Sorry for the lateness. Crazy Friday led to a crazy Saturday led to a wild Sunday morning, and I’m just now coming up for air. I really need to get back into the habit of writing up my comments as the links come out as Mike suggested. Maybe I’ll get back on that horse next week.
Now on with the links!
Every GM needs advice like this. Play focus (especially in larger groups) is really hard to maintain throughout a full gaming session. I really like the idea of a “half time” to call a break to the action to let everyone relax a bit, cool off their brains (and dice) and then get back into the game.
Wow. Looking at Mike’s outline for what he has planned has me jazzed! This is going to be a long series of articles, and I’m looking forward to all of them. I’m really looking forward to the “Baggage Dump” section because that’s probably where I suffer most when creating something I perceive to be “new.”
I love how the fingers of the mines stretch out just like they really would as miners follow veins of ore and gems. Well done!
This is more of a writing tip (for me) than a role playing tip, but it can go either way. If you stick with more specific adjectives in your prose (and GM descriptions), there is less room for mistaken assumptions, more clarity of picture, and more evocative use of imaginations.
My main weakness in GMing is trying to remember what happened in the past. Not my backstory. I’m talking about events the PCs were actually involved in. It’s rough for me. This is where my jotted notes come in handy. Something quick. I don’t need to document every detail. I just need enough triggers to allow my memory to recall what happened.
Despite the title, the article is more about how to garner useful feedback from your players regarding the quality of the game. I did this recently. The questions I asked were, “What do you want to see more of?” and, “What do you want to see less of?” This gave just enough guidance and allowed them to focus on what they’ve seen thus far in the sessions, and what they wanted more/less of. It also couched the questions in a positive light. Never, ever ask something along the lines of, “What do you hate/dislike the most?” or “What do you want to never see again?” Those types of questions contain negative words in them and will color the answers the players give. They also come off as a bit confrontational, which will shut down any honest opinions the players may want to give.
Mike covers quite a bit in this article, and he does a damn good job of it. He’s covering things like tone, pace, intensity, and puzzles. They may not sound like those really fit together (which is my fault in a poor summary, not Mike’s writing), but he does a great job transitioning from one to another and getting it all to fit together. Thanks for the article, Mike!