As a GM you’ll often have ideas in the strangest of places, perhaps when you first wake up or just before you fall to sleep at night (or maybe in some even stranger places), it’s very easy for these ideas to just get lost and never be recovered, get into the habit of carrying a small notepad around with you and some form of writing implement; any ideas that pop into your head, no matter how crazy, jot them down in your notepad so that you can look through it later for ideas. I normally have an A6 pad and a biro with me at most times and scribble random stuff down in them, whenever i’m stuck for ideas I have a flip through them to spur my imagination, some of my best ideas have come from taking a few half-formed thoughts and combining them.
A problem that GMs often seem to run into when creating games is that the expectations of the GM and the players differ; you might think that your players want a freewheeling game of swashbuckling adventure, when they were actually picturing a game of political intrigue with the lords of the seven islands each vying against each other. This is a problem with an easy solution, but non-the-less it one that is often overlooked (especially by younger/more inexperienced GMs), simply ask your players. If you ever have a doubt about whether something is working in your game, ask your players; this can also work within a game, if you ever feel yourself stuck for an idea or your not sure how to progress ask the players.
For example: Contrary to your expectations the players have decided to enter the city by incapacitating the gate guard and sneaking in, you’ve not decided how the city guard are organised, don’t panic, turn to your players and say “Okay so you’ve done that, how do you think that the guards will respond?”
Whilst this might seem like a bit of a cheat, what it is actually doing is giving some narrative control to the players and allowing you to incorporate their ideas into the game, this helps your players feel more invested in your campaign.
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