Being a female dungeon master may seem like a huge hurdle to overcome. You might feel like an outsider and not know where to being.
The most important tip of the female dungeon master tips is that you can do everything a man can do. Gender is not a problem in dming.
Most beginning female dungeon masters end up fearing that they will be treated unequally. Some think that they are pioners and that there are not that many female dungeon masters. But what is it really like?
Many female dungeon masters are trepidatious about starting because of D&D’s history. In the past, it was only filled with young or old white men who were extremely nerdy and didn’t know how to talk to women. These men hadn’t learned that women are people who are just like them.
In the past, there was also the portrayal of D&D players from the media. Many of us formed our opinions of who plays dungeons and dragons from the media.
Women seemed to have never been present unless they were that token woman.
This is not the case today.
Today many women are dungeon masters and play D&D. We not longer have just a straight white male audience. Or did we ever?
The truth is that most dungeons and dragons players were white men back in the day but others did play. There were female dungeon masters in the past and there were female players, but it always felt like you were alone.
Today, this has changed.
With streaming and online communication, women are able to see that they are not alone. This has led to a huge spike in women playing and dungeon mastering D&D for the past 6 or so years.
Women were also always portrayed in the stupidest light possible in the past. If women wanted to wear armor it was always skimpy and led to the idea of chainmail bikinis. This is absolutely stupid and put off a lot of women from joining.
The art for dungeons and dragons has finally started treating women like people and draws them appropriately. If there is a female warrior they are wearing platemail that covers their entire body instead of just making a swimsuit. I am surprised that women played before this, but finally, women are treated in the game like people instead of objects.
Changing the drawing and how young or older men think of women has led to women being involved in D&D more and more. You can be a dungeon master. You are completely equal to any man out there and gender has nothing to do with being a dungeon master.
There still might be a few things that you are worried about so let’s address them 1 by 1.
this is what people used to think of drawing women in the early 2000s.
This is what they drew women as in the most recent 5th edition.
I know the difference is between a shadowdancer (thief) and a dwarven warrior but look at that armor! Full coverage? Practical?
The art has come a long way. In the first image of a woman it represents a female shadowdancer. Now, I know that a rogue who pops out of shadows seems like they might not need too much armor. You are still going into combat though and probably shouldn’t look like a stripper.
When the game itself tells you that women are supposed to dress like strippers and get should be as sexy as possible, what do you think the players start to believe?
I am not putting all the blame on the artwork of the time. I am saying that it is a reflection of how people who played D&D thought of women and how it reinforced these ideas.
As the artwork changed, the perception of women as skimpy strippers changed to viewing them as equals. There is no difference between men and women when it comes to adventuring or dming. There are some differences between us but these are minor and we should treat each other with an equal amount of respect.
This is what the artwork and game messages changed because the culture of D&D changed. Society has changed.
This is why you shouldn’t fear dming because you are a woman. Female dungeon masters are respected as much as men.
Breaking the mold
It is great that women are respected as equals and not viewed as sex objects, but what about dming? Are there many female dungeon masters or are you one of the first?
The good news is that you are not a pioneer when it comes to female dungeon masters.
Thanks to the internet and streaming we are able to see many other female dungeon masters. If you are wondering about a percentage I don’t have an exact number but there are a lot. I would say close to 50% of dungeon masters are female. It might be a little bit less, but there are far more out there than you know.
If you want some inspiration, here are some female dungeon masters too look up.
-Marisha Ray (one shot)
-Laura Bailey (one shot)
-Deborah Ann wolf
And many more. These are just a few to get you started, but you are not alone.
There are many other female dungeon masters and you are not breaking the mold. You are not a pioneer and don’t have to worry about dealing with all the adversity that it may bring.
There are however a few minor differences.
This is the only real difference between male and female dungeon masters. Women have a higher voice range and men have a lower voice range. It might be harder to make the sound of a rough and gruff dwarven man, but it is also hard for men to make the light higher pitch voice of a female singer or fairy.
Voices are the only unique problem that you will have. On the flip side, men have a unique problem with higher pitch voices so we both have to work with what we are given.
If you are not comfortable with voices then do not make any. You should practice at home and read our article on voices. It will give you all the information that you need to know.
There are still some things that may concern you and we should address them.
“They won’t respect me because I am a woman.”
If you are thinking this then either your friends are jerks and you need new ones or you are just casting doubt on yourself.
If your friends are complete jerks then you should get new ones. Seriously, get new ones that will respect you as a person and not base who you are off of your gender.
To clarify, joking with friends is fine. Making fun of friends normally is fine as long as it is friendly and not demeaning. This varies from person to person but your players should not think you cannot pull off dming because you are a woman. That is just stupid.
The second part is very real. You may cast doubt on yourself thinking that others won’t respect you. The people that you are dming for are probably your friends. Your friends will and should respect you.
If you are worried that you are too timid as a dungeon master or don’t know the rules you are not alone. Not knowing the rules or being too quiet is a way to lose respect, but it can happen to anyone.
I will give you a little secret.
We all don’t know the rules perfectly.
We all screw up consistently and worry about the things that we did.
You are not alone!
If you had a bad session, have dm burnout, have an uninterested player, or more we have a bunch of tips for you in our DM section. Just find what you need and hopefully, we can help you with your specific problem.
Female dungeon masters are nothing new. In fact, there are many female dungeon masters out there.
You are not the first or 1 of few to be a female dungeon master. There are many out there to gain inspiration from.
D&D is not like it used to be. We can confirm this with streaming and all of the services that the internet provides. Sexism and respect should not be an issue in your game. If they are, it is most likely the people that you are playing with and not the general populace of those who play D&D.
This article is very short because there isn’t too much to talk about. The only real difference is in our voice range and you can choose to ignore that by not doing voices.
Any problem you have is a problem that other dungeon masters have so go out there and create some amazing games!
The hardest part is always starting but I know that you can do it (even if it is intimidating at first).
I hope that I helped you, and remember that you are not alone.
This has been Wizo and keep rolling!