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I am #426
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I realized not that long ago that I’ve been running games for over three decades, depending on exactly what you count. Between that and some experiences as a player I’ve been thinking on the art of running games. Basically what works and what doesn’t. It occurred to me that common knowledge isn’t as common as I thought. It also occurred to that tips on how to run games are a bit thin on the ground. Every game has it’s “how to GM” section. But it tends to be focused on the mechanics of the game with a few tips on writing stories. There is Robin’s Laws, which is really good (no seriously go read it) but I’m not sure how many people have actually read it. And… that’s pretty much it.

So when the Blog feature was announced I thought maybe I’d try to write a few things. I don’t expect to tread much novel ground here. I’m experienced but hardly unique, so I’m sure a lot of you have come to similar conclusions (or will think I’m completely off my rocker). But not everybody is experienced and the way I learned it – screwing everything up by the numbers – is a lot easier to manage when you are twelve and your player’s don’t have any better idea what they are doing.

So if I don’t expect to revolutionize the art, I do hope to get people to think critically about how they run their games. If you think I’m totally wrong, I probably am. Why am I wrong? That might tell you something about how what you do works for you. It would be nice to start a conversation about being a game master. There are a lot of different perspectives out there, and I could probably use a few new ones myself. It doesn’t seem to be a topic that gets that much attention. I also want to encourage people who haven’t run games to run them. I don’t quite plan to make it a how to manual, but hopefully by showing a bit of what goes on behind the curtain it get people thinking about who they would want to run a game. And from there it’s just a few short steps and a couple of players to putting up your screen.

Like most things to do with roleplaying running a game is a matter of style. What works for one person or group won’t work for everybody. De gustibus non est disputandum. I have strong opinions and intend to express them strongly. It’s going to get tedious for all of us (but mostly me) if I have to constantly state that this is from my own perspective and doing it differently is not wrong. So please take it as given when you read.

Lastly, if you are reading, drop a comment. As I said, I’d like to start a discussion. And not just one that’s in agreement. But more importantly, there is nothing worse than talking to an empty room. If you are out there, please let me know.
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