That’s a shocking statement yes I know. But two weeks ago I realized that D&D, at least to me, is about more than just playing a game. It’s about playing a game with four good friends of mine. When you think of DMing a game not as running a weekly game, but as a weekly get together with your friends (as I sometimes describe it to girls) it becomes something a bit different. With my group we end up making food, having some drinks, sometimes we’ll just keep hanging out after the game ends. I think this might be one of the reasons why this group runs so fluidly. It’s certainly why I feel bad when I kill them. So, because my game is now on hiatus due to rampant murder (more on that later) here are some things you can do to make your game a small party and keep your players coming back for more than rolling dice.
1) Have food! Nothing derails a game quite like a food run or delivery. Eating together before gives you all a good chance to get that pre-game socializing and plotting out of the way. I often use this time to drop hints (not always true) about what will happen during the session. It’s not hard to have quality and filling snacks available to your players either. We always make crescent dogs which are very easy and take about 15 minutes to make. Another constant at our table is the veggie platter because some of us are trying to watch our girlish figures (I mean me…). You don’t always have to absorb this cost either. Your players are going to want food and probably buy it anyway, so plan with them. A little communication will go a long way here.
2) Drinking is okay (if you’re of age and not in public). A little rum and beer does not hurt. If you’re feeling real ambitious, you could even make drinks.
3) Have more to do prepared. Last night we played until about one. People left at three. The week before, we buzzed through the session quickly and decided to play Ascension because we wanted to keep things going (and still had beers left).
So there you have it, you can turn your next game into a gathering. Of course keep this in mind: you know your group. If it doesn’t seem like a good idea with them, don’t do it. Now, come back next week and I’ll tell you how my players died again, maybe for good this time, and how we plan to cover the break I’ll need to fix this.