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30 Days of Gamemastering: Part Eight

October 9, 2013

This is part eight in the continuing series of posts for the “30 Days of Gamemastering Challenge” from Triple Crit.

How Do You Prep For Each Session?

I try to start with the central conflict of the adventure. Who are the principles? What is motivating them? What’s their plan? And, most importantly, I try to anticipate why the PCs will care enough to get involved. Once the central conflict is determined, I work out the details around that conflict. Where does it take place? Who is in the periphery? Sometimes working out these details will bring up possible subplots or sub-conflicts. That’s good. I work at those a little bit, tease those out. Then I make sure all of my principles are statted out and I have a scenario.

Note-wise, I tend to write up a background story to the current situation. Then I use bullet points to lay out the various important ideas of the scenario. Not counting stat blocks, a typical adventure is 2-4 pages of notes. I then put a lot of my place details and NPCs into Obsidian Portal, adding them to the wiki for quicker reference.

In some cases, the scenario will lend itself to props. If that’s the case, I try to come up with those as well. A letter, a document, a certificate. All of these I make with MS Word and Paint.

Once all of that work is done, the scenario is prepped. Then I go over my notes before the session begins to try and get into the heads of the NPCs.

What about you? What’s your process?

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