Tuesday, October 8, 2013

30 Days of Game Mastering

Kat over at Triple Crit has written up another 30 day challenge, inspired in part by the one I just finished. This one is less D&D centric, and instead focuses on gamemastering advice. I'll be working my way though this challenge, but I don't think it'll be every day.

Here's the list:

PART I: PREPARATION
  1. What advice would you give a first-time GM?
  2. What are your favorite GMing tools or accessories?
  3. How do you find players?
  4. Do you use pre-published adventures or write your own?
  5. Stealing like an artist: what inspiration have you drawn from other games, books, movies, etc?
  6. Worldbuilding–what’s your process?
  7. How do you prep for the start of a campaign?
  8. How do you prep for each session?
  9. Player “homework”: what do you ask of your players before and between sessions?
  10. What are your tips for running a low/no prep game?
PART II: AT THE TABLE
  1. House rules: what are your favorite hacks, mods, and shortcuts?
  2. Table rules: how do you keep players focused on the game?
  3. Rise to the challenge: how do you balance encounters in your system?
  4. How do you facilitate combat? Any tips, tools, or cheats?
  5. Memorable villains: how do you introduce and weave the antagonist/s into the ongoing narrative?
  6. Investigation and mysteries: how do you use foreshadowing, red herrings, and keep the tension rising?
  7. Structure and time: how do you use flashbacks, cut scenes, and parallel narratives in your games?
  8. How do you handle rewards, be they XP, magic items, or gold?
  9. What was your worst session and why?
  10. What was your best session and why?
PART III: META
  1. What are your favorite books about gamemastering?
  2. A novel solution: what’s the best advice you’ve borrowed from a totally different field?
  3. What effects do the system mechanics have on the story?
  4. Canon vs. alternate universe vs. original settings? What are the strengths and drawbacks of each?
  5. Problem players and drama llamas: what’s your horror story and how did you resolve it?
  6. Are GMs bad players? How do you step back when someone else is running the show?
  7. Have you ever co-GMed? Would you consider it? What are the pros and cons?
  8. Transcending the material plane: how do you GM online?
  9. Teaching the rules: how do you sell players on the system while running a demo or con game?
  10. How do we grow the hobby?


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