The Forever Dungeon Master

Lords, ladies, lads, lasses, I am Vinni the Troll, here once again to spread my wisdom. I’ve been playing D&D since roughly 1985. In the early days I had a tight circle of friends that I played with, and my DM was a brilliant and creative guy named George. We had a blast, playing most every Sunday after I could escape dinner at my Nana’s house. Eventually High School came and went, and the group grew apart.

After High school I found another group of friends who played, and met another DM, Tom. It was during those years at Tom’s apartment that I learned what a Forever DM was. Tom DM’d our games because nobody else would. I had empathy and I would begin to try my hand at it to give him a break. His luck as a DM was poor. “I can snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.” He’d lamented on more than one occasion. He seemed to take our victories personally, and I wanted to flip the tables and give him a chance to play.

He had fun, but Tom usually ran things. I ended running games and playing with other friends, expanding my social circle. Without Tom I was the DM. I had a love of writing stories that I could never seem to finish, and being a DM and setting up quests allowed my friends to help finish those stories. People change, as did I, and I ended up focusing more on being a DM than a player. Somehow it’s now 20 years later and I find myself with a weekly list of 20 players earning money as a pro DM at StartPlaying.Games. I don’t get upset when the monsters are beaten. They’re supposed to lose. If they don’t the game ends and the players won’t play. It is my job to make it challenging, to provide a story hook that draws them in. I cheer when they win, and I feel bad when they die. Maybe more than they do.

Most of the enjoyment I get is being on the inside and seeing what goes on behind the screen. I love knowing the secrets and plot twists before the players. I have to contain myself not to overshare with my players. Thankfully, through Discord, and SPG, I have found a community of other Forever DMs, and I have people I can share my delicious little secrets with. If I feel the desire to play again I have a close few friends that have all stepped up to run things to give me a break. The Black Sheep are awesome and I know I will always DM, but for them I do it with gusto.

Live, laugh, loot


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