If you want to be a great GM you must risk your current game being a failure over and over again.
You need to take risks in order to get rewards. Rewards do not come to the people who do the safe and sure thing. People who do the safe and sure thing get mediocrity at best.
Do you want to run a mediocre game? If you answered yes, stop reading this blog. In fact, stop reading any form of GMing advice whatsoever. If you want to run a mediocre game just keep repeating whatever it is that worked for you once before. It might still be exciting the second time around, perhaps even the third, but eventually it will become a boring and mediocre routine.
And it will only get worse from that point.
So with every game that you GM take a risk. Try out a new GMing technique. Improvise a scene instead of using your notes. Say “Yes.” to a crazy player idea. Take a risk, and when you fail learn from it. Then take another risk, fail again, and then learn from that failure. Rinse and repeat.
You will fail more often than you succeed. You will learn though, and as you learn you will realize that your game is more resilient than you gave it credit for. You will see it survive. You will see it improve, because you are now pushing yourself into new territory. You will be failing, you will be learning, and then eventually you will begin to succeed.
All those failures that you learned from became new knowledge. All those experiences that you have felt will have empowered you. You will then realize that you were not failing, but instead you were preparing to succeed. You were not risking your game at all.
You were saving it from mediocrity.
What risks have you taken with your games? How did you fail? What did you learn? How did you succeed? Leave a comment below and share your story with the rest of us!