Category: Intro to Game Mastering

GMingAdvice01

Experience tends to be the defining metric when discussing whether someone is a good or great GM. That precious commodity that’s measured in years, campaigns, or game systems. It’s also something that gamers new to being behind the screen tend to focus on too much. The reality being that within every to-be GM is a great game trying to get out. I’m a proponent of the gamer lifecycle, a philosophy that gamers — and their tastes — evolve over time and with experience. Now it’s […]

GMingAdvice012

I love it when my gaming interests intersect with real life — or at least — the lives of our family’s mini-mes. The First Born’s final class assignment for her social studies unit on the medieval period was to construct a catapult. So, armed with scrap wood from my shop, an instructional video from the good folks over stormthecastle.com, a table saw and good length of rope, we set about constructing a backyard water balloon launcher. We settled on making the torsion catapult, since this […]

GMingAdvice012

One of the best ways to learn is by watching other GMs work. Being a player gives you perspective — often a better perspective than what’s offered from behind the screen. Good practices. Bad practices. You can learn from all of it. Here are some of things I’ve learned about the GMing craft by observing others: Silence is golden As a teen I got invited to Bill’s game. That was fortunate — all the other players were college aged. Was I intimidated? Just a tad […]

Intro To Gming

First Time GM is a series of articles dedicated to the newly-minted game master, making his or her first tentative die rolls behind the screen. Today’s article deals with techniques used to prepare for a game. A broader look at the process is here. GMing is an art form; no two GMs will prepare in exactly the same manner. In addition, the list of techniques for game prep is massive and ever-changing. I’ll try to cover a few big topics, but each GM have to […]

Intro To Gming

First Time GM is a series of articles dedicated to the newly-minted game master, making his or her first tentative die rolls behind the screen. Today’s article deals with preparing for the gaming session, commonly called game prep or just prep. For some GMs, game prep takes far more time and effort than the actual gaming sessions. We could spend weeks on game prep, but this is just an overview of the process; techniques will be handled in a future article. Because game prep is […]

Intro To Gming

First Time GM is a series of articles dedicated to the newly-minted game master, making his or her first tentative die rolls behind the screen. Today’s article deals with establishing the ground rules of the game, and of the group itself. This is commonly referred to as the Social Contract, but I prefer the term Game Charter. What? More Rules? Over the years, a gaming group will develop their own internal rules, conventions, and standards of behavior, many of which will be unspoken. Some of […]

Intro To Gming

First Time GM is a series of articles dedicated to the newly-minted game master, making his or her first tentative die rolls behind the screen. Today’s article deals with finding a group of players, deciding on a time and a place to play, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page once the game starts. Finding players Some GMs are lucky enough to inherit or adopt a fully-developed group of players. But some poor souls are truly at the beginning, and have no idea […]