keep the story going forward. Part of that is just technical, for example preparation of a battlemap, tokens, and the like. Preparation speeds up combat and thus prevents boredom. But the more important part of the dungeon master's role is drawing the players into the story. Why were the players going through that wolf infested wilderness to the town? What are they looking for? Beyond their motivation as a group, what individual background motivations do they have? The players need to WANT to proceed. \$\endgroup\$ – Tobold May 11 '14 at 7:55

The Dungeon Master's Guide is the official book you're looking for.

Other than that, I'd recommend just Googling "How to DM 4e", since there's a ton of resources on the topic.


i would try finding a local gaming group, so you can learn by watching other people. but no idea how you do that these days, i would go to my local gaming shop and see if they had a notice board.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ There isn't a looking for friends section on this forum because this isn't a forum. \$\endgroup\$ – Marc Dingena May 9 '14 at 10:54

If the problem is you get bored in combat, I'd suggest to start with a simpler game. There are lot of games that have more simple and more agile mechanics that D&D, which means shorter combats.

I know this question is tagged as dnd-4e, but nothing in the question seems to point that another game wouldn't work, so my recommendation.

If you like, once you are accustomed to roleplaying games mechanics, you can return to D&D and will be easier to understand and to manage.


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