In the first installment of Gnew Years Resolutions for 2012 some of the Gnomes offered gaming resolutions and readers were invited to join along with us. Here’s how we’ve been progressing for the first quarter:

John: My resolution was to be more conscious about prepping for games. I tend to fall back on improv as a Game Master, but I’ve been hitting the prep phase hard for games lately. It has helped. While I still run off the cuff for one out of every three or so sessions in my current game, I find I feel better about games where I’m more prepared. I may end up deviating from the course, but at least I’ve got a more solid course to deviate from. For me this was a “target your problem areas” type of thing, and it has really helped.

Kurt:My resolution to do game prep well before the game has had mixed results so far. Some weeks, I’ve done a fine job with it, and others have had zero prep until the last hour before the game. (I’m not counting the few sessions where the players threw the game completely off the tracks, negating however much prep I’ve done.) What I’ve found that works (when I do it) is to make detailed notes during and shortly after the game. Even if I don’t properly prepare, the act of writing the notes keeps the session in my head throughout the next week, and the inspiration flows much more smoothly.

My resolution to single-space my periods is at about 80%. I usually double-space when I’m in a hurry, or particularly emotional about something.

Patrick: “My resolution had to be altered, because while my local game shop is very accommodating it is also busy on the nights that work best for me to run a game. This makes having an open game in person out of the question, so I have shifted the venue to be an open online game instead.

 This requires a change in my prep work, but it also frees me up to have the game whenever I have the time. All I need is a large enough  pool of potential players to announce the games to and see who wants to join.

Enter Google’s plethora of services to make this open online game work, and one new problem. I have been working on a Google Site, Docs, Calendar, and a Group to organize the game with. When the material is ready I will announce the game via various social networks. Players will submit character sheets to me via a shared storage solution, and the games will be held via Google Plus Hangouts.

Now what about that one new problem? My original plan was to run an open Star Trek game. Using licensed property for an open game with materials made freely available to the public does not appeal to me. Regardless of how I might feel about intellectual property and copyright laws I believe that you play by the rules as long as they are not immoral or unethical (and at the same time petition to change the rules or change the game itself).

This is why I am creating a sci-fi universe heavily inspired by Star Trek for this public game. It is a bit of a chore, but at the same time it is liberating. Existing cannon will not be an issue, and the spirit of the game will remain intact while I have a rich and fertile source to work with for setting design. Besides, I am running that Star Trek game for my regular gaming group. It is the best of both worlds.”

Phil:  I did re-arrange my gaming room and there is more room for the GM behind the table. I have made strides in livening up my NPC’s, with more gestures and mannerisms,  but have yet to jump out of the chair or give a full scene standing up. I will be working on that with the launch of my new campaign. My goal now will be to get up on my feet during an NPC’s scene, at least once during a session, and act out an NPC for the group.

Troy: My first attempt to GM without my toys really went nowhere. I’ve had some success with a narrative style in certain situations, but it breaks down when I try to extend it to the whole game. What can I say? Minis and tiles are part of my toolbox. I’ll have to be in a situation where I’m totally deprived of game aids to give it a go — like summer camping.

Walt: Given that I have a lot of deadlines early in the year and events to prep for Gen Con, I didn’t expect to make much progress early on (my regular group does a lot of playtesting for me). That said the arrival of my third child sidelined my wife from playing for a few weeks, so a hole opened up in our schedule. I’ve been encouraging one of my players to run a Dragon Age game he’d been planning, but he isn’t quite ready yet. Hopefully I’ll hit my goal by the summer update.

That’s where we stand; how about you? If you joined our resolutions or made one independently, please give us an update on your progress. If you want to jump in late, we’re cool with that too!

Happy 2012.25, Everybody!

About  Walt Ciechanowski

Walt’s been a game master ever since he accidentally picked up the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set in 1982. He became a freelance RPG writer in 2005 and is currently the Victoriana Line Developer for Cubicle 7. Walt lives in Springfield, PA with his wife Helena and their three children, Leianna, Stephen, and Zoe.



One Response to Gnew Year Resolutions, Part 2

  1. Here’s my evaluation

    Bad News: I forgot my resolutions and had to look them up using the link.

    Good News: I followed my resolutions, even if I forgot why I was doing certain things. My NPCs have been much more lively and memorable, as well as being identifiable even when multiple NPCS talked in quick succession or even to each other. I have also been doing very well with eating before gaming as a GM, as a player I am less likely to remember to eat before gaming-then I resort to gamer junk food. The water and less soda has been effective across the gaming board (GM, player, card games).

    I look forward to seeing how the gnomes, and others on the site are doing at the next update.

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