Once we have said our goodbyes and the stream has been stopped, we quickly congratulate each other or have a quick chat on Zoom while everyone is there but, depending on the time, the ‘End Meeting’ button is clicked and the game world is put on pause until the next session when the players venture forth into the campaign world. But just because the players are not actually in the game world anymore it doesn’t mean that everything stops. Indeed I probably spend, as the GM, a lot longer in the world than anyone else. So, continuing the ‘Behind the Scenes’ series I thought I would give you a bit of an insight into what I do between the gaming sessions.
Every game is different and so I am going to keep this waffle quite generic although I might make specific reference to each game I GM. Although I am hopefully going get to play in some games soon, I’m not to sure what players do in between sessions, relating to the campaign world of course, so if you are a player then please do add your in between activities in the comments below. With that said – onwards with my workflow after a gaming session.
Post Session Rules and Regulations – As previously mentioned if I don’t know a rule I tend to make things up as I go along in order to maintain the flow of the game. I’m not keen on either players or myself discussing rules within the session. I feel it takes away from the flow of the game and just leads to an in depth conversation, especially if the player is only interested in going for the ‘character benefit’ version. What I prefer to do is make a ruling and then jot it down on my faithful gaming pad, which is part of my set up, and deal with it later, which means I actually deal with it now. Generally Sunday morning is rule session. I grab a coffee and sit in Costa (other coffee shops are available) and interrogate the rules and the Reddits. Usually I manage to find a solution and then post it in the Discord channel. For each game I GM I have an announcement channel and I do a ‘Rules Update’ for the players to read and enjoy. I’m not sure if anyone actually reads them but it gets everything clear in my head. I am becoming more confident with my interpretations of rules and, if I can’t find the answer, I am getting into the habit of just deciding on my own answer and posting it. This done its onto the next task.
Next Adventure and New Rules – Once I have tidied up from the last session I try to start looking a head. Usually the next session will be already created but if not then this needs to happen which can take the rest of the week. I wrote about this in the Behind the Scenes waffle about creating an adventure. After that, I like to look at the rules and find something new. I’m still relatively new to the games and GMing so I like to look at aspects of the game which I haven’t engaged with yet in order to develop them in the campaign. This might be anything from passive blocking in Mythras to sniper fire in Shadowrun. If I can get a good handle on the rules and implement them then I hope that people will start to use them as well as. This also encourages the expanding my own understanding of the rules for the future. Often this ‘new rule’ section means me spending a lot of time on the Reddits looking for specific interpretations of the rules. I don’t mind doing this since it also allows me to get ideas for future adventures.
Campaign Background – One thing I really like about campaigns is that players can actually contribute to them. Although I created the world, I want it to have aspects of the players and their characters within it. Some players are good in feeding me information or ideas, especially within Mythras. This might range from the sort of order their wish to join to questions about what towns or areas of the world are like. I usually capture this ideas immediately but it is in between adventures that I develop them and create pages on this website which details them. I also take the opportunity to develop my own ideas at this point and log them all either here or within Realm Works. It is almost that as the players engage with the world they are creating it, but the world is continuing to be developed even when they are not involved with it.
Players questions and queries – I’m so pleased that I created the discord channel. It allows the appropriate communication between us all which I think it really important. Throughout the week players ask me questions or query decisions which I try to engage with and provide answers or listen to their own solutions. I always have to be carefully here, because I don’t always want things to happen outside the gaming world, so sometimes the answers are role played out in the next gaming session. As you can imagine with work and all the other aspects of the game, I can find it hard to put aside time to just have individual discussions in real time. That is why discord is so good. People can let me know what they are thinking or wanting an answer about and I can reply if and when I have the time. If not there is always time in the game – which can actually be more beneficial for everyone.
Now that I have actually written everything down, it doesn’t look like I do much in between gaming sessions but it seems like I have lots to do. Coupled with this is the uploading the videos of the sessions and ensuring everyone is available for the next sessions, the week goes very quickly and before long it is nearly time to play again. Which of course provides me with a whole load of new things to engage with. When I was growing up I was always bored. I don’t think it was because I had nothing to do, there was always my bedroom to tidy, it was more that my over active brain had nothing to think about. I must admit I am never bored now! There is always something to sort, create or think about. And, if I suddenly find myself with nothing to do, I automatically think I have forgotten about something…
As always, I am really interested to know which systems you use and why and whether you have any hints or tips for me, so please feel free to add them in the comments below.
So, until next time, remember to be who you are and say what you feel because the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind. Have fun and I’ll catch you all later and, until then, consider yourself waffled!