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Stay Behind the DM "Curtain"
#1
I have just finished watching a small series of youtube videos posted by Matthew Colville on how to start DM'ing, the link tweeted by Liam O'Brian. It's a very good resource and I recommend it (link https://youtu.be/e-YZvLUXcR8 ). 

One thing that really struck a chord with me is Mathew's advice on keeping things behind the DM "curtain". For the video he cue's the classic wizard of oz scene where the curtain is pulled back to reveal the not so impressive truth. I have found out first hand, and bitterly regret, telling my party when they ask of things that could have happened/might have missed after a session.

I have found it hard (as I'm sure anyone who's spent their free time during a week to prepare a game) to not mention the awesome room I put 2 hours of work into building, which the party promptly ignores/circumvents somehow. The party will always ask "what would have happened if I did that instead" or something similar, and as a story teller at heart you really want to tell them. But the party don't really want to know. The world you build will seem more complex and real if you can keep all those bits to yourself. 

The Critical Role panel at Portland also touched on this subject a little as well. Travis said he often texts Matt asking what might of happened, but he always gets the same reply, "you don't know". It keeps an important principle of DnD alive, that everything and anything is possible.

Apparently Vox Machina plan to do a post-death episode after they have all died where their characters meet Matt at the pearly gates in heaven. They then get to ask all of the "what if" questions, which is a great idea!
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#2
Maybe you should try telling your players that if they want to know what would have happened if they'd gone down a different route, opened a different door, etc then they have to trapse back through the dungeon and actually go and check it out.

Alternatively, keep any unused rooms on hand so that you can slot them into a random dungeon if they go off the rails and explore somewhere you hadn't planned for.
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#3
(02-22-2016, 03:38 AM)LordofUzkulak Wrote: Maybe you should try telling your players that if they want to know what would have happened if they'd gone down a different route, opened a different door, etc then they have to trapse back through the dungeon and actually go and check it out.

Alternatively, keep any unused rooms on hand so that you can slot them into a random dungeon if they go off the rails and explore somewhere you hadn't planned for.

Exactly LordofUzkulak, I'm starting to understand that being a DM partially means to be an idea recycler. Retrieve/re-purpose/re-use/repeat lol
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#4
I agree, that feeling of mystery is important. Every now and then, I'll give them a hint of something they might have done. Like one guy took a suit off of a zombie. I was totally going to give him surprise or advantage if he donned it for the battle later on, but he never did. I mentioned it in an effort to expand his imagination for next time.
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#5
(03-02-2016, 06:29 PM)MessiahMoose Wrote: I agree, that feeling of mystery is important. Every now and then, I'll give them a hint of something they might have done. Like one guy took a suit off of a zombie. I was totally going to give him surprise or advantage if he donned it for the battle later on, but he never did. I mentioned it in an effort to expand his imagination for next time.

Good point, hints about alternative courses of action can inspire a player to think outside the box next session.
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