15 thoughts on “Taking the GM Principles to the next level.”

  1. +Chris Popp , thanks for asking man! Yes they do meta game, but it’s different. Instead of trying to win or beat the system, they use their meta-info to add to the story.

    Example: I’ve told the players at the beginning of the game that I see a cool fight scene going down in the mouth of a volcano against a dragon. Cool stuff. When we near the volcano, the player of the Mage says “what if I try to steal that item from the fighter just before the dragon shows up… It could cause some cool drama.”

    Of course sometimes they do things in their own favor, but at that point everyone gets to give them the stink-eye. Not just you 🙂

  2. Interesting article. I do some of this, being open with players, asking questions, too.

    The part where I’m tripped up here is the example of play. In the example, it sounds like the MC is laying out all the story beats of the session (you’ll be hired, the patron is evil, you’ll head to a village, fight kobolds). This feels like I’m not playing to find out?

  3. I’m struggling with this as well. How to maintain a satisfying pace to the session while maintaining a level of suspense and tension? However, if the players know the beats of the story, maybe they will recognize which details are worthy of time and which can be hand-waved for the purpose of maintaining the pace of the story.

  4. Hey Richard, I understand the confusion. The truth is those beats are there regardless of if I share it or not. This way, the players have the opportunity to interact with it.

    A player might say “what if instead of getting hired, we stumble into the cave and are trapped for some reason?”

    Because I dig on the drama of it all, and the fact that the player just allowed their character to be weak (unable to escape) I’d jump all over this and give the “that’s f***ing awesome!” Seal of approval.

    True, they might say “what if we just don’t take the job?”

    Then I get to say “that’s fine,what do you suggest we do to make this story interesting?”

  5. Then I get to say “that’s fine,what do you suggest we do to make this story interesting?”

    I thought all GM’s were supposed to be performers there for the entertainment of the players.

  6. “The truth is those beats are there regardless of if I share it or not.”

    how do you know that?

    “So I was thinking we’d have a good old fashion dragon hunt, with the catch being the guy who is hiring you is under the dragons control and is sending you into a deathtrap. I thought it’d be cool to have some kobolds swarm you guys at some point, cause lets be honest, who doesn’t love smashing kobolds. The dragon cave and the wilderness beforehand are the major locations I’ve listed, all manner of psychedelic weirdness might confront you there. Lastly, I thought a stowaway from the town could cause some complications and maybe test your mettle as you endanger yourselves but protect the little girl. Also just for fun-zies I thought one of you should have a loved relative in town, someone who can act as a safe harbor, but also a reason to risk your necks for the town. What do you guys think?”

    What do I think? “Cool story bro”; no please follow the Agenda. 

    Seriously, I highly highly dislike that. 

  7. Tim Franzke thanks for your question bro. I know that the beats are already there because the the game tells you to put them there but calls them by a different name. Creating fonts is part of the game (after the first session) and there is an entire section on how to prepare content for a game.

    As for the agenda comment.

    Portray a fantastic world: The example you quoted is a simple, if not stereotypical attempt at some elements that might be within a fantastical world.

    Fill the characters’ lives with adventure: Again there is plenty of opportunity for adventure as there is at least one major problem to be dealt with.


    Play to find out what happens: This would be the only one with any real confusion but that may just be a misunderstanding. By no means do I recommend sticking to the purposed “story” with any amount of loyalty. 

    Once the content I have prepared is out on the table, everyone gets to play with it, mold it, and make it our own.

    We have to play to find out what we create.

    What do you dislike?

    Have you tested what I’ve purposed so you got to see the results?

  8. Tim Franzke  Dude, you’ve got to get over telling people they are playing the game wrong.  You aren’t the guy who gets to decide that, and I’m getting to the point where I don’t take you seriously as a community contributor because of it. When you stop valuing people’s ideas, they stop valuing yours. 

    I think Matt Smith has got something really interesting here… I’m not sure what I would think of it, but the only way to tell for sure is to try it.  

  9. I agree Brennan OBrien my response to this might have been over the line. I was mostly responding from a “if I was in this game” kind of perspective. I had a chat with Matt yesterday and we discussed this some more. If this works for Matt then that is all fine. I would never say he can’t do that. I just would not like this to happen to me in a session. 

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