I’ve been DMing the past few years and still have so much to learn. It seems so simple when you are the player, but it’s an entirely different matter to be the one running the show. And there are SOOO many rules!
I do a major campaign plot, which isn’t revealed right away. All the little plots lead up to the major one and then there are others tossed in just to keep things interesting. As the PCs level up and the main plot becomes apparent, they immerse themselves further into the game world and (in my opinion) really invest themselves in their roles.
I’m a stickler about the rules. I follow the rules as best I understand them and enforce them at my gaming table. The idea is that it keeps everyone playing fair, myself included. I don’t cheat behind the DM screen and my players don’t cheat. I hate when DM’s have different rules for the NPCs than the players, making NPCs more powerful than PCs. I don’t see how that’s fun for the players.
I also make every attempt to make sure my players are having a good time. I try to make sure each of their PCs gets a chance to shine in game. They also have a good time socializing both in and out of character.
That’s it in a nutshell. Happy gaming!