Part Two – Drawing from Your Play
Chances are pretty good that if you’re running a game, you’ve played one before. While it’s true that some people may actually start as a Game Master before being a player, this is comparatively rare—and a GM who has never played in another’s campaign is rarer still. If you’re smart, you’ll put your previous player experience to good use when running a game of your own.
One of the most important things to consider is what, as a player, simply didn’t work for you. Meandering plot may have been a game-killer for you. Maybe it was a particularly brutal GM, who took pleasure in teasing and tormenting the players. (Don’t be that guy)
Also, when I talk about player experience, I’m not just talking about tabletop roleplay; computer- and console RPGs count, too—as do games that aren’t RPGs at all. Repetitive play and lack of a sense of progression are just as devastating to an action-platformer on the Super Nintendo as they are to your Friday-night D&D game.
Building a Better GM: Introduction
When it comes down to it, the players’ experience of your game is channeled through a single point of entry—you. What you are able to present to your players—and how you do it—can be a deciding factor in whether, when the session is over, everybody wants to do it all again. This, of course, puts a bit of pressure on both the seasoned veteran and the rookie; let’s not forget that we are all doing this because it’s supposed to be fun! I hope, with this series, to take a little bit of the burden from your shoulders, and help you get the most enjoyment possible out of your game mastery.
With all of the gaming supplements and third-party modules currently, it easy to become overwhelmed: how do you decide what to use? In internet forums and cons, everyone has an opinion (some of them conflicting), and everyone is dying to share it with you. In this deluge it’s an easy mistake as a GM to forget the single greatest resource you have: yourself.