March 4, 2014 - My friends and I have been enjoying Dungeons & Dragons together for almost two years. I have had the honor and enjoyment of being the Dungeon Master. The story has progressed nicely, with the players taking the game where they have wanted it, for the most part. I want to stress that point, that I, being the person playing the god-arbiter of what happens, do not direct what happens. I do not say, "Alright, you go into the cave, enter this chamber and must fight these monsters. Now roll dice." I do say, "There is a cave. You have heard that bad things happen there." That is enough. At the same time, other interesting possibilities exist, but these do not preclude what the players want to do. The party may have a cave, a haunted cemetery and raiding bandits to consider, but if they want to head west to see what's out there then fine by me. I will not block their path so that they have to come back and encounter the bandits/cave/cemetery.
"But what about all of that preliminary work you did as DM?" you might ask. "The Bandit King is really cool, the party HAS to come back and deal with him." No, no they don't. This is what I enjoy about being DM. My players stretch me. They challenge me. This might reflect views held by many others, but I just thought I would get that out there.