Rules and Advice
Gaming - In General
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November 17, 2006, 6:36 pm

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MoonHunter's Top Tips for 2004


I am always giving advice to various gamers on various game forums. I am constantly giving the same advice over and over again (cut/ paste repeat). Once a year I think about the advice and put together The List.

I am always giving advice to various gamers on various game forums. I am constantly giving the same advice over and over again (cut/ paste repeat). Once a year I think about the advice and put together The List. 

There are 10 pieces of gaming advice I am constantly giving out. They should be useful for you. Okay, there are more than 10, but the top 10 are the most important.

1) Never game with anyone you wouldn’t spend 4-8 hours intracting with doing something else.

2) Learn what each player really wants in a game. Do what you can to give it to them. (If you are a player, learn what everyone wants/ needs, even the GM, and do what you can to allow it to happen.)

3) When creating a general setting in a given genre, make sure the players know the setting and genre AND embrace it.

4) Character creation is a group affair AND must be done with deep GM involvement. The players should work together to determine who and what their characters are, as well as linking each character to the others in the group. The GM should help players tie their characters to the world and the other characters. If a character does not fit the game or is disruptive, it is your, the GMs, fault.

5) Each character needs one or more major plotlines attatched to it. Without that, the characters will not last in the campaign.

6) Find ways to keep each character AND player motivated.

7) All bookkeeping must be done out of game time.

8) The GM must keep notes on every aspect of the game. Those notes must be reviewed regularly. This helps keep you both organized and focused, even if you are ad libbing the game.

9) Control each scene in the game. Each game scene should have a purpose that furthers the campaign. Each scene should be on the beat, bouncing between action and development.

10) GM the game, you would like to play in.

There are some other miscellaneous tips you might find useful.

*Always present a confident face to the players. You might not know what is really going on and are adlibbing everything, but if they don’t realize you are confused or indecisive, they will simply accept what you say.

*You are the eyes and ears and other sense of the characters. The players should be able to close their eyes and “know the setting” just based on your narration.

*Think of every scene in the game is like a scene in a movie. It should have a purpose. Everything you do, from description to action should support that purpose.

*Actually check out a few books on writing for movies. Games and movies are both stories through time and have stronger similarities to each other than to just fiction writing.

Story by McKee is highly recomended:

*Gamers are actors of a sort. Anyone telling you otherwise is probably trying to sell you miniatures and accessories (or has bought them).

*Join ToastMasters. Not only will it improve your speaking skills, it will create contacts for you that will improve your chance of getting a really great job.

*Practice presenting information in a mirror and create cue cards for yoruself to capture good pieces of narration you think up before the game, so you don’t forget them.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Ancient Gamer
November 7, 2005, 3:25
Game Mastering 101 Curriculum.
Voted Zylithan
November 8, 2005, 15:09
I like this set better than the 2005 ones.
Voted KendraHeart
November 12, 2005, 0:10
Ubergamer. These are better than the 2003, and 2003 was really good.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
December 22, 2005, 4:37
Thank heaven, if we ever get elleven... Of these top tips.
January 20, 2006, 11:55
I am hard pressed to be limited to 10. This list had 7 additional advice bits.

Post up questions in the forum in the sage area, and I will shoot off some tips on it.
Voted PoisonAlchemist
May 28, 2013, 18:54
I think all of these submissions should be gathered into some sort of comprehensive guide.
May 28, 2013, 21:40
Convergence Point Section 80.0
Voted valadaar
April 19, 2016, 9:32
Great list here. I would have done well to follow some of these :)

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