August 7, 2022

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Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands writer asks how we manage expectations for our D&D home games vs. actual play shows

5 min read

I love watching other people play D&D — it’s incredibly engaging and can draw me in for hours, but how does that compare to actually playing D&D? It can be similar, but people need to manage their expectations. A new GM isn’t going to play like Matthew Mercer or Brennan Lee Mulligan, and they shouldn’t have to. Everyone has their own GMing style and everyone has their own play style that they need to sculpt when jumping into roleplaying games. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression — a combo that is less than ideal for a journalist or a game master juggling seven different players in a six-hour Dungeons & Dragons game — I know it’s tough to break into a space with so many talented roleplayers.

I had the opportunity to interview Sam Winkler (lead writer on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands), and of course we talked about D&D and TTRPGs. In this week’s column of Tabletop tips from an anxious GM (all of which can be found on our DND tips hub), I’ll be answering a question from Sam Winkler himself. 

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