Return to DMing

I stole a fry from Ethan's plate, then retracted my hand back into the safety of my DM screen. "Reenor approaches the pile of garbage as it lets loose another roar," I described, "With one final, triumphant strike, the garbage begins to fall away, letting loose a stench so awful you feel your lunch coming back to greet you."

I flipped a page in my notebook. I had written this mini-adventure all this morning, and I was impressed at how well it had gone. "At last, the garbage settles, and you are that whatever monstrosity that once terrorized this sewer is now gone forever. A little head shakes away soiled papers at the very center of the heap, and you hear a little...meow."

"It's the lady's cat, isn't it?" Laughter sent warmth around the table following a grueling battle. "Oh my gosh, it must be."

I've played D&D longer than I've played any other game. When everything on my life is a little haywire, I have my books and dice to fall back onto, whether to play, DM, or just spend a night making a city street come to life in my notebook.

I remember my introductory experiences to D&D as clear as day: On my 13th birthday, some friends of mine who participated with me in NaNoWriMo gave me their well-loved AD&D books (the set of three!) and a set of silver-colored dice. I didn't know what I was getting into, but I cracked the books open with my friend a few days later. I read the words 'dungeon master' and immediately knew where I fit into the puzzle.

The next week, that friend (mentioned as Rox before) and I created Seandithas Shadowheart and Thevyre Zinnakain, bold heroes of Baldur's Gate and the Sword Coast. We played with the same table on and off for years before we got too busy. I kept my love for D&D present in my life, though, however much I could. I DMed a table a little bit last year, and even played some before that. Those memories are some of my fondest.

Though I've had some time away from the books, I'm back at it again with the WOTC module Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Yesterday, I met up with my new table to get characters organized and play around with the new heroes for a little. Unlike my previous table of many newbies, this time around we had one completely new player, a rookie, and a DM that had never played, as well as two more experienced players, which I think is a much better balance.

I try to do my very best for new players. I loved my introductory experience, and I try to emulate that for new players as best as I can. This being said, it was much better to have only one completely new player around and more people who could help build characters, since together we formed a network of knowledge that covered all the bases. ...I also bought Ethan his first set of dice. Chessex. I'll give them to him on Monday.

I'm hoping to get a good grip on this table and maybe add some others to my schedule, all running Hoard of the Dragon Queen. There are a lot of people that I know want to play, but at the same time I don't want to overwhelm myself, especially with the musical coming up. (By the way, I got into Les Miserables!) I love running D&D at the local game store, and while I'm deciding that this table's dynamic isn't great for that atmosphere (better run at a house)

Some questions

- What (else) can I do to support new players? Any specific resources I can bring up?
- Pros and cons to DMing in a game store?