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Dungeon Masters

Start being a D&D Dungeon Master

You’ve got the DM bug and want to run your own games. If you’ve never DM’d before, you’ll want to pick up the D&D Starter Set – it will explain how to play D&D as the Dungeon Master and includes an adventure to run with your friends. You can DM this adventure (The Lost Mine of Phandelver) at home, online, at a store, or at a convention. Either get your own group together to play privately or contact a local store or convention organizer to run a game at their location. The Basic Rules are online for free in three different free versions, a downloadable PDF (both for Players and DMs), an online interactive document, and at D&D Beyond.

If you’re an old hat at DMing the above applies to you as well, but you might also want to run other games. You can download a multitude of games that range from 1 hour to 8 hours, but most are 4 hours, from the Dungeon Master’s Guild. You can contact your local convention or game store and if you want to get really involved you can ask for more information about becoming a store organizer. If you enjoy running dramatic games at conventions, find out about conventions running D&D Epics and ask to join their cadre of DMs. And, of course, you can always run games at home or streaming online.

Steps to be a D&D Adventurers League Dungeon Master

  1. Become familiar with the D&D rules, through either the free Basic Rules (or through D&D Beyond) or purchase the tabletop RPG books (you’ll need at least he Players Handbook and possibly the Dungeon Masters Guide) from your Local Game Store or online.
  2. Download and review the free D&D Adventurers League Player’s Pack and the D&D Adventurers League DMsPack.
  3. Join the D&D Adventurers League Facebook group and Google+ communities as well as the D&D AL DM Discussion Facebook group and Google+ community, so you can ask questions and meet other players and DMs from around the world.
  4. Find a group to play with. You’ll need 3-7 players (try starting with 4-5). These can be current friends or you can make new friends. Dungeon Masters are in high demand so finding a group shouldn’t be difficult. Here are a few places:
    • Find a game at a local game store. Talk to the store owner or D&D AL organizer about running a game there.
    • Find a convention near you that is going to have D&D AL games. Talk to the organizers and volunteer.
    • Meet people via social sites such as Meetup.com, which has many D&D groups around the world.
    • For online games via virtual table tops (VTT) there are several options meet people to play with.
  5. Create characters using the D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide
  6. Determine what adventure you’re going to run. Any D&D 5th edition D&D Adventure produced by Wizards of the Coast or adventures on the DMsGuild with the D&D Adventurers League logo can be run as a D&D Adventurers League game.
  7. Run the game! There’s no need to register your play anywhere online, as long as your players have created their characters using the AL Player’s Guide and you’re running the game according to the D&D rules and the D&D Adventurers League DMs Guide then you’re playing D&D Adventurers League! Be sure your players are recording their rewards on a logsheet and that you’re recording your DM rewards and #DMQuests.
Robert Adducci
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Robert Adducci

Adventurers League Community Manager at Wizards of the Coast
Robert Adducci is an RPG community organizer and helps out games stores and conventions in the Denver area with social media and community management. He is a die-hard Dark Sun fan and the founder of the Burnt World of Athas website (Athas.org). Robert was born in the deserts of Athas, aka Phoenix, AZ, but now lives in the cool climate of Colorado with his wife, two little adventurer, and two animal companions.
Robert Adducci
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