The most important thing to note first is that all the information here is just a general guideline that we (the current DMs) use in making our decisions, but other factors can also play a role.
Basically all the information in this post is to help and inform you, so you can decide if DMing is right for you, but please don't expect to be able to point to this post and say “but the post said…”.
There are many things that a DM needs to be able to do and some are better at some things than others.
The single most important criteria for a DM is that they need to be a performer, someone who enjoys telling a story, who enjoys entertaining others. If you roleplay well, then you meet much of this criteria already.
The other really important thing is maturity. This has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with behaviour and attitude. Being a DM gives you lots of power, but with power comes responsibility.
Things that are also important include:
* An Organised Mind
* The ability to react well to the unexpected
* The ability to make quick decisions, and to see the general impact these decision can have (both on the story, and the world as a whole)
* A good knowledge of the world, so you don't destroy or invalidate what already exists.
* A good imagination
* A certain level of multi-tasking ability
* A strong sense of fair play and balance
* Being able to ignore idiots… they'll always be there, determined to ruin things for you and others.
* Decisiveness, and conviction.
* The ability to say “No”
* The ability to keep secrets, to not reveal background too early, or reveal other's quests.
* Respect for others. The DMs, the Players, the World.
Don't think you meet all of those? Don't worry; none of the current DMs do, were all human after all. Most DMs started with the most important skill, and bits of the others, and learned the rest.
If you become a DM you will have access to a vast library of background information not available to the players. In many cases this will explain why something is the way it is, why someone reacts the way they do. There are also lots of tools in the world itself to help you and to make your job easier. This background info will also tell you which things you are not allowed to do, mostly because each DM has his or her own projects and characters that are exclusive to them.
The DMs are all also good friends and help eachother a lot. You will certainly not be alone when you start DMing, and you can always ask questions.
Need? Hmm.. not sure I can answer that. We would like more DMs.
If there are more DMs then DMs are more often able to play; they can spend more time building; they can spend more time developing stories. DMs enjoy playing as much as DMing, its the reason we all came to NWN to start with.
It will also be more easy to do joint quests, or have 2 quests running at once.
There's also the issue of time-zones. Cerea is an international server, even though most of our players are European. The DMs are currently spread over 3 different time zones, with up to 3 hours between them. Having DMs in yet more time zones will be good for the players.
So.. you want to tell stories? Good.
All the DMs on Cerea volunteered, none were asked. There are players on Cerea that the DMs think would make excellent DMs, if only they would ask.
There are bad aspects to being a DM. Most resolve around players not doing what you expect, missing the obvious, players mis-behaving or generally things going wrong. There's also the fact that players will always argue with you… always try to gain an advantage, and to a point, that is what they should be doing, but there are always players that will push it too far.
DMing is also hard work, especially to start with, because everything will be unfamiliar, you won't be able to find what you want and too many things will be happening at once. It gets better, and very enjoyable, but even at it's most enjoyable you will still have times of stress.
If you are still not discouraged, then the way to become a DM is to ask. Speak to Weby or one of the other DMs. Best would be to send a PM to weby on these boards.
Don't expect to be made a DM if you've just logged onto Cerea for the first time. Anyone that just logs in for the first time and asks will be refused out of hand, as there is no way we can know what that player is like, and in all honesty… how can someone even know they like Cerea if they've only just arrived, let alone know the world?
The length of time you spent here is not that important though, if you have what it takes to be a DM, that will be fairly easy to spot by the other DMs, after you play for a while.
Small became a DM after only a month on Cerea, others took longer, 3 months, 5 months or more.
No, you don't. Chances are though, you will become a builder once you are a DM. Mostly because you will want your own areas, your own characters, your own special items.
As a DM you will also get access to the builders forums.
Once your request is received, it will be considered. In the first instance by weby, but he tends to request the opinions of the other DMs as well.
Once the DMs have discussed the matter, weby will make the final decision, and you will be informed.
You will need to chose your new identity, and then you will be given the DM password and access to the DM forums.
Weby or another DM will join you online the first couple of times you are on as a DM, introduce you to the tools of the trade, and the DM interface. We will also be online for your first couple of quests, to help you and provide you support. Those first couple of times will also give us the chance to ensure we have made the right decision, and to give you the chance to make sure DMing is for you.
That's fine, feel free to speak to a DM.