We give our top tips for player-initiated DM collaboration to make your Dungeons & Dragons game the best it can be!
Playing D&D is one of our favorite things to do. The storytelling, the roleplay, the rich fantasy world. When done right, it can be the most fun and rewarding experience. But when done poorly, it can be frustrating and upsetting. One way to enhance the D&D game to ensure you and your Dungeon Master get the most out of it as possible is through collaborative storytelling. We break down the best ways to do this to be respectful of all involved, and have a fun game!
Text Your Ideas for the Next Game
One of the simplest ways to ensure a fun D&D experience is to simply text what your plans are for the next game. It doesn’t have to be in-depth or complex. Simple things like “I want to scry on this NPC”, “I plan to cast Sending to my father“, or “I want to go to this town” can add a lot of value.
While some DM/Player relationships can be focused on one-upping and stumping one another, if you are looking to really advance story and character development, being clear about your intentions is best. This gives your DM time to prepare for what you want to do, and ensure the experience is meaningful and not a rushed, throw-away moment.
Discuss What you Want for Your Character
Your DM can’t put character-focused choices and consequences in front of you if they do not know what you want. Be clear about your characters motivations and intentions. Not only in the game, but especially out of it. Take the time to talk to your DM about what your character wants or is afraid of. And definitely make it clear when these things change throughout the game.
When having these clear conversations, your DM can better cater quests to the interests of your character. This has the benefit of driving conflict and plot along.
Ask if There Are Ways You Can Help
It can be overwhelming being a Dungeon Master. Asking if there are any ways you can help can go a long way. Even if your DM doesn’t need any help, the offer is kind. Or, they might want you to help design a part of a dungeon or city if it is related to your character, give input on what encounters you want to face, or even select music for the night.
Have a Post-Game Chat
One of the most powerful tools is having a chat after the game with your DM. Whether this is in-person, over the phone, or through text. It is best if it’s one-on-one, instead of as part of a group. Highlight what you really liked so they know what aspects of the story were exciting for you. Mention anything you want to follow up on, or see come up in a later game.
And if anything didn’t feel right to you, or you felt was missed out on, communicate this in a respectful way. Phrases like “I was actually expecting ___ to happen“, “I am curious why ____ didn’t get back with me“, or “Can we follow up with this next game?” can open up dialogue to enhance the story. Your DM might not even know you were interested in a story point happening unless you clarify.
A Note About Respect
A healthy player-DM relationship is all about having the most fun game possible. So when communicating with your DM about what you want, do so in a polite and open-minded manner. Don’t make assumptions or put down the game. Respect the time they have put into the story, and what plots they might have in mind. A good DM will want your input and will not want to have tyrant-like control over the game. It can be hard to come up with ideas for each game, so your DM will truly appreciate your thoughts on your character.