7 Tips to Help Keep Your Energy Up as a DM

How to Be a Better DM

Aug 26 2021 • 13 mins

Suddenly a scream erupts from somewhere outside the tavern. You look at your hand and then up at your opponent. “It looks like we’ll have to finish our game another day,” you say as you lay down the cards and follow your companions out the door. The half-orc you were playing throws his cards on the table in disgust. It seems he had a winning hand.

You and your companions burst out of the tavern door only to met by a scene of utter chaos. Townspeople ran in all directions except toward the eastern part of town. As you look in that direction you see multiple pillars of smoke indicating houses on fire. As you continue looking around you start to see pillars of smoke from the west, north and south. You stop a nearby townsperson to ask what was going on. Goblins! Legions of them. They’ve surrounded the city. You let them go and they go off to run to nowhere in particular.


You look to find whoever might be calling your name. You spot one of the city guard running towards you. He reaches you and shouts, “The Goblin Chief has surrounded the city. He has captured the mayor and wants to see you. He says he has a quest for you.”

What do you do?

Welcome back to the 8th episode of How to Be a Better DM. This is the show to help you tell better stories as a dungeon master while playing Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

Like always before we get to today’s show, let me give you a quick announcement. I’d like to give a shoutout to Cowchy Audio who does the audio work for this show. If you need help as far as Audio goes, reach out to Cowcy on instagram via @kahootaz

Now onto today’s show.

As a DM, you are generally a large part of the energy of each session.This is natural as you provide 99.99% of the game. So here are my tips for keeping your energy high every session. 1st of all, you do have to realize that this is a skill and you will have to work on it. Think of it as if you are improving your own personal Charisma score.

So here we go.

Take a break right before your session

If you’re like me, you go from work right into your D&D session. That can be really tough and I find that if I don’t take a break in between anything else and D&D, my energy for the session is very low.

Try taking a break in the session

Most of the D&D groups I watch on Youtube or podcasts take some sort of break in the middle of their session. I’ve found that for me personally this is a hit or miss. It is nice to be able to take a pee break without pausing the game in an unexpected way.

Slow things down

You don’t have to go through the session at a break-neck speed. You’re working through combat encounters, plot points and anything else your group is trying to do. Take it nice and easy so you can give lots of energy to every endeavor in the session.

Let some things go

Sometimes getting every rule right is just not worth it. If it keeps your energy high and allows you and your players to keep having fun, just nix whatever is holding you back or down. Be careful, though because this can quickly lead to reducing some very important game structures.

Get a good night’s sleep beforehand

This one might seem like a big “duh!” but if you aren’t getting enough sleep then there’s no way you’ll be able to give your players a fun filled evening of twists and turns with interesting plot points and fun characters.

I think this might be a great point to mention that I believe drinking energy drinks or alcohol is not a great tip for making sure you keep your energy high. It’s unhealthy. You can do what you want, but I don’t see it as a sustainable way, especially if you are playing once a week for months, or even years.

Play what and how you and your players want to play

If there are parts of your campaign that get dull or boring, switch things up so you are all excited again. If you are following an...