The topic for the 22 March 2012 #RPGchat was tips for GMs. Wondering what RPGchat is? Allow us to explain. Interested in participating? Join us next week on twitter. Just look for the #rpgchat hashtag, and share your thoughts when you’re ready!
Tweets of Note:
Tonight, we’re discussing GMing tips that make your game better. If you want to participate, follow and use the hashtag!
The tips came fast and furious to start:
Never rush you players for their plan. As long as they are “in game” let them chat it out. You may get great ideas from them
Say the PCs are winning a fight too easily. Will it be an anticlimax? Should you let them catch the master villain? Break the frame
Improvisation is the key skill for GMs:
One of the most important skills I think I have as a GM is my ability to improvise. It’s key to how I run my games.
If you, as the GM, don’t know something, act like you do. Remembering that it’s always fine to ask the players what they think.
GM Tip: Give NPC’s life and let them do fun / cool things too… out of arrows? Throw a rock!
GM Tip: Another good way to get into the habit of improvising is to roll everything in the open.
Such a fun exchange, what makes a GM?
GMing: 50% preparation, 50% inspiration
Sometimes you just need an idea in a game:
Sometimes you can overthink and overplan:
Also when planning, don’t plan whole epic plotlines. Plan scenes, moments, lines, things you can patch in regardless. Cool moments
Don’t have a plan for your games. Have goals, personalities and motivations for your NPCs.
RT digitaldraco And plan to improvise! Having back-up ideas in place helps, too. “If players make choice B, go to result Y
Practise, practise, practise:
Practice acting in the mirror. Develop voices, phrases, and quirks for your NPCs. It adds a whole new dimension.
Some good general tips:
A great tip I heard once from a GM was that he knew what his NPCs would do & how & when, then altered things based on PC actions.
First thing to do when creating a campaign: make an npc who is the “voice of the gm”, then make him also able to sell pc loot
GMs wear many hats when running a game. Literally. Get different hats and wear them for specific PCs. Straw hat:farmer. Beret:bard.
One tip is to always accommodate your players:
It also helps to know your players — if you know what they like, don’t be afraid to play to their preferences.
Talk to your players about their advancement goals. Often, they have clear visions of the future which can enhance your game.
One thing to always remember – there is no one ‘right’ way:
Planning a game is like how to write a book – many methodologies, no right one. Try many to find the one fit your strengths
The full transcript of the chat is available here.