I just finished reading two excellent posts by fellow RPG bloggers Chris Chinn and John Harper, and I’d like to tie them back into some of the things that I’ve been talking about here on TT, both recently and not-so-recently.

The common theme is making the most of your gaming time — which is one of this blog’s primary goals.

Let’s kick off with some links:

• John Harper (of The Mighty Atom) posted Good Solid Gamism, in which he said:

“What do you do now?” is one of the most dangerous questions a GM can ask, when it comes to facilitating coherent play.

• Meanwhile, on Deep in the Game, Chris Chinn posted The Checklist — a detailed guide to what he does and doesn’t want out of his gaming. From the “What I want from games” section, an excerpt:

2) Fulfillment throughout each session
3) Games that either have endgame mechanics or procedures to create endings for play.

• In the comments to John’s post, Chris mentioned his gaming motto, “Fun Now.”

Both of these posts provide clear and interesting guidelines for getting the most our your gaming — and I see some connections to things that I’ve posted about here, as well. John and Chris are much more adept at talking about gaming theory than I am, so it’s nice to see that I’m on the right track at least some of the time!

Chris’s motto is along the lines of Martin’s Maxims for GMs, although Chris puts things more succinctly. If he had posted this before I wrote Martin’s Maxims, I would have included “Fun Now” along with the Lumpley Principle and the other iconic concepts I mentioned at the beginning of that post.

“Fun Now” also ties into two posts here on TT that I’m coming to think of as “foundation posts,” because I mention them so often: Lead With the Cool Stuff (which addresses why it’s bad to hoard your best ideas) and More Fun, Less Work (which also has some common ground with Chris’s checklist).

Chris’s point about wanting endgame mechanics also resonates with me right now, because that’s exactly what one the GMs in my group has proposed.

Sam, who will be running Trinity for us (as one of the two alternating games I mentioned in The 4 Ways to Choose Your Next Game), has said that he wants to run the game in a series of story arcs, each with its own defined ending. That way, if interest in the game flags, or something else comes up, we can stop playing at a satisfying endpoint — instead of just trailing off. I love this idea.

Do you see the connections between these posts and concepts as well, or do I just think about GMing too much? What do you think of Chris’s checklist (and what would be on your checklist?), or John’s take on “What do you do now?” and how it affects play?