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Micro Sessions – Gaming in that ten minutes you weren’t using anyway
Posted By Matthew J. Neagley On February 10, 2009 @ 4:16 am In GMing Advice | 13 Comments
What do you do when you have a chunk of time with nothing planned out? Standing in a line, between the ordering and the eating at a restaurant, waiting for a meeting to start? Don’t waste that time. Instead, have the tools on hand to game. Most commonly, that means carrying around your Tiny Notebook and working on your next session, fleshing out NPCs, or roughing out an encounter or map.
But what about when you’re sharing that time with your fellow gamers? If you’re standing in line or waiting to dine, those minutes can be snatched up and used for a bit of impromptu gaming. Don’t break out dice. That’s awkward. Don’t do anything flashy that might draw attention to yourself, that’s a good way to cause trouble, but a brief role-playing exchange can use that time to good advantage. Especially if your entire group isn’t present, it can be a good time to add some world flavor, drop an adventure hook that they can then take to the group, or share some secrets.
With technology’s ever-increasing reach, you don’t even have to have your players with you. It’s rare that you can’t reach your players via e-mail or text message even on the go. Sending a message to your players can keep them thinking about the game while letting them respond at their leisure. In addition to the above options, electronic communication means you can share with as many or as few of your players as you like. Don’t forget to make the inherent abilities of your communication device work for you. Snap a picture of a crowded street or subway with a distinctive person in frame and send it to your modern players with a note: “Who is the man with the red flower? Where is he going?” Do the same with the map you doodled on your napkin, wet ring making the ink run – “Saw this at the sword and flagon last night. Wonder what that’s a map to?”
Too often we’re set in the concept that Role Playing Games require hours of prep and day-long sessions on the weekend. Make use of spontaneous micro-sessions to make your game fun and keep your players on their toes.
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