The A,B,C of D&D

The Dungeon Master D.M. Also referred to as the Game Master or G.M. :

The Dungeon Master responsibilities include, but are not limited to,

  • Describing the environment in as much detail as possible
  • Explaining available actions to players.
  • Handling running of monsters or non player characters (NPC’s).
  • Handling, arbitrating, and tweaking the application of the game mechanics and rules.
  • Dealing experience points (XP) to characters.

A DM sets you off upon an adventure. Whether players choose to participate or not and what they do within the confines of the game are up to the player to decide.

A DM Also offers incentives to entice players to participate or lure a player or group of players in a specific direction or choice of action.

As with the real world, Actions have consequences and it is up to the DM to deal those consequences.

The Players :

As a player your responsibility is to present the DM with your action. Described in as much detail as possible. The DM then presents you with obstacles or objections to your action. Example: “I want to swim across the lake” – DM: “You are in full plate mail and would likely sink”.

Ultimately it is your choice on your action. Once the dice have been rolled or your action has come to completion the DM then informs you of the outcome. Based on that outcome you may be eligible for further actions or you will need to wait your turn.

A player character typically includes a background and some basic personality information such as place of birth and the temperament of your character. For example: Is he a brooding hero, a whimsical wizard, or a devout monk.

Game Play :

During the game time moves normally for a non encounter. Example when you are in a tavern or walking through a village or wooded area. Actions typically happen instantly, and the reactions are immediate.

During an encounter your whole party, monsters and NPC players will have to roll initiative. This is where your character rolls a dice (adds any bonuses) and arrives at a number. The DM then rolls for all eligible monsters and NPC’s and then compiles a list. Actions then can commence on a turn by turn basis higher number to lowest number.

Actions then conclude when the encounter is over. The DM will determine that.

Dice :

During game play the dice are your guides.

  • You roll a specific type of dice (or combination of them).
  • Add any bonuses or deductions.
  • Compare that total to an action or a target.


Experience (XP) :

This is the driving force of the game, to eventually level-up and obtain new skills, spells or enhance your current abilities.

The DM handles how much experience a character obtains based on a few things.

  • Difficulty level.
  • Role Play.
  • Munchies purchased for the DM prior to the game (Kidding!).

The difficulty level is simply how hard was it to complete a task.
The Role play is how well you played your character within the confines of your description of the character. Example: Your character is afraid of fire. Charging into a dungeon on fire would not be consistent with how you designed your character and the DM at his discretion may deduct XP based on your actions.