Game Master Tip #6 – Choosing a Space

Nearly as important as what you play is where you play.  As the gaming community has matured, it has left behind the days of attracting players to mom’s basement or the picnic table at the park.  Instead, the modern player wants to be comfortable and have all the amenities of home, like power outlets for their electronics, snacks and comfortable furnature.   It seems like every day technology is holding a stronger presence on the game table, making these comforts of home even more important.  So what should game masters consider when they’re choosing a space to host their game?

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Game Master Tip #5 – Getting them in the door!

Some severe health concerns and the arrival of my niece have delayed the Player Series yet again.  Please accept as tribute Game Master Tip #5 – Getting them in the door!

Any Game Master who’s ever experienced it – from a LARP to a MMO Raiding Group and every brand of tabletop in between – nothing kills a game faster than bickering and arguing between players.  But if you want to see a game die a slow, painful death?  Apathy is the way to do it. When the players (or even worse, the game master!) disengages from the game itself the sessions start a slow downward spiral until, if you’re lucky, it dies.  If you’re not lucky? Well, then it really takes a turn for the worse. What can a good Game Master do to keep his players engaged and his story engaging?  I was given a tip by a fellow Game Master several years back that I have always followed.  He said (and I’m paraphrasing): “First, you’ve got to get them in the door every week.”

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The Golden Rule Part 4 – Be Consistent

So far, the Golden Rule series has discussed From a player’s perspective, handling disputes professionally, the dispute between the rules and the story, and conceding when appropriate.

As a player, rules disputes carry with them a certain level of morale-crushing bias.  No matter how the game master rules, there is always going to be a player that disagrees with the ruling – whether it is the player who raised the dispute in the first place or someone else at the table.  The best way to avoid that disagreement turning into further argument down the road – or the dreaded calls of favoritism  – is to be consistent as a game master.

In the fourth installment of the Golden Rule series, Thirdwalling will delve into ensuring consistency from gaming session to gaming session through the creation and implementation of a House Rules system.

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