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Author Topic: DM first, player later  (Read 3282 times)

Offline Pladohs Ghost

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DM first, player later
« on: April 24, 2016, 10:25:08 PM »
I've long wondered how many folks began as DMs before ever sitting as a player. In the favorite modules thread, it looks like three of us mentioned such a start. How many more?

I was first introduced to the game at a summer program in 1981. Another student there told me all about this game. He hadn't brought any of the books along with him, though, so I didn't get to read any of the material. We just discussed how it was played and what could happen in play.

That fall, when school started, a new student to our system showed up with game books. He loaned them to a friend I had a class with, where I saw them. I then asked if I could borrow them to read up on this game I'd heard about. The first book I borrowed? The DMG.

A week or so later, the guy who owned the books asked me if I wanted to play. He was getting a group together and wanted to know if I would DM for the group. I had little clue exactly what that entailed, so agreed. He handed me a copy of the Village of Hommlet, which I read four times through before we met to create characters.

The first session we played was interesting, as he was explaining to the rest of the players what they needed to do while also helping me keep my end of things functioning. That provided context for what I'd read in the DMG--and finally getting a chance to read the PH added more. By our third session, we sounded as if we all knew what we were doing, I reckon.
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Offline Professor thork

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 11:06:57 AM »
Not me. I started as a player.
It's my opinion that become a good player often makes for a better DM.
Kinda like classical musicians; not everyone is meant to be the conductor.

Offline sgtslag

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 11:30:30 AM »
I was a player first, for around 6 months.  Then my DM got a job, and he retired from the gaming group.  I took over, back in 1980 (Freshman in High School), and I've been mostly a DM since then.  I've been a player in a few games, but I'm the DM in more than 80% of the games I've played in, since that time.  Cheers!
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Offline Dizzy

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 01:48:40 PM »
Back in high school when we got into D&D, 3.5 was out. We went to the local store because a friend wanted to pick up Axis & Allies. I saw the 3.5 D&D starter box and thought it sounded interesting and picked it up. The was the first day of spring break. I went back to that store nearly every day over the break to pick up the core rulebooks, dm screen, miniatures, etc... I was a DM only for about 3 years before I finally played in a Pathfinder game online, and before Dramaman invited me to his 1e game around the same time. At this point I still DM much more than I play, but I at least have some experience as a player.

Offline Alex Karaczun

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 01:51:11 PM »
I started as a single player with a DM in Holmes Basic and running through Keep on the Borderlands. That only lasted for a few short months, at which point I began DMing Advanced for a group of 4-6 players.
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Offline Fjw70

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 09:16:49 PM »
When I first started my friend and I rotated being DM. He probably did the first few sessions since he introduced me to the game.

Offline Pladohs Ghost

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2016, 09:33:53 PM »
Not me. I started as a player.
It's my opinion that become a good player often makes for a better DM.
Kinda like classical musicians; not everyone is meant to be the conductor.

I've long thought that being a DM first makes for being a better player later. :) When you're behind the screen, you learn what it takes to keep play going in a useful fashion and carry that understanding with you once you sit as a player.
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Offline kevinwatson

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 10:11:59 PM »
I clocked 6 months as a player before I started DM'ing (Oct 1980 - March 1981). In that time, we changed from Holmes to Moldvay, then later to Menzter before I switched schools and to AD&D.

I think functioning as a DM without being a player was much more difficult in the TSR Era than in the WotC Era. Policing characters and juggling rules required knowledge of being a player.

Offline Shiftkitty

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 10:05:23 PM »
Started as a player, I don't recall what set the DM used. I DM'd my first game shortly afterwards and have only rarely been a player.
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Offline ian54

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Re: DM first, player later
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 08:57:20 AM »
I started off as a reluctant DM around 1981, the group just needed someone to pick up the torch, initially it may have been with Homes or Moldvay, but I quickly purchased the AD&D books and used them instead. I have to admit I was a useless DM and very Monty Haul, but they all seemed to enjoy it. When we played Traveller someone else had a go and they were way better so my DM days were over. I enjoy being a Player far more, but I'll probably give DM'ing a go in PbF one day as I'm not a very quick thinker and that format gives time to plan.

Offline DM Keith

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DM first, player later
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2016, 05:39:17 PM »
I started off DM'ing, too, which was strange considering that I didn't have all of the rules in 1978.  I had the Holmes Blue Book, the Greyhawk Supplement, the 1E Monster Manual, and Metamorphosis Alpha.  So I built a D&D game, of sorts, on one of the levels of Starship Warden.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 01:10:19 PM by DM Keith »
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