Swords & Wizardry Light - Forum

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Do You Now or Have You Ever Suffered From "DM Stage Fright"?

I get the queasies every Saturday evening, sometime after dinner, when it's time to review my notes for the evening's upcoming AD&D game. Sometimes the feeling passes. Sometimes it stays until right up to the game. On rare occasions, my nerves get to the point I hope to get messages from players that they can't make the game, so I can call it off - but that has only happened once I think.

Just think, I've been DM'ing for the last 9 months, for the same group of friends. Heck, I started DM'ing way back in Junior High School. And I still get nervous.

Go figure ;)

It's a bit worse with the pick up games I occasionally run for folks via the G+ Hangouts app - because I'm not just one of a handful of strangers, I'm the stranger that has to be at the center.

Yet I come back, week after week. So do my players, so I must be doing something right. Besides, once the game starts the queasies are long forgotten ;)

So, do you get "DM Stage Fright"? How do you work through it if you do get it?


  1. I can't recall I ever did, but I must have. I just don't recall. And I don't know why, because I consider myself shy, and I hate the spotlight. But when I'm the DM, I'm comfortable and "Don't give a fuck!". I've ran games at Conventions, Gamedays and demos for years, I don't even consider myself a very good DM, just competent. It might be a confidence thing, ... I'm pretty sure it's a confidence thing. And I'd run a table for a bunch of randoms without hesitation. But get this, I'm totally intimidated by playing on G+, so I've not yet done it. At all. So much for confidence. I've also DM'd some folks I consider AMAZING DMs, and they didn't hate me.

    1. Dak - if you ever want to drop in for an AD&D / OSRIC session in a saturday night, let me know.

      We'll break you in gently ;)

  2. YES, very badly. I take Valium. :P

  3. Not that I can recall. Like Dak, I've never used G+, but this has nothing to do with confidence and everything to do with time. I really prefer face-to-face play. Maybe, at some point, I'll teach myself the tools and use G+....mostly to reconnect with high school players and allow distant family to play. No guarantee though. My barrier is finding the time to learn the tech.

  4. I was pretty nervous yesterday - starting a new campaign, eight new players only one of whom I'd met before, in a new London pub venue where I didn't know what to expect! That's a pretty extreme case though. The beer certainly helps. :)

  5. I'm with Dak. Trying to learn how to play over G+ for some reason I think I would find stressful.

  6. I do have stage fright when I GM for people I don't know (like at cons) or lately when I GM'd for a party in which my usual GM (who is a star GM!) was a player. Thankfully it wears off really quick.

  7. Every time,but for me it lasts the entire session.

  8. Never a problem for me ( And I don't recall it ever having been). I've run some G+ but my habit of giving bad descriptions and not drawing for my players means that Old School dungeneering is a tad more intimidating online.

  9. Any time I've been away from DMing for a month or more; it's as if I've forgotten how to compose myself, and how to keep the attentions where they aught to be.