I have had more than a few game master of the years come to me and ask for tips on how to become a better game master. First off after more than thirty years running RPG games I still don’t know it all by any stretch of the word, and it is easy to fall into bad habits with your game if you’re not careful. And to sound cliché I have probably forgot most things about running games then some GM’s will ever know. Old age and altimeters and all (knock on as much wood as I can find)
So what is the tip already? It’s to ask the toughest question you can ask as a game master but if you want to get better, you damn well better ask it often. And do not let your fellow gamer’s sugar coat it. Be polite and understanding as they hit you with both barrels. Look your gamer’s in the eye and ask them the toughest question. “Give it to me straight, how was game? What did you like? What can I improve? ”
Yes I know its more than one question.. but you still need to be asking them. These critiques that will help you grow as a storyteller and Game Master in leaps and bounds. IF ~! you take it to heart and listen.. to the good advice. The hard part is filtering out the good advice from the bad and all the while not let it get too you.
And just because the advice sometimes hurts your feelings or make you defensive. Does not make the advice bad. This is often the advice that once you are over feeling sensitive about that you can take from the situation and grow from as a game master.
Now note I said take the advice and filter it. Do not take every advice or critical comment to heart and tweak your game to meet or fix each complement piece of advice or complaint. If you do not only will you go crazy but you will quickly learn you can not please all of the people all of the time.
It’s a mater of measures. You have sift through the emotions and decide what you think honestly is something you can put to use in your games to make it a better experience for everyone. Over the years I have been giving a lot of advice. Some good some bad. I have taken much of what I have had as feedback to heart and used it to improve my play style. And I can say that I have taken far more and thought to myself Not in my game not ever. I stay true to me. And I encourage you to stay true to yourself. But never be afraid to ask, I do even after thirty years of gaming.
“Give it to me straight, how was game? What did you like? What can I improve? ”
To stagnate is to die. Always seek to improve yourself
Thank you and Have a great day