He or she organizes gaming night; works hard crafting all those encounters; invests lots of money in books, maps and minis; engages players in epic stories of battling ultimate evil.
He might even stand in front of the mirror and practice the voice for that kindly old wizard NPC that’s helping the adventurers to their next destination.
Your DM (or GM, depending on your preferred terminology) does so much that Dungeons & Dragons officially declared February “Dungeon Master Appreciation Month.”
So how can you show your DM some love? Allow us to help.
Buy them a sourcebook. They’ve already paid for enough maps, minis and books, and getting them the latest bestiary/monster manual could bring some zany new monsters into your game.
Paint a miniature of an important NPC in your campaign. This is my favorite from D&D’s official list of ways to appreciate your DM, and it’s a great gesture that shows you’re invested in the campaign. Plus it helps the DM represent that character on the table.
Take your DM to a gaming convention. If everyone’s headed to GenCon this year, split the cost of your DM’s badge between the group. But he’s on his own when it comes to merch…
Document the game. We all recall the most epic tales of tabletop adventure (Submit yours to Crit For Brains!), but a full documentation of the encounters, battles and story means that there’s a permanent record of the long tale the DM has woven together over a campaign. It’s like the full text of a novel they’ve been writing.
Hang out away from the game table. Our best gaming pals like to get together for a beer or sandwich occasionally, and it makes us better friends (and therefore better gamers). You can have fun without rolling dice.
Once in awhile, DM a one-off adventure. DMs like to play PCs, too, so give them a chance on the other side of the screen (and a chance to step away from hours of preparation) by taking the reins for a night.
Participate in the storytelling. Your DM is creating a world, and your character can help shape that world. Get invested in the details. Roleplay your character. Come up with an interesting character background your DM weave into the story.
Host the game at your place. Speaking as a DM who organizes the games, plans the games and often hosts game night, the hosting can actually be the most stressful element. Host game night at your house, and then the DM doesn’t have to worry about snacks or clean up.
Lend your skills to the game. Our DM once adapted AD&D adventures to modern systems, but there were no maps. So I made some, and we had a blast playing through the adventure. In consultation with the DM, you can do some great stuff. Use your art skills to make maps, paint minis or design a banner for the campaign’s king. Write a song for the party’s bard to sing. Build a terrain piece for a boss battle.
Tell them you appreciate the game. A simple “That was a fun game” is always appreciated. Tell them you’re enjoying the story, committed to destroy the villain or excited for the next session is enough to make DMing worth it.