My DM Credo

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My DM Credo, 2020 Version

I will accept ownership of this game, and responsibility for what happens in the game and at this table.  I will not pass the buck.

I will always conduct myself as a gracious guest of wherever and whoever hosts our game, and I will expect the same from everyone at the table.

Out-of-game problems will be solved outside of the game. In-game problems will be solved in the game. I will involve only the players who need to be involved when solving problems.

I will never require or expect anyone at the table to make themselves uncomfortable for the sake of the game.

I will not cheat, and I will trust my players not to cheat. I will not check up on them. I will not play favorites.

I will strive to be a worthy adversary to the players, but I will never consider myself the players’ enemy.

The dice are my tools, not my masters. I will not allow random chance to destroy the game experience for myself or my players.

I will know the rules of the game, and I will be a just arbiter of those rules. I will not allow a rules issue to bring the game to a halt. I will always be ready to reconsider a rules issue outside of the game.

I will not obsess over realism, because this is a game. I will not abandon realism, because even games have to make sense.

I will not reduce the action or the story of the game to numbers.

I will not use rules technicalities to deliberately obstruct play.

I will respect our time together and will always come to the table prepared to run the game.

I will know how to play my NPC’s, and I will expect my players to know how to play their characters.

I will offer my advice and insights honestly, and without ulterior motives or intent to deceive.

I will evaluate plans and solutions developed by the players with an open mind, and I will never allow any personal investment in a particular solution to prejudice me against their creativity.

I will recognize that the ability scores of characters have no bearing on the abilities of players. I will never require a player to “be stupid” at the table just because a character has low stats. I will never allow a player to claim a “smart character” as justification to solve riddles or puzzles just by rolling dice.

I will not be afraid to try new mechanics, features, and ideas. I will not hesitate to fix something that doesn’t work as expected. I will always accept responsibility for anything I change about the game or its rules.

I will never intentionally put a player in the position of having to separate his or her own knowledge from that of a character, nor will I require a player to suspend his or her own judgment to comply with a dice roll.

I will never arbitrarily remove a character from play for my own convenience.

I will always remember that, while it was the game that initially brought us together, it is the friendship that has grown out of the game that keeps us together.