Taking Time On the Other Side
Save My Game
by Stephen Radney-MacFarland
I went to Gen Con this year–the first time in 10 years going on my own dime–and it was awesome! I played a lot of games (my group won the D&D Open Championship, and yes I’m bragging), talked to old friends, and more importantly, watched other DMs work. I played under and watched a lot of DMs. This is a bit of a rarity (that I played, not that the DMs were good). As a habitual DM, I rarely swap sides of the DM’s screen. I’m OK with that because I love the continual buzz of DMing. When I do play, because I’m not constantly on the run, I watch other DMs and learn from them.
I’m not talking about the products they use for tracking. What I’m talking about are the decisions made and practices performed by those DMs and their patterns of use. You can’t buy these tricks, and you need to train your eye to catch them. You have to watch, recollect, and learn.
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About the Author
Stephen Radney-MacFarland caught the D&D bug at an impressionable age. Once the content manager for the RPGA, and a developer for the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, he is now a freelance game designer doing work for Wizards of the Coast and Paizo Publishing, and he is part of a fledgling group of game commentators and game designers called NeoGrognard. During the daylight hours, he teaches game production classes at the International Academy of Design and Technology of Seattle.