The mantle of referee requires enrobement in such varied guises as tactician of melee, grand strategist, architect of cunning traps, engineer of puzzles, and inventor of myriad enigmas. As you join the ranks of those forebears who also assumed the storied title of DUNGEON MASTER, embrace this role with élan and engrave your vision boldly across the milieu! But be forewarned, even the practiced referee may find himself confronted by the circumstance in which the players, through dint of forethought and application of luck or skill, are discovered in a superior position vis a vis a carefully formulated encounter. The natural tendency of the inexperienced referee in such surroundings would be to alter the deployment of forces arrayed against the players, in devotion to an ideal formulated on a requirement of balance or appropriate test, but this view is incorrect. You must resist this urge. THE ROLE OF THE REFEREE IS TO ADJUDICATE SUCH SITUATIONS WITH IMPARTIAL NEUTRALITY AND PRACTICED INDIFFERENCE TO THE RESULTS.
The experienced referee has already seeded the dungeon environment and surrounding milieu with a myriad assortment of challenges, each amenable to one pattern of solution or another. When the players have successfully ferreted out a resolution to a given difficulty, allow them to enjoy their fleeting moment of success, but gird yourself for the upcoming confrontations. Continued success requires adaptation, and the players will soon learn that yesterday's successful techniques hold little water with tomorrow's new challenges!
Chris over at Hill Canton's announced International Write Like Gygax Day, and I couldn't help but join in the fun, especially as we're using the 1E DMG actively at the table right now. This was going to be a simple post about "you win some, you lose some, it all balances out in the end", but it seemed like too good an opportunity to spout some High Gygaxian. Happy Friday!