Momentum isn’t everything, but it’s certainly something, and today we’ll enjoy a look at ten fun ways that DMs can keep it going during those days (or nights) when enough players are unable to attend a scheduled tabletop RPG session.
Whether you’re gluing, filing, priming, painting, washing, adding hobby rocks to the bases, glazing, varnishing, or just doing a few touch-ups here-and-there on an older minifig that’s been in need of a lil loving for some time now, minifigs can still be a fun part of the hobby.
Brush up on a module
Even if you aren’t running an adventure module at the present time, it’s still good exercise for your DM muscle (ie. your brain.) Adventure modules that you aren’t running are still loaded with ideas, to amuse and inspire you. And, if you are running an adventure module, that’s all the more reason to brush up on it, as if you didn’t already know.
Be it treasure map fragments for your adventurers to find, or adding an extra splash of color to your own existing hand-drawn maps of the lands in which your adventures take place, or just plain drawing a map from scratch (destination unknown,) cartography is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a DM.
Read the core books
No matter how far along you are, into the journey with your chosen tabletop RPG hobby, it’s always nice to set time aside for the reading (or the re-reading,) of the core books. For instance, if 1st edition AD&D is your thing, have a gander at EGG’s DMG (1979,) and re-acquaint yourself with the artifacts & relics. Which of them are worthy of insertion into your adventures? Enjoy a look at Appendix F too, while you’re there, and consider which slot machine might be a good fit for your next tavern encounter (the d6 slot or the d8 slot.) Have a look at EGG’s MM (1977,) and enjoy a refresher course on dragons; how PCs can subdue them, what types of breath weapons they each have, et cetera.
A delightful way to encourage roleplay and teamwork. For more about this, click HERE.
Organize your dice
Do you arrange them by color? By size? By type? By performance? And, if you do arrange them according to performance (lucky dice versus unlucky dice,) what do you do with the unlucky dice?
Savvy players will have both a primary PC and a secondary PC, just in case. Tabletop RPGs can be exceedingly dangerous, especially when the DM is no pushover, and it’s wise for players to be prepared with multiple characters at their fingertips. Encourage them to do so.
Observe (and chat with) other DMs at the FLGS
See how they go about it. No two DMs are alike. You might learn something. Listen to the inflections and tones of their voices, as they breathe life into the NPCs at their tables. Watch for clever house rules, and see if they inspire you somehow. DMs can learn alot from other DMs.
What’s the name of that next tavern that the PCs will visit? What drinks do they serve there? What entertainment does the tavern provide for its patrons? What does the sign say? What does the sandwich board say? What’s the name of that cookie baker who requires assistance in the bazaar? How much is he willing to pay the PCs?
Ask your FLGS if there is anything you can help them with
They are kind enough to welcome you at their tables. A great way to let them know you care, if to ask them if you can lend a hand with anything. Even if they say “no thank you,” they are people too. And, just like every other well-adjusted person in the world, they really do appreciate being asked.