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The Angry DM @TheAngryDM
The Angry DM @TheAngryDM
The Angry Dome
I'm The Angry DM. I give D&D advice with attitude. Whether you want it or not. I rant. I rage. I am not reasonable. Consider this your warning!
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What kind of music do you listen to? Not at the table, just in general?
I'm not really a music guy. In the car and s$&%, I tend to listen to podcasts and audio books. But I often put on background music when I'm writing or working on gaming or whatever. I tend to listen to either classical or soundtracks and stuff. Stuff with lyrics distracts me. So I just need background music. Lately, I've been on a video game music kick. Vurez is really cool , I like Super Metroid Remastered by techux, love the Video Games Live people and The Greatest Video Game Music Volumes 1 and 2 featuring the London Philharmonic , and also Smooth McGroove's acapella arrangements . I'm not one of those people who can listen to chiptunes, though. Overly electronic bleeping, booping s$&% doesn't do it for me at all. I'm glad video games have evolved past that.
After your explanation on discern realities, how would the "seeing red" fighter's move work? It gives +1 on discerning realities in combat.
That's how it works. Is this a trick question? You roll 2d6 + Wisdom modifier and add one.
The fact that you're in combat doesn't change the basic nature of Discern Realities. You have to stop and actively study an area or foe. That is to say, you have to purposely examine, study, interact with, or feel out a person or thing or place with the sole purpose of trying to figure out what the f$&% is really happening.
Did you see Clash of the Titans? Remember the party where Perseus was in the gorgon's lair and he was just slowly plodding there, listening, watching, waiting, getting ready? That's Discerning Realities. So is feeling an opponent out in a fight. Basically, you stop taking other actions to pay careful attention and study your foes and the surroundings.
That's how Dungeon World moves work. You wait until a player does a thing (like closely studying a situation or person) and then the move happens. Until the player does the thing, the move doesn't happen. And the move can't happen unless the player does the thing. Combat doesn't change anything.
And why the f$&% is this turning into the Dungeon World advice column!
Why do so many people use "just talk to him" as advice? It's so trite. Obviously if talking worked then they wouldn't be asking how to deal with it. If it was that simple then there would be no need for negotiators and there'd be no disagreements. It only works if everybody is mature, but come on.
I never give "talk" as the sole piece of advice. I say "talk OR walk." Because, that's what it comes down to. In the end, if someone is not willing to meet in the middle merely through talking - which, by the way, is what a f$&%ing negotiation IS - then you don't have many other options. If you can't talk it out, you walk away. That's it. You can't make people change their minds. You can't make people see things your way. So, if you can't talk, you walk. Done and done.
But, by all means, if you want to keep banging your head uselessly against a wall you're never going to tunnel through, go to town. Have fun.
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My DM insists "It's the DM's job to kill the PCs". How should I respond to him?
By walking away.
Seriously. If you don't like the way the game is being run, you've got two choices. Politely talk to the DM like a reasonable human being and explain what you would like to see changed OR walk away from the table. Those are choices. And I'm guessing, based on the fact that you are asking some stranger on the internet about it, you don't think reasonable discourse is going to work. So, your response is to leave. Find another game. Run your own. Take up video games instead. Whatever.
Why do people think there is some magical other option besides these two?! You can't make people think or act differently than they do. If they aren't open to persuasion, your only choice is to walk away. Or use violence. But that won't fix the problem. It will just briefly make you feel better. Violence is basically just a way of walking away with the added fun of an aggravated assault charge.
What is the maximum number of players you like DMing for? Have you DMed for more than that? Also, what is the absolute minimum you will consider DMing for?
Five, four online. Yes. Six, five online, eight at a convention for a one shot.
Man, that was an easy one.
EDIT: F$&%. Okay, look, you clearly got your question wrong because I answered about the maximum. And because I'm never wrong, you must have been. But, because I'm never too big to admit you're wrong and to forgive you for being not as perfect as me, I'm willing to answer your incorrect question.
The absolute minimum I would consider DMing for is three.
Even your wrong questions are easy.
What is FATE? Why do I see it all over the place? And why do you hate it so much? Should I hate it too?
FATE is a role-playing game by Rob Donaghue and Fred Hicks. It lightweight and uses a number of simple, abstract mechanics based on the idea that characters are actually characters in a story to emphasize dramatic storytelling and interpersonal relationships over other game elements. FATE comes in two flavors: FATE Core and FATE Accelerated, both of which you can read about at Evil Hat Productions, . You can get FATE for free. Both systems allow for a variety of settings and styles of play, but work best with pulp action drama regardless of the setting.
Now FATE is the endpoint of a long evolution. FATE Core is the generic version of the engine from Spirit of the Century in 2006 and refined in Dresden Files RPG in 2010. Spirit of the Century was, itself, based on earlier versions of FATE, the first of which was published back in 2003 and had numerous other spinoffs and adaptations. And the earlier FATE was, in fact, based on an even earlier game called FUDGE, which stood for Freeform Universal DIY Game Engine and was a very lightweight set of rules for action resolution based on translating simple descriptors into numbers. FUDGE first became available back in the mid 1990s and the creator decreed that FUDGE should always be available for free on the Internet, and that version still is:
The acronym FUDGE was said to be a jab at GURPS, the Generic Universal Role-Playing System which, while also offering the ability to run just about any type of game or setting, was criticized by some for being ridiculously complicated. FUDGE was a response. It is also said that the D in FUDGE actually stands for Donated because of the decree that it would always be free.
Now, FATE used to be an acronym for FUDGE Adventuring Tabletop Engine or some s$&% like that, or maybe Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop something. Who gives a s$&%. The most obnoxious fans will be quick to point out that FATE is no longer an acronym and should be properly referred to as Fate. Lo, look hither and gaze upon the field where I grow my f$&%s. See, my field is fallow. I have not even one f$&% to give.
Why do I hate FATE? Because it's abstract story-gamey bulls$&% that doesn't try to pretend it is anything but abstract story-gamey bulls$&%. The stuff in the game has no reason to exist in the fiction. Often, you gain advantage on doing something because that's your role in the story. And there's bulls$&% plot points or FATE points or whatever that are also based on nebulous story bulls$&% and players make decisions based more on where they (the players) think the story of their characters should go than the decisions the characters themselves would make if they were real people in real situations.
But YOU should NEVER hate something just because I do. And NEVER hate something you haven't tried. You should judge for yourself and risk being wrong. Because, of course, I'm right.
Do you ever "crossover" mechanics from one game system to another? For example, using Fate skills in D&D.  Syd Andrews
What the f$&% is it with FATE lately? Everyone with goddamned FATE! If I wanted to run FATE, I'd run FATE. I don't. FATE sucks. I run D&D because I want to run D&D.
I don't lift mechanics from one game and drop them into another wholesale. That's a very clumsy way of doing things. Any substantial mechanic in a game is usually doing something thematic in that game. And it is usually going to fit badly or cause issues in the new game.
That said, I draw inspiration from a lot of different games. Even gross not-real RPGs like FATE do useful things sometimes. The key is to break down the mechanic and figure out a way to rebuild the mechanic in the new system so that it brings over the feel of the mechanic that you want to capture without being clunky or disrupting the game.
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Who is your favorite?  Michael
My favorite what? I assume you are asking about a person, because you said 'who.' But I'm not sure what you mean. I'm sure you don't mean overall. So what? Do you want my favorite president? James K. Polk. My favorite Ninja Turtle? Leonardo (used to be Raphael). My favorite male scientist? Richard Feynman. My favorite game designer? Rich Baker. My favorite female scientist? Emmy Noether. Favorite Farscape character? John Crichton. Favorite video game protagonist? Samus Aran. Favorite supreme court justice? Warren Burger. Favorite author? Peter S. Beagle. Favorite cartoonist? Aaron Williams or Phil Foglio (a tie). Favorite economist? Friedrich Hayek (but Steven Levitt gets honorable mention). Favorite classic Disney Afternoon character? Darkwing Duck. Favorite character from a Broadway muscial? Inspector Javert. Favorite iconic character from 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons? Jozan the Cleric. Favorite actor? Meryl Streep. Favorite Whose Line is it Anyway panelist? Greg Proops. Favorite comedian? Paula Poundstone. Favorite podcast personality? Robert Krulwich. Favorite player in any of my ongoing games? I'm not supposed to have favorites, but it's Miss Too Good for Twitter. Favorite steampunk character? Agatha Heterodyne. Favorite cyberpunk character? Jake Armitage. Favorite Twitter follower?
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"If an arrow is winging directly toward the PC, throwing himself out of the way or hitting the deck is not really Defying Danger at all." How would you resolve that mechanically then? Just let them hit the floor and dodge it?
I assume we're talking about my previous answer about Dungeon World?
Yeah. Exactly. But then I have to create something new for the players to respond to, remember, unless a player jumps in. The player has effectively accomplished nothing by just hitting the ground, so now I've got to do something new to drive action.
DM: "The sentinel fires an arrow, it's winging straight toward you."
Player: "I halt my charge and hit the ground, hoping the arrow wings over me."
DM: "It does! You hit the ground hard and the arrow shatters against the wall behind you! You're laying on the ground, the sentinel nocks another arrow, and he's taking aim at your prone form. What do you do?"
Notice how, if the player stays down, nothing gets accomplished. I'm driving the player to accomplish something.
Now, that's not the only way to handle it. But remember, in Dungeon World, until a player does something that constitutes a move (like acting in defiance of some imminent danger), there's no move and no die roll. Just the story itself.
How do you handle Discern Reality in DW? I can never pinpoint when the right time to use it is. Searching a room? They might search out lots of little clues that let them put together the big picture that a Discern Reality roll gives them, but then when would you make them roll? Or would you?
Like all Moves in Dungeon World, Discern Reality is driven by the actions of the players. That is, you use Discern Realities when players do something that constitutes Discerning Realities. As explained in the rules or in the SRD here , Discern Realities isn't a mere glance through a doorway. It constitutes a purposely effort to make a slow, careful search of the room to discover hidden things and invisible details. Or otherwise engaging a thing or person in a purposeful attempt to gain non-obvious information.
What I have found though is that modern gamers seem to have lost the knack for careful examinations and Discern Realities seems to trip up many players because they assume that (a) if you don't imply there is anything hidden, there is probably nothing interesting to discover or (b) that a casual glance around the room will automatically trigger some sort of roll to notice anything remotely odd. So you've got to train your players to poke and prod and purposely search.
The thing is, Dungeon World is not about passive actions. All of the mechanics, the moves, are predicated on the character or the players actively DOING something. Which means, if you are sort of the DM who presents a room and just says "ta dah... there it is, the room you are in," your Dungeon World game can stall out.
You get the same problem if you try to treat Defy Danger as a generic ability check instead of actually presenting an imminent danger that the PC has to actually defy. If an arrow is winging directly toward the PC, throwing himself out of the way or hitting the deck is not really Defying Danger at all. It's accepting the danger, it's letting the danger determine the course of action. Standing in front of it, shield raised, or charging the enemy hoping the arrow misses while you attack, those are Defying the Danger. Dungeon World teaches you, the DM, that you have to drive the action and put the PCs in the position of responding to the world.
So, you sort of have to train your players to poke and prod at the world. You have to present rooms that imply there are things to discover, unknown things, and then, prod them along until they say enough that they are really doing a Discern Realities. If you have an empty, featureless dungeon room with nothing in it, hiding a secret door, your players may never ever find the secret door because there doesn't seem to be any reason to start poking a prodding. At the same time, if the room has just one thing, the players will examine that one thing, like the chest in the middle. But if the room is a cluttered lab, filled with tables and counters and cabinets and glassware stained with strangely colored, dried powders, then they are more likely to drop back into the "we'll poke around." After a few such rooms, you will get them trained to take general searching actions.
I know this thing is mainly for DnD stuff, but something caught my eye and even if you don't answer I wish to ask: That thing on twitter you said that because some feminists attacked you so the whole movement is poisoned: Was that bitter sarcasm because of gamergate? Or you actually think that?
If you want to discuss this privately with me, I am willing to have a rational conversation. I am not, however, discussing this on a public forum any further.
Gandalf was an ass hole, he told the rest of the party to flee and killed the Balrog himself, thus gaining all the boss xp.
That's not a question. Also, that is a mischaracterization. There is so much wrong with your statement, I don't think I can even address it all. But I will try.
First of all, Gandalf was overpowered compared to the rest of the party. Drastically overpowered. The balrog encounter was far too dangerous for Frodo and Aragorn and Gimli and all the rest. It was an even encounter for Gandalf, though. The problem with that sort of mismatch is that Gandalf then has to divide his attention between defeating the creature and protecting the rest of his overlarge party, any one of whom could be one-shot by the balrog. I don't know why the DM allowed such a mismatch to begin with, but Gandalf recognized that the encounter was going to be disastrous for the rest of the party. Gandalf was smart.
That's the problem with having drastically different power levels in the same party.
Now, this also completely misses the point of the scene. Because, the thing that we're forgetting here is that this was a book and a movie, not a role-playing game. Gandalf makes no decisions independent of the author. And Gandalf does not have a player concerned about gaining XP. And please don't bring up the transformation to Gandalf the White. That was not XP based and there is no evidence to suggest it might have been.
Gandalf died to the Balrog for a number of reasons. He died to facilitate his transformation. Essentially, his death and rebirth. He died to push the hero, Frodo, to his lowest point. Frodo, remember, had ultimately chosen the path through the Mines and it lead to Gandalf's death. So Frodo became responsible for Gandalf's death. Further, the loss of Gandalf meant that Frodo had no one wise to fall back on when the events in Lothlorien began to sow doubt in his mind about his companions. The joint demons of distrust and responsibility ultimately lead Frodo to break away from the Fellowship when Boromir tried to take the Ring. Essentially, then, the death of Gandalf was the beginning of the breaking of the Fellowship which was ultimately necessary for the success of the journey.
More generally, the Fellowship needed some time away from Gandalf to allow them to grow. Aragorn may not ultimately have accepted his fate if he continued to work in the shadow of Gandalf. Gimli and Legolas would not have developed their kinship as long as Gandalf continued to keep them cooly courteous toward each other. Merry and Pippin would have continued their dangerous, immature tomfoolerly as long as Gandalf existed to chastise them. And so on.
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Every time WotC releases a new preview of the DMG I lose more faith that it will actually be helpful to me as a newish DM. Do you have any recommendations for a game system or other sources that are actually useful for new DMs?
Look, I'm all about helping newbies too stupid to run screaming for the hills to avoid the curse of being the "designated DM," because if I have to be stuck in that role, I damn well want others stuck in it too. As they say, it is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven, and I need other people in Hell with me if ruling it is going to have any meaning. Long story short, welcome to Hell.
You'd better just get used to this. In general, the hobby (as a whole) has little respect for DMs and games are very bad at communicating with new DMs. And I'm not just talking about D&D/WotC. The thing is, WotC and Pathfinder do the best jobs of talking to newbies of just about anything. Every other game, except for a rare few, assume you already learned the basics from WotC or Paizo. And Paizo doesn't do it any better than WotC. Most of the indie games are about trying to change the relationship between the players and the GM or do such unique things that they don't really help with the truly generic skills. They assume you're an advanced gamer. People are going to jump on me and tell you why I'm wrong, but I'm not.
Gamers themselves aren't much better. Speaking to newbies is a skill, much like teaching anything is. And it isn't a skill everyone has, but it's a skill that lots of people delude themselves into thinking they have. I actually had one fellow DM tell me the skill doesn't exist, that it is impossible for someone with experience to see things with a beginner's mind. So, it can be really, really hard to find good advice.
I'm not trying to discourage you. I just believe in f$&%ing honesty. Get used to this.
In the end, the best way to get better at DMing is just to keep DMing. RPGs in general and DMing in particular are Do-It-Yourself hobbies. They don't HAVE TO be. And, to some extent, I think it does them a disservice that everyone assumes that DIY is just the way you do DMing. But there are some benefits too. And, in the end, that's just the way it is.
Pick a game you like, get to know it, and run it, run it, run it. Don't worry about doing it right. Just worry about doing it well. Those aren't the same thing, you know. And, as you get comfortable with it, tinker with it. F$&% with it. Maybe try other games once in a while. Maybe play at other people's tables once in a while. Maybe talk about running games with other people who run games and listen to podcasts and read blogs you like. But mostly, just run games. And be willing to f$&% it up. And try to do better every time.
Is there a famous character in a campaign that you despise? (like Drizzt in the forgotten realms)  Michael
F$&%ing Nystul.
What do you think of video game adaptations of D&D?  Michael
Like, all of them? F$&% me. That's a long list. So I can only give a really short review of each. And I haven't played them all. Okay, here we go. Lightning round.
Pool of Radiance (series): it was okay
Heroes of the Lance (series): no f$&%ing thank you
Eye of the Beholder (series): awesome, love it, also loved Dungeon Master, but I know that is not D&D
Savage Frontier (series): never played it
Fantasy Empires: neat approach, simplified kingdom sim
Unlimited Adventures: now we're talking, I'm a sucker for build your own game s$&%
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (series): first one was okay, but I don't like Dark Sun
Stronghold: pretty neat
Dungeon Hack: fun
Ravenloft (series): no idea, no interest, f$&% Ravenloft
Mystara (series): never played
Iron & Blood: this was the tournmenant fighter one, right? Never played. Probably sucked.
Undermountain: I didn't know this existed, but I wish I had tried it
Baldurs Gate (series): it was okay, but I'm not a huge fan
Planescape Torment: the standard by which all CRPGs should be measured (and found wanting)
Icewind Dale (series): eh... basically just icy Baldur's Gate. No thanks.
Neverwinter Nights (series): single player was boring as hell, but I learned scripting for this s$&%
Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes: which one is that again
The Temple of Elemental Evil: I'd have enjoyed it more if it was remotely stable and not buggy as s$&%
Dragonshard: there was another Eberron game!?
DDO: Stormreach: actually had a lot of fun with this, but after the free to play shift and everything, it feels weirdly soulless
Dungeons and Dragons Tactics: I don't have a PSP, but I wish I did
Daggerdale: which one is this?
Neverwinter: Cool. I like the engine it was built on, but I lost interest because there isn't enough variety in
the things, also why the f$&% wouldn't you make a turn based 4E game?! It practically designs itself?!
Heroes of Neverwinter: A turn based 4E game?! Brilliant! Now, if it hadn't been just a contentless, free-to-play, Facebook, social, pile of crap, I'd have loved it.
Are there any other initiative methods you've used besides the D&D standard and popcorn initiative, and if so how well did they work for you? Are there any other initiative methods you'd like to try?
Initiative is like the biggest f$&%ing obsession and I don't understand it. "How many different systems of initiative can we have?" "How do I track initiative?" "I use magnetic white board stand up tent index cards with numbers to keep track of initiative!" Holy f$&%.
Here's the thing: initiative is boring. It isn't interesting. It is a necessity of game structure and balance, but it isn't worthy of nearly as much work and thought people put into it. I tried out Popcorn Initiative mainly because I didn't want to be bothered by initiative anymore. And honestly, we fell out of using it because I went back to having a piece of paper and rolling randomly.
Obviously, I've used systems in other games. Aside from the D&D Initiative and the Popcorn Initiative, I also like Dungeon World's "Eh, F$&% It" system where people just go when they go and that's it. And I'm experimenting with something else, but it's not ready for prime time just yet.
What are your feelings on cursed item? The CE rogue in my group recently put on a helm of opposite alignment.  Michael
To your first sentence, the question about cursed items, my answer is: eh. Whatever. I can take them or leave them. I've used them in the past, but not often or heavily because, from a world perspective they are pretty nonsensical most of the time and from a game perspective, they just f$&% things up. I mean, what is the goddamned point of randomly, undetectably poisoning a subset of all the treasure in your world so that you can jump out from behind the screen and yell "hahahaha, gotcha!" If you're really effective at it, you're going to make the players scared of treasure. As amusing as that might be, for a little while, I'm not sure that's the game I want to run. At the same time, you can do interesting with cursed items that offer tradeoffs or limitations or that provide brief, manageable challenges or obstacles to the party. Execution is everything in this case.
As to your second sentence, the one about the rogue, I'm not sure what you want me to say there. There's no real payoff to the sentence. It's just "this is a thing that happened." You didn't even say "and it made me mad" or "and that's why I hate magic items" or "and I'm glad because I was sick of dealing with the one idiot in every group who, for some insane reason feels the need to bring an antisocial, destructive, selfish sociopath to a TEAM BASED GAME!" I've really got nothing to respond to there. It's just "my sister was bitten by a moose one time."
So... neat? I guess.
In answering one of my previous questions, you said you banned sorcerers. What made you do that? Was it something specific to your campaign or was it a mechanical matter? -- And, somewhat related, how do you handle having Wizards/Clerics prepare spells during your sessions?  WouldYouRather
I banned sorcerers in 5E. I didn't ban them in, say, Pathfinder. In fact, in Pathfinder, I did a lot of cool s$&% with sorcerers.
The 5E sorcerer comes in two flavors. The wild magic flavor and the dragon sorcerer. The wild magic sorcerer is f$&%ing inexcusable. It is random purely for the sake of being random and you can't f$&%ing play one without having the book open, unless you basically just copy the entire goddamned sorcerer section AND the full description of every spell onto your character sheet. There is no reason for that level of inelegant clumsiness. I've got s$&% to do. I don't need that sort of random resolution pulling a f$&%ing drag chute on my game. So, no, f$&% them.
And in the end, I could have kept the dragon sorcerer, but it was easier not to and frankly, I find the whole thing just plain weird. The whole "oh, someone porked a dragon or somehow dragons infused humans or whatever" storyline does nothing for me. Because why just dragons? Dragons aren't the most powerful spellcasters in the world. They aren't the most powerful beings in the world. They aren't the only beings that bump uglies with demi-humans even. Apparently. I mean, devils and angels, right? Those are both more magical and more likely to boff an elf or a dwarf or whatever. So why just dragons? What is special about dragons? What's the compelling story role that sorcerers have that wizards don't. Or warlocks, for that matter. Hell, why isn't the dragon thing a subset of warlock? Couldn't you have a pact with a dragon as easily as a fey or a devil or whatever?
So, since I had to work to imagine a logical place in the world for dragon sorcerers and I was already excising half of the class anyway for being ridiculously unplayable, I just said "f$&% it" and pulled the whole damned class out.
As for preparing spells during the game, the rules are pretty clear. After a PC sleeps or takes a long rest or whatever, they can study their spells or pray or stroke their holy miter or whatever and prepare X number of spells for the coming day. No reason to f$&% with that, really.
Our GM often forces us into fights, even if we try to negotiate or sneak our way past them. How can we convince him bypassing the fights is more fun?
Have you tried telling him using words?
If that doesn't work, you probably can't. So you'd better decide if it's a deal breaker and, if it is, start looking for a new DM.
I'm not being a dick, by the way. This is 100% true. If the DM isn't open to calm, polite, rational discussion about how the game would be more fun for you, you can't convince him. You just can't. You can't change people's minds if they don't want to be changed.
Do you think your encounter design structure is appropriate for small location based concept? Say a small, low lvl undead village (five houses and a church)? Should I design the whole village as one encounter (DQ: can the players figure out what happened?), or break it up into multiple encounters?
I think my encounter design structure is appropriate for ALL encounters. All of them. That is why I said in that you should ALWAYS F$&%ING USE IT.
That said, how you use it is up to you. You can have a big thing like a broad investigation of an entire area be one encounter or you can break it into multiple encounters if you want to break the investigation down into multiple goals. For example, if the encounter is about piecing together what happened, you can break that down into several different clues, scatter them around the map, and put encounters in the way of some of them (where others might just be freebies). In the end, it will have a different pace to it. A different flow. Using the whole thing as one encounter is like a montage scene, spread out over a long period of time. Having multiple encounters is more focused on the exploration and bouncing from encounter to encounter. Either way is perfectly fine. It just depends on how you want it to feel.
Also, ask yourself whether this village is minor and only deserves a single scene to set the tone of the mystery or whether you want it to feel like an entire act in the adventure.
My group has decided to take a long rest right in the middle of a hall of a dungeon that just begun exploring. How do I handle what happens over a long time span (8 hours) vs my original plan of roughly continuous exploration?  Tex
Do you mean "what happens to the PCs" or "what happens in the dungeon when eight hours pass?"
Honestly, you handle it the way you handle everything. Through the magical power of figuring it the f$&% out. You have a f$&%ing brain. Use it. The first step is to figure out WHAT happens.
First of all, can the PCs dick around in the middle of a hallway having a f$&%ing marshmallow roast without something stumbling on them and deciding they don't belong there? What lives in your dungeon? Is it hungry? Is it hostile? Or is it simply scared of the PCs? If the answer is that something is going to bother them, how long before it bothers them? Is it an active dungeon? An active hallway?
Figure it out. And do it. "You sit around for two hours, and then lo and beejeesus, an umber hulk wanders up to see who you are, what you're doing, and if you're edible. It decides you are."
And if, by some miracle, the party can actually just sit on their asses for eight hours and catch some sleep in hostile f$&%ing territory, the next question is this: if there is anything intelligent in the dungeon, what does it do in that eight hours? Especially if there is a good chance it somehow knows there's a hostile group of heavily armed morons sleeping two tunnels over. I'm pretty sure the answer will be "preparing for f$&%ing war." Barricading things, setting traps, taking up defensive positions, setting up alarms and guard rotations and patrols.
Long story short, though, you figure it out. That's why the game is run by a motherf$&%ing human brain. Because you can close your eyes, peek into your world, and say "if the morons do this, what is going to happen." And then you make that happen. There's no great mystery to it. No rules. No die rolls. Just simple f$&%ing logic. And if someone tells you this is why you should make random encounter tables, you can punch them. From me. Because you have a brain.
If you could steal 1 (comic) superhero/supervillain's powers, which person would you steal from? (to minimize the choices a bit, I'll restrict it to characters from comics by DC, Marvel/ other well-known distributors, no manga/manhwa)  Avalon Rising
Superman. He's got pretty much all the powers. And if a situation arises he can't deal with, the writer just gives him a new random power that let's him deal with the situation. So, he has super strength, super vision, lasers, flying, invulnerability, and the power of plot contrivance. He's pretty much a god. Why would I give any other answer?
I've never played or run D&D before and neither have my friends. Can I really run the game without the DMG?
Yes, you absolutely can. You definitely can. I'm going to tell you a dirty secret: the Dungeon Master's Guide is not really a Dungeon Master's Guide. It hasn't been in ages. It doesn't teach or instruct very much at all. It has some mechanical stuff useful for building your own adventures and it has a bunch of rules options, but it should be called a "toolbox" or "pile of options" or "a bunch of random s$&% we crammed together because we have to have a DMG," but I doubt it will be any more usefully instructive for teaching non-DMs how to DM than any previous edition has been.
All you really need is the rules of the game (like in the PHB or the Basic Rules online), an adventure (like the Starter Set or Horde of the Dragon Queen or something), enough courage to just start running the game as best you can, and willingness to have fun even if you absolutely f$&% up every last little thing. You're going to screw it up, it is going to be scary, and the people at your table won't care because you'll all have fun.
I had zero experience with D&D 26 years ago when I ran my first game for a group of friends who had no experience with D&D. I bought the Starter Set of the day (the D&D Basic Rules by Frank Mentzer) and just ran the s$&% out of the game. And I had fun. And those two friends never wanted to play again. Oops. They just didn't didn't jive with the game. It isn't for everyone. But I found new, better friends who didn't suck, and they loved it. And from that moment on, I was running games. Now, here I am, the best motherf$&%ing DM in the entire world. If I did it, you can probably be okay at it with practice. Just give it a chance.
Given your time as Angrar the Barbarian, it seems appropriate to ask: How does a player become a better Barbarian? How can one Barbarian as much as possible? Any tips on how to increase my role playing experience on this front? Also, what's the pancake of choice for them?
I don't understand what you're saying. Angrar the Barbarian is a friend of mine. He isn't me. He doesn't wear glasses and has much longer hair than I do. Also, I'm fairly sure he doesn't eat pancakes.