Hopefully Helpful Guidelines
For easier GM improvisation:
- You know where the last session ended. You can assemble a map or floor-plan set, anticipating the game will continue in the same or adjacent area.
- The same stats by another description: A mugger, a thug, a gangster, a security guard, an angry drunk, a retired policemen, a former marine, etc. One character is much like another. If the numbers are close enough. You can make a handfull of various characters and pull them out over-and-over. Your description makes them different. If it makes you feel better, make small changes in pencil instead of using mental notes.
- Make a list of names and titles. When you use one, pencil it out and add the name and description to your notes. It sucks to be tempted to call the landlord “Mr A Landlord”.
For a better gaming experience:
- At the start of the session, think about the place, season, date, and time. Use a description including some appropriate sounds or scents to reacquaint the players with the world and story.
- Think about your players. What do they like/hate/fear/love/etc? On occasion, use this insight to heighten a scene. Make a bad guy do something a player hates; Introduce a character who matches a player’s likes; Make a Boss fight involve something a player fears.
- LISTEN TO YOUR PLAYERS! If you pay close attention, your players will reveal their expectations and potential obstacles or plot possibilities. You can give them what they expect or play against their expectations.