As part of my prep for GMing the next instalment for my home roleplaying campaign I came across a rather helpful idea from the pen of Avalon Games. It's that natty title pictured to the right. This post is a gentle recommendation for it.
The basic idea in the booklet is a simple and obvious one. Like all obvious things, however, sometimes it needs to be made more obvious.
It's obvious that roleplaying games are built around the art of conversation. This booklet, which can be read in one sitting (I took about 45 minutes), explains how that conversation can be improved.
It's the second part of a four-part collection on gaining "GM Mastery", it has a crap title and really poor editing, no appreciable artwork, and it's very cheap and cheerful. I'm not recommending the other parts either... just this one.
This booklet contains useful stuff. It'll tell you about the conversation.
It's written for the GM style that is all about the quality of the experience at the gaming table. If you couldn't give a monkey's tail for how much fun your players are having then it's not for you.
It's also biased towards the idea that you should put aside the books, the GM screen, and any distractions that get in the way of an engaging game. It's about really spending time at the table that is focused, fun and which feels good while playing.
In short, it's not going to appeal to munchkins.
The tips draw on the idea that conversation, and therefore gaming, is an art.
It is really a short text on taking good communication skills, like active listening and focused attention, and using them to enhance your gaming experience. It then builds on these practical tips with some stuff on how to make you group feel like a coherent, excited and cooperative... erm... group.
Do you want to create a really engaging story with your friends utilising a roleplaying game?
It's simple. It'll work. It's cheap.