Thursday, June 23, 2011

Certified Dungeon Master

I just walked past a car advertising for a Certified Classical Homeopathist (as opposed to the dreaded new school homeopath bastards) and thought it must be pretty easy to say you are "certified" at something.  So, what about DMs?

If you were in Human Resources at a fabulous Role Playing Resort (you know they're coming) what qualifications would you want from potential DM hires?

I'm guessing you'll want to see them in action.  Maybe throw a set adventure at them, that they can create objects and handouts for, and then for a different session force them to improv completely?

I know for myself that every session seems to be a first experience with something: first sea travel, first splitting of the party, first urban adventure, first heist, etc.  I still haven't got a lot of mid level character experience, or high level character experience.

Maybe the resort would have beginner players go with a newer DM.  Or, actually, you'd probably want the opposite: your most experienced DMs handling player first experiences.

If there was a qualifying exam to become a Certified Dungeon Master, what would you want it to test, and here's the kicker for those of you experienced with Assessment, how would you know if they did well?


  1. I'm surprised that TSR/WotC never concocted anything like a DM certification program, and suspect DM certification would be a lot like working in IT - just because you're certified doesn't mean you can't have your clock cleaned by someone who isn't.

    Btw, Christian offered a tongue-in-cheek DM Certification, touted in his Newsletter of the Lincoln Middle School D&D Club zine. The test is in issue #4. :)

  2. There is an actual test to run RPGA games. I think Jeff posted about it once.

  3. Zak is right. To become a DM for RPGA events you have to take an online test through Wizards. It uses the latest rules set for the test though so anyone interested in throwing their hat in the ring will need to brush up on their 4e knowledge.

  4. I took it when it was for 3.5 and it worked just like the tests required by regulators in the banking industry: you go the website and take the test a sufficient number of times to learn all the questions. Out of, say, a ten question test their are only 15-20 questions the exam software randomly chooses from. That's why a) I've stopped reading the annual online trainings at my bank and b) the banking industry is a wreck. Okay, there are actually better reasons for both a) and b) but the crappy educational software everyone uses isn't helping.

  5. Wait, Jeff, are you saying all this time you were telling us about homemade chess variants and Tekumel polearm rules you could've instead been warning us about the economic gutpunch we were all in line for?

  6. Thanks, all. Maybe I'll have to come up with an standardized test for the community. :)