I love this list of tips! I especially love the first one, but I take a slight twist on it. I don’t “require” a character background from each player. Instead, I reward those people that create a background with extra XP to start with, slightly boosted stats, extra skill points, a minor magical item or something similar. Once I have a character background, I do everything I can to incorporate something from it into the campaign. It engages the players so much more than just allowing them to play in “my sandbox” and it really amps up the fun.
This is a listing of many of the “must read” authors of the fantasy realm. Do yourself a favor and check it out… Then hit a local (used) bookstore and find a few of them to read.
A GM of mine has used these in the past, and they made for a great time. It really helped pull us into the world and the dungeon. However, the price on Dwarven Forge stuff is pretty high. It’s on my list of stuff to buy if I ever win it big in the lottery….
Where did the “3d6 in order” stat rule come from? Nowhere apparently. Wow. Go check out Grognardia’s post on the matter. This is vital history for any role player.
Who needs an excuse to party? Well… Apparently adventurers do. Go see what Brandan has to say on the matter to give you some ideas on how to give your PCs a reason to cut loose and have some fun.