How do you go about improving and preparing yourself and your own mind in order to run your roleplaying games better as the GM? A somewhat strange question, I know. However, today we are looking at ways in which you can improve yourself and your mental space, so that you can run your RPGs more smoothly and have more fun while doing it. From figuring out how to develop your imagination, to learning what type of GM you are and the kind of RPG that you like to play – this new way of thinking of yourself as the GM, will completely transform the way you run your DnD, Pathfinder or Starfinder games.
In these GM notes, we’re looking at ways in which you can begin to improve yourself and your own mind, in order to better prepare yourself to run a game of DnD or Pathfinder, or any game of your choice. We’re looking at how to improve your mental space so that you can game in a better way as a GM.
• Why improve yourself?
o What is the value in making the effort?
o ‘The game requires a lot’ is a phrase I hear very often – it does only if you think it does, it actually doesn’t.
o Fear of the unknown – once you realise that you can control the unknown, you no longer need to fear.
o Stop your expectations – forget what you think you should know/do/expect. o Identify your strengths – look honestly at your strengths and weaknesses as a role player. Look at what is it that you need to develop within yourself.
o Work on developing and improving your Imagination – you can develop your imagination and make it work for you with practice.
o You should allow yourself to have fun – you must be the most important person at the table from your own perspective.
o You are not a service/service provider – you are one of the players of the roleplaying game, not an entertainer.
o You should enjoy it – if you don’t enjoy it, then why do it?
o It is your game – therefore you must know what you like.
• You – The GM
o Why do you like it? How do you do it? What makes you happy?
o What type of GM are you? Knowing what type of GM you are will allow you to focus on your strengths.
o Run what you like – don’t be a slave to others.
o What game do you want? What themes and ideas, stories and adventures excite you?
o If you don’t like the type of game you are running, then you are back to being a form of entertainment, not a role player.
• So taking all this information and starting to understand ourselves in terms of what we like & what we want and then in what kind of space can we have those two things come together.
o What do you like – list the games you like to play. List the stories you like to see unfold.
o Answer these questions:
o What is your GM style? (Simulationist, narrator, actor, forever-GM etc.) o What do you like your games to be about?
o What environment do you like playing in?
• This never ends – constantly work on your imagination, strengthening your personal likes, GM styles and so on.