Notes to the GM – What a Player Wants: This Roleplaying Tips article offers six player-oriented GMing tips, from “Get Started Quickly” (#1) to “I Can’t Handle Much Homework – Let’s Game It Instead” (#6). They probably won’t all be to your taste (personally, I disagree with #2, “Black Box What’s Outside My Character’s Perceptions,” which advocates not discussing rules elements during play — I generally find that approach to be a bit of a waste of time), but there’s plenty of excellent advice here.
Tips for GMs, From a Player’s Perspective: Johnn Four, the editor of RPTips, also linked to The Arcadian Guild, a “basement gaming organization” that produces a print magazine called The Arcadian Guild Quarterly — and specifically to an article by Guild member Paul Robertson, which presents ten more tips for GMs. They’re written from a decidedly old-school perspective, but it’s hard to argue with pointers on taking cues from your players or offering them incentives to create additional background material. Interesting reading.
A meta-map: Jeff Rients created this simple map for his Star Wars campaign, and I love the level of abstraction. Instead of trying to map out every square inch of the party’s ship, he just blocked out the major areas — which, in ship-to-ship combat that isn’t being resolved via a full-scale wargame, is probably all he’ll need. Quick, easy and effective.
(I’m out of town on business from Tuesday, August 7th through Friday, August 10th, and I most likely won’t be able to check in while I’m away. There’ll be a new post every day, as always, and I’ll catch up on comments and the forums when I get back. See you in a few days! — Martin)
I like the meta-map. It is easy and useful. It ties in nicely with your last article about spending less time planning.