Here’s a short one about things I learned or relearned during our local gaming day. It was mostly inspired with a disappointing game (not bad, just disappointing).

When you GM :

  • Don’t try to teach the whole game : Just enough so players know how an action works.
  • Start playing as soon as possible.
  • Present players with a problematic situation right from the start. Make sure they see what could be done about it, but let them act as they want.
  • Don’t answer rules questions framed as hypothetical. Only questions relevant to the situation at hand.
  • Don’t try to tell PCs about all the possible course of action or mechanical options. Ask them what they want to do, explain how it’s done in the game and the possible outcome and confirm that it’s what they want to do.

When you’re a player :

  • Don’t try to learn the whole game. Keep your questions focused on understanding the basics.
  • Ask other questions when a situation arises and you want to know how you could go about it.
  • When you’re constantly asking questions about every mechanical bits of your PC, you’re preventing others from playing. Same thing if you spend your time discussing all the possibilities of this character. If everybody did the same, there would be no time left to play !

For GMs and Players :

  • Don’t talk too much about the game, talk about the story or better yet : tell it !
  • When I sit to play, I’m not there to discuss what could be done with this game but rather what we do in this particular session.
  • Discussing hypothetical situations and possibilities : that’s (meta)meta-gaming !