who gets to be the DM?

The 1983 Mentzer Red Box and the Essentials Red Box introduce the DM role in similar terms:

Mentzer: “One person must also learn how to be a Dungeon Master (or DM) – the person who plays the role of the Monsters. The other booklet in this set is the DUNGEON MASTERS RULEBOOK, and explains everything the DM needs to know.”

Essentials: “One player gets to be the Dungeon Master (DM) – the person who plays the roles of the monsters and guides the other players on their adventures. All the other players create heroic characters using this book, but the DM gets to read the other book in the box – the Dungeon Master’s Book.”

In Mentzer, someone MUST be the DM, and in Essentials, someone GETS to be the DM. Instead of “whoever draws the short straw jumps on the DM hand grenade” we have “I’m Tom Sawyer and whitewashing the fence is fun!”

OK, that’s a little bit of hyperbole. We all know that whoever draws the short straw has to play the CLERIC.

More Red Box thoughts…


2 Responses to “who gets to be the DM?”

  1. Hopeless says:

    Actually that depends on the player, if done properly he’s or she’s the character everyone would want to play!
    Hmm I’ll have to wait until I see for myself I can’t help wondering what other abilities this new cleric has…
    Thunder based ranged attacks? Most probably unlikely that would verge too much on the wizard’s capabilities but have they accounted for an unarmed fighter with both Improved Unarmed Attack and Two Weapon Fighting?

  2. paul paul says:

    The cleric definitely has a thunder-based at-will melee attack, Storm Hammer, as well as an encounter lightning buff, Storm Surge: “The next time the target hits with a melee attack before the end of your next turn, the attack does 4 extra lightning damage.”

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