You’re a DM. You don’t have a lot of free time before game night. Maybe you have a full time job, or kids, or like I do… Both. How do you get everything you need for your campaign handled in time, when you simply don’t have the time to begin with?
- Time management.
You need to budget some time in your day to get your writing done. Remember what you are doing is a lot like a novelist writing a book. You have to create a world, plot, characters, flora and fauna. Encounters… The list goes on, the best way to be effective is to have a block of time, I’d say an hour at the least you can dedicate to writing your campaign.
- Player management
So last week everyone leveled up and now you have taken on the task of re writing everyone’s character sheets…. You’re a nice guy so you’ll print them out crisp new sheets and everyone will love you… But your busy so you forgot to write in that sword you paladin got last week and now he is pissed.
Skip all of that, and end the headache of managing your players characters for them. Use an app like fight club five. Here is a link to it
This app is designed for the player and the DM, it can do so much for your game I might as well stop writing now. Yes you will have to add in some class details and other stats info as the app doesn’t come with everything, but it has enough to start with. Character sheets, classes, races, monster stats etc.
- Ambiance management
Setting the tone for your campaign is crucial. It’s also bloody difficult if you aren’t a good writer, it’s hard sometimes to describe sounds and smells if you simply lack the verbiage. So don’t do it if you can’t! Use syrinscape for all your sound design, it’s free and has a boatload of tools that help set your audio stage for game night. you get more content if you subscribe or buy direct from the store but even at its free level the adaptability is astounding. Go check it out.
You’re not a cartographer. You can’t draw a map to save your life or you simply don’t have the time. Well then you should check out https://donjon.bin.sh/
This website is my most valuable asset, it has random generators for damn near anything you need, and the depth you can go to with the website is amazing. It’s also free and if you need a full sized dungeon, print out your map and blow it up at staples for $4, it takes a lot of the work out of being a DM and it makes your players think you spent a lot more time working on the game than you actually did.
- Project management
- Here we are at the end. You have all the tools you need after you open you DM guide, remember in the beginning I said to budget your time? Well that time you set aside is also for budgeting your projects. If you have an hour a night to work on your campaign, then spend that hour each night on a different aspect of your campaign design. Here is my schedule
- Monday- write plot/ encounters
- Tuesday- script syrinscape
- Wednesday- maps
- Thursday- double check characters/ remind players to update through fight club 5
- Friday- go to staples if I need to
- Saturday- GAME ON!
- Sunday- have a beer.
And that’s it! Follow these steps and you too can be a successful DM!
Enjoy your game night!