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Coming this Summer from the Stew: Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep

Phil’s been hinting at it on Google+ [1] for months, but today we’re making it official: Gnome Stew’s own Phil Vecchione (DNAphil) has written a book for GMs, and as the publisher I’m thrilled to be able to announce it here.

The book is Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep [2]. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first gaming book devoted entirely to preparing for your game.

100% Prep Advice You Can Use

Prep usually gets a few pages in larger works, or the occasional article online, but it’s a huge topic and one that deserves a book all to itself. It’s a book I would have loved to have when I was learning to GM, and one I’m just as excited to have now despite having been a GM for over 20 years.

Why? Because it’s jam-packed with things I can use right now. And because Phil is a veteran GM, and an excellent author, who has thought deeply about prep, experimented with a wide range of techniques, and developed a flexible approach that is practical, accessible, and useful to other GMs.

Never Unprepared will include material Phil developed over the course of his Prep-Lite article series here on the Stew (parts one [3], two [4], three [5], four [6], five [7]), but there’s a lot more in the book on prepping light and all aspects of prep in general.

I’m going to use the hell out of this book myself, and I think you will too.

About the Book

Never Unprepared is illustrated by Matt Morrow [8] and Christopher Reach [9] and art directed by our own John Arcadian, with graphic design and layout by Darren Hardy. I’m doing the editing, Phil and I will be working together on the index, and Daniel Milne and our own Bob Everson will be doing the proofreading. I’ve worked with everyone on the creative team before, and they all rock.

Like Gnome Stew’s first two books, 2010’s Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots [10] and 2011’s Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs [11], Never Unprepared will be published by Engine Publishing [12]. And like Masks and Eureka, I’m publishing it because I wished it existed and it didn’t, and now that Phil’s written it I and many, many other GMs will get to use it.

It will be digest-sized (6×9), softcover, packed with artwork, and 100+ pages. Print copies will come with a free PDF version; there will also be a standalone PDF edition, which will include alternate formats (text, epub, mobi) as soon as we can create them. The manuscript is complete, artwork is nearly complete, and editing is well underway. We’re aiming to open preorders this June, with books going out to preorder customers in July and available at GenCon 2012, online, and in retail stores worldwide thereafter.

Phil and I will be happy to answer questions (limited only by the publishing process — there are things we won’t know until the book’s in layout, for example) in the comments — and today is Phil’s birthday, so go easy on him (and happy birthday, Phil!).

9 Comments (Open | Close)

9 Comments To "Coming this Summer from the Stew: Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep"

#1 Comment By Hawkesong On March 22, 2012 @ 6:44 am

Heck yeah! Happy birthday to Phil and a huge thank you in advance. I have the feeling this book is going to save many headaches for hundreds of us GMs!

#2 Comment By TheHydraDM On March 22, 2012 @ 6:47 am

This sounds great, but would you consider a discounted PDF only edition? I don’t have much use for actual physical books (not a lot of room around here, books litter the floor for want of shelf space as it is!) but I’d love to have the PDF edition, just like I bought for Gnome Stew’s other two books (Masks/Eureka).

#3 Comment By amazingrando On March 22, 2012 @ 7:14 am

I would request an ebook version. This sounds like a book to read, not a resource book like your previous two. (Which I love, BTW.)

#4 Comment By Martin Ralya On March 22, 2012 @ 7:33 am

[13] – The PDF will be roughly half the cover price of the print edition, like our other books. I didn’t mean to imply that there wouldn’t be a PDF edition.

[14] – We’re working on epub and mobi versions of Eureka and Masks behind the scenes right now. Once we have a process in place, we’ll be providing four digital versions as part of the PDF (and print + PDF) offering: PDF, text, epub, and mobi.

If we don’t have alternate formats ready for launch, we’ll add them after the fact and all purchasers will be entitled to the additional formats for free. (That’s what we did when we added plain text as an option.)

I’ve updated the article to reflect all of the above. Thanks!

#5 Comment By amazingrando On March 22, 2012 @ 8:02 am

Adn that is part of the reason why you guys rock. Thanks.

#6 Comment By Patrick Benson On March 22, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

I’m looking forward to this, as Phil is the most organized person that I know of when it comes to running projects. I’m sure that it will be a hit!

#7 Comment By Skaldgrimnir On March 22, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

I definitely want this, in hard copy. When can we pre-order?

#8 Comment By Martin Ralya On March 22, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

[15] – We always wait until the PDF goes to the printer, because that allows folks who preorder instant access to the PDF weeks before the book available for general sale. I expect to be able to open preorders in June.

#9 Comment By DNAphil On March 22, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

Thanks to everyone who commented here, on G+, Facebook and Twitter. I am very excited to share this book with you, and you know that Book and PDF are going to be incredible when Engine Publishing puts them out.

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#11 Pingback By Haste Podcast: Ignoring Rules In D&DNext, Never Unprepared GM Prep Book, Random Dungeon Generator Poster. | Words in the Dark On March 27, 2012 @ 8:52 am

[…] folks over at gnome stew are releasing another great tool for GM’s this summer with Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep. It will be over 100 pages complete w/ artwork, published as a 6×9 softcover, pdf, and various […]