For someone just testing out the waters of running their own role-playing game, I’ve boiled down the top 5 things (in my opinion) you can focus on in order to run a successful session. I’ve skipped over the obvious ones like “know the rules” and “have dice handy for players.” These focus on more non-obvious elements of the craft. Keep them in mind and it will be very hard to go wrong. The numbering of these means little. None are more important than the other and each of them, individually, actually work hand-in-hand with the other 4.
As a side note, I actually don’t like the word “master” in these titles because I think it separates that player out from the other players at the table. I prefer to use Gamehost and will use this interchangeably throughout the article.