The Dungeon Master’s Handbook: 5 Non-Prep Tips to Improve Your Game

As a dungeon or game master how you prepare for a session can be very important. Taking care of yourself outside of game time can improve your performance as a DM. Here are five tips that can help you improve your game without requiring you to spend more time preparing for the session.

Get A Good Nights Sleep

There are many benefits to having a consistent sleep schedule and consistent sleep quality. Being well-rested can help improve your cognitive function (memory and creativity), improve emotional regulation (stressful and high-pressure situations), and provide increased resilience to stress and anxiety. Essentially, being well-rested can help you feel more emotionally prepared to face the challenges of being creative in high-pressure situations like a D&D session.

Get An Hour of Movement In

A regular amount of physical activity is shown to improve physical health, mental health, and cognitive function. Regular physical activity is known to improve cognitive functions like memory, attention, and processing speed. Improving your brain’s ability to process information and develop new ideas will not only help your sessions as a dungeon master but as a player too.

Go Outside and Get Sunlight On Your Face

Getting some sunlight on the face is good for your mental health as well as your physical performance. Not only will some sunlight exposure release serotonin (regulate emotions), but it also stimulates the production of Vitamin D which improves cognitive function, improves bone health, and supports the immune system. Another bonus is reduced fatigue from better sleep provided by regulating your body’s internal clock. 

Eat Well Before, During, and After The Game

Before the session, it is recommended to eat a balanced meal of carbs, protein, and healthy fats to provide the energy you need. A fruit, vegetable, and protein powder smoothie is a good example. However, too much sugar and caffeine can cause energy crashes and mental fatigue. During the session, snacks of nuts or fruit are easy to digest and provide a good source of energy. My favorite is apples and peanut butter or a good trail mix with chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and make sure everybody drinks enough water. Afterward, it is important to restore your spent energy with carbs, protein, and healthy fats. If you’re in person you could pretend to be at a fantasy inn with a meal of grilled salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, and green beans.

Communicate With Your Players

Keeping open communication channels with your players keeps them engaged with the game and invested in their characters. Open communication can improve player satisfaction by understanding and meeting their expectations of the game’s narrative, as well as mechanics. This will keep misunderstandings and conflicts to a minimum. Encouraging open communication can foster a collaborative and creative game experience. Creating a dynamic and engaging story that reflects all those involved will lead to more exciting games for everyone involved. What do your players want from their game? Ask them!

These tips are simple and effective ways to make sure you are at your best when it comes to game time. Running games is a challenging and rewarding experience and by taking care of yourself you can ensure more memories for you and your players.

Any questions, comments, or concerns can be left in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s