My wife, Alysia, got me a fabulous book for my birthday: Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop (thanks, love!). I’m already about halfway through it, and it’s full of fascinating tidbits on the many, many models involved in the six Star Wars movies.

As a kid, I hated behind the scenes info. I liked to immerse myself in movies (and other imaginary worlds) as fully as possible, and seeing the truth behind the special effects spoiled that for me. As I got older, though, that changed.

These days, I love getting to look under the hood, and finding out weird little details about my favorite movies and TV shows — things like the Hoth snow in the model shots in Empire being baking soda and 3M Microballs.

And even though the analogy is far from perfect, I’ve found that the same thing can be true for some gaming groups.

I’ve touched on different facets of this topic before here on TT. In The Bones in the Soup, I looked at laying bare your approach to a campaign before it begins. And in So, What’d We Miss? I discussed sharing game-world details with your players that their PCs wouldn’t know.

This time, I’d like to examine a third facet — specifically, sharing the physical and metagame things that happen on your side of the screen. Such as:

  • Spectacularly good or bad rolls (assuming you don’t roll in the open, of course).
  • Course corrections that you made — like dropping a monster’s HP, or adding baddies to a fight that turned out to be too easy.
  • Things your players did that came as a complete surprise.
  • Alternate paths through the adventure that you thought they might have taken.

In other words, all of the myriad details that you juggle as the GM, but that most players never get a chance to see.

I’ve been on both ends of this approach over the years, generally either giving out or learning about one or two details after the occasional session — nothing formal or systematic. I’ve never tried making it a standard part of post-session discussion, nor played with a group that did.

As a player, I don’t usually want to know about fudged rolls, but hearing about things the party did that surprised our GM is always fun. When I’m GMing, I tend to share those kinds of details more often than the mechanical ones, and I always like it when my players ask about this stuff.

Like any other gaming option, this won’t be for everyone. Pulling aside the curtain isn’t fun for some players, and if you fudge your die rolls, telling your group about it afterwards defeats the purpose.

But if this sounds like something your group might enjoy, I recommend giving it a try. Keep it casual, and don’t share everything all at once. The first time out, you might want to pick just one of the four general categories I mentioned above, and see how it goes.

If your players are inquisitive (wanting to know what they missed) or good at volunteering feedback after the session, then there’s a good chance they’d enjoy hearing some of what went on behind the scenes, too.

Do you do this with your group when you GM? Do you enjoy it as a player? What kinds of details interest you the most?

Have you ever tried this? Does your group do it as a matter of course after every session? Or would you avoid this idea like the plague?