• Justin Handlin

Kinds of D&D Games

Listen to Episode 32 Here:

There are many different kinds of Dungeons and Dragons games. Most are a single-DM, ongoing campaigns, where the Dungeon Master creates a series of adventures that link together to form a story arc. But, not all games follow this practice.

Today Crit Academy discusses a variety of formats including, One shot games, Episodic, Multiple DM and Convention games. Listen as we compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each of these different kinds of D&D games.

Single DM: Same DM every session.

  • Mastermind behind the entire adventure, planning all the campaign’s overarching plots.


  • Everyone arrives at the game knowing who’s doing what.

  • Maintains campaign continuity

  • Everyone knows what to expect from the DM-rulings/npc/performance


  • One person has much more work than the rest of the crew for adventure preparation.

  • If DM can’t play, no one does.

  • Cause DM burn out.

Multiple DM’s: Rotating DM

  • Different players take on the role of DM for different sessions. Passing around the responsibility, maybe everyone in the group gets a turn as both player and DM.


  • Adventure preparation work load gets distributed

  • Everyone feels like part of the adventuring party

  • Can help prevent DM absences

  • Can reduce DM burnout

  • DM gets to be a player


  • Continuity sometimes can hit some rough patches

  • Characters moving in out and out of the group can be difficult to explain

  • Adventures may not feel connected

Campaign: Most traditional: A series of connected adventures. Often they share a sense of larger goal or purpose, maybe a reoccurring theme. Returning villains, grand conspiracies, or a single great mastermind behind the entire setting.