April 12, 2010
March 2010 RPG Blog Carnival: How to be a Better GM? Roundup
First off, I would like to thank all the contributors to the March 2010 RPG Blog Carnival that was brought to you by Questing GM; the gamer in search of gaming enlightenment.
I'm truly humbled that you all have taken your time to do your respective posts and I'm sorry that I wasn't able to comment on all the posts that came my way as work caught up with me.
To be honest, I was expecting the RPG blogger community to come up with complex and long posts on their elaborate ways of improving their GM but was indeed surprised that some of the advice that I found were really simple things that we, as GMs, may have taken for granted and need to be reminded of them.
For this blog carnival, I received a total of 13 links to posts from old bloggers that I have known during my early days in the RPGBN as well as new blogs that I've read for the first time.
I was hoping that some of the big names (especially those who mainly deal with the subject of GMing) in the RPGBN would have made an appearance but it seems they have moved on from the RPG Blog Carnival festivities and are doing something higher in the geekierarchy.
Nevertheless, it was good to see the new names and hopefully their participation in this and the forthcoming blog carnivals would do well to their geek cred and blog traffic and keep the flame of the blog carnival alive for some time to come.
Without further ado, I'll try to summarize my thoughts on each and every post that have graced this blog carnival for March 2010.
Initiative or What? and Evil Machinations shared the same idea that not even the best GMing guru can solve your GMing woes if you don't get any feedback from your players.
In fact, the best people to judge your GMing skills are most probably your players instead of other GMs.
So getting the feedback is very important which you can get either by just talking to your players or have them fill a questionnaire.
Geek Ken follows the same idea but also adds that one of the best ways to improve your gaming is to take your ass off the hotseat and play something that is not D&D for a while.
Or just learn to take it easy while your doing it like taking a swim in The Astral Sea.
Then again, practice does make perfect, says Sunglar from Stargazer's World so all is not lost if your players has glued your said ass to the DM's seat and cast some kind of geas spell that compels you to improve your GMing there.
You just need to know the secret... (no, this has nothing to do with New Age philosophy)
Back Screen Pass stresses the importance of playing to your strength as a GM and make it your selling point to your players. It's better to get comfortable while you are GMing instead of trying too hard to impress them when you are not at your best.
If all else fails, Butler, Wolf and Bowman have a better solution. Throw everything at the wall.
Since he started DMing in 2008, Newbie DM's blog has become one of the more visited ones among the rest of us. After a little pestering him on Twitter, he kindly did a post about how he was improved his GMing over time with a fair share of his own tips and perhaps a sign of a new breed of GMs?
And what other classical GMing advice would be left out if it wasn't Late To The Party for mentioning that one of the easiest way to be a better GM is to steal (and stretch).
On the other hand, one of the more peculiar GMing advice that I've read came from Fame & Fortune who described the way of the snow in GMing.
Not every GM always have good advice but the good ones are the ones that usually ask questions on how they can improve like the one asked by Paths of Adventure on how to describe damage differently.
I liked tenletter's post because it makes me look smart but I think there is an important lesson to be learned from organizational theory because it is can be applied on gaming groups. Don't let the title of his post fool you.
Lastly, The Action Point takes an extra action to relate this quote with GMing.
It's a great post especially for new GMs (albeit a little on the long side) because it nails down some of the most basic ways of improving your game and recognizes what GMing boils down to.
That's all for March and I hope that readers would find one of these posts helpful in making them a better GM one way or another. I can only apologize for the slight delay of writing this round-up.
In the meantime since we're nearing mid April, it's still not too late to contribute to this month's RPG blog carnival which is undergoing an Exchange of Realities with the topic of Let Me Show You My (N)PC.