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Ping
5 July 2002, 07:52 AM
I've recently read Robin Laws' "Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering" put out by Steve Jackson Games.

This book rocks! It's maybe 60-70 pages, iirc, and it has more helpful advice on GMing than anything else I've read. It talks about the different player styles and some of the problems that can come up when your players want different things than you do from a campaign. It's a super-cool book, and I recommend it to all old and new GMs.

Now if the person who lent it to me would just follow the advice about picking up the pace! :)

I think the best piece of advice in the whole book, really, is to have fun. If you're not having fun, what's the point? Do what you need to have the most people in the group have the most fun. Good advice. :)

Okay, I'll get off the podium now. :)

MassassiC
5 July 2002, 09:28 AM
There are many GM books out there. One of my favourites is "Listen Up, You Primitive Screwheads!!!!" for Cyberpunk, and the old AD&D2E "blue books" with various tips like the "Campaign Sourcebook and Catacombs Guide". For Star Wars though, there is the "Gamesmasters Handbook" from WEG. Needless to say it's out of print so if you can find a copy, grab it :)

Ravager_of_worlds
5 July 2002, 09:37 AM
wow, 60-70 pages?

i was impressed by the amount of time the RCR devoted to GMing. I've stopped thinking about what it is to GM anymore... after 10 years, you get into the groove and everything's gravy.

it's nice to know someone like steve jackson did something like that- then again, he publishes a lot of stuff.

Ping
5 July 2002, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by MassassiC
There are many GM books out there. One of my favourites is "Listen Up, You Primitive Screwheads!!!!" for Cyberpunk, and the old AD&D2E "blue books" with various tips like the "Campaign Sourcebook and Catacombs Guide". For Star Wars though, there is the "Gamesmasters Handbook" from WEG. Needless to say it's out of print so if you can find a copy, grab it :)

IIRC, I looked over the WEG gamemaster's handbook, and while it had some good ideas overall, it didn't really get into what it is to GM, and why we subject ourselves to the stress, and how to handle different player issues, and things like that. Not just ideas for props or making the game more interactive or adventure ideas, but what to do when you have a powergamer in a group of storytellers, or how to keep a casual gamer happy.

Pel
6 July 2002, 10:12 AM
Whether you're playing a light-hearted game or a gritty nuke-'em-'til-they-glow-and-stab-the-remains adventure, the whole point is to have fun. As long as you and your players are enjoying yourselves, the Living Force is in balance. I find the key to this is knowing not only your players, but their gaming styles as well.
Got a power-gamer? Or a few diehard in-character types? No problem! The GM isn't just the guy who controls the NPCs and rolls the dice, he's also a moderator. Play to the players' various strengths and weaknesses and you'll all have an enjoyable experience.
Of course if all else fails, have a hyperdrive malfunction drop the PCs in the middle of Death Squadron (very handy if they have a Jedi or two among them)...

I'm not evil...I'm just drawn that way :p

evan hansen
9 July 2002, 09:38 AM
I've actually always found the online community to be the most valuable GMing resource. The collected experiences of dozens of GMs -- ranging from terrible to great, young to old, new to veteran -- is the single most valuable thing there is. It's, scarily enough, kind of like life in that soliciting and choosing the advice you want often yields the results most applicable to your own situation.

Of course, books are cool too. :-D