Dungeon Master

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As the Dungeon Master, you should familiarize yourself with the How to Play pages, as well as these pages. Here you'll find guidance as well as DM-specific rules useful for running the game.

In the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game, a Dungeon Master must take a number of roles, all at the same time. A DM serves as a referee, interpreting the rules and resolving any conflicts that arise because of them. The DM builds the world, creates adventures, and places monsters and treasure. The DM serves as the characters' eyes and ears, describing what the characters can see and hear to the players.

The first rule of being a good DM is to remember that the rules are a tool that you and the players use to have a good time. The rules aren't in charge. You, the DM, are the one in charge of the game. Guide the play experience and the use of the rules so that as many of your players have a good time as possible. There will be setbacks, such as a character being slain by an unlucky die roll, but look for ways to turn setbacks into interesting complications in the game's story.

The second rule is to remember that the DM's power comes with responsibility. Be fair and impartial with the players. Don't force your story upon them or give them a game where their choices don't matter. By the same token, challenge their characters with deadly monsters, fiendish traps, and vexing puzzles. A good DM is no pushover, but a good DM is also never simply out to slaughter the characters.

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