I was unable to complete this year's RPGaDay Challenge in the allotted time frame of the month of August.
I am a little disappointed in myself but there was little I could do. Personal, professional, and active gaming concerns got in the way. I still intend to finish the RPGaDay 2019 event however, so if you are at all interested, please check back in with my August entries during the month of September. I expect to be done by the 28th of this month at the latest.
Now on to new material...
I've been playing a lot recently as a player and the experience has been, by way of understatement, a mixed bag.
I have come to realize that although the general endeavor of Gamemastering is not something to be considered lightly. It isn't easy. It takes time, effort, attention, love, and not a small amount of talent. One of the things I've noticed is that even without any sort of 'gift' or knack for the position, a GM with a strong sense of the other aspects I just mentioned can certainly run a good game.
Unfortunately, if any of those elements are found wanting its going to be a slog for the Gamemaster and at best fall flat for the players. At worst it can be a dreadful, painfully boring or frustrating experience.
To the end of figuring out a way to help new and inexperienced Gamemasters improve at the craft, I am going to start out with a question:
With the plethora of resources to aid a GM in running a good, solid, entertaining game, why is it that poor outings still occur?
Yes, I am being a bit salty and a tad facetious but that doesn't mean I don't want an answer to the question. The query is no less valid just because I am being so blunt in its delivery. A simple Google search for 'Gamemaster Resources' nets pretty good results, from the general advice of RPGBot.net and the Game Master Resources Wiki to sites specific to particular games such as Continuing Missions resources for running Star Trek Adventures or various sites covering Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and more.
Normally I would help out my fellow GMs by linking the titles above to their urls but I am not going to today because part of my question is, "Why haven't you already gone there? Why haven't you used a Google Search to obtain free resources? Why do I have to do the work for you?"
Don't misunderstand, I am more than happy to help my friends and allies in the vast gaming community improve their GMing skills. I use this very blog as a forum to do just that. At the same time, for this blog and all those resources to be useful, Gamemasters need to make the effort to go to them. Are they?
Going back to my original statement, the road to be a good GM (and eventually great if you are so inclined) is dedication, determination, organization, and really enjoying do it. In other words, if you really want to run a good game, a great campaign, or just become a better Game Runner, you need to stop playing that video game, look away from Facebook, disengage yourself from whatever is distracting you and actually try to learn and improve.
Other GMs can assist you, websites can supply everything from advice to content, but no one can absorb any of it into your head but you.
If you are going to GM, try to do the best you can. Put some effort into it. Think about what goes into a game and how to pull off a good one instead of just focusing on this cool story you want to tell. Cover all your bases and be flexible enough to handle things when you find out you didn't.
Either that or let someone who can GM do it and you take notes. Better yet, just play.
If you're not going to give it your all, give it here.
OK, first I was Salty. Now I'll be Sweet...