Runkle Plays Games, Post Game Wrap-Up

So when your weekly tabletop RPG is wrapping up and you have a week or two until your next game session. When does your game prep start? For me it begins before my players even leave the table.

Post Game Wrap Up

Post game I often have two things that I try and do after every session. One is game related the other is to prevent complacency as a GM and promote communication.

One of the first things I do after a game, is ask my players what they thought of the game! This is a key part of my game prep. I also want my players to know the lines of communication are always open with me. During this time I am seeking feedback and insights from my players, good or bad. Often it is in these brief interactions in the few min while game is wrapping up that players will open up and share their thoughts more candidly. Often I am also able to take away deeper insights as to what the players may be thinking is going on in the greater story as well.

I think that it is important to note that I used to ask if my players “Had Fun”. This prompt too often would result in comments like “Good Game” Or “Yah it was Great”. By not priming the conversation with a leading question I found I get much better feedback. I find that asking “What did you think? or How was game?” Often gets you a far more in depth on topic response about the game itself.

Get Feedback

Take Notes

Luckily for me often after game is over I have some quiet time where I can reflect on the game. During this time I take notes about what happened during the session for my upcoming game prep. This is never a very extensive note taking session as often five to ten minutes of note taking is all I need for a 4-6 hour game. Even if the game session has taken a hard turn and we have ventured into uncharted territory I keep this bit of my game prep short. I Never spend more than 20 min or so on this step of my game prep.

Next Time Downtime & Session Prep…

Next time I will share some of the things things I do between game sessions and before game day itself that I personally find make for a better game master experience for me at the table from week to week.

Using the News for Inspiration,sort of?

I have a fun little trick to help me come up with inspiration from time to time for my games. If I am out of ideas I will sometimes hop onto the internet and head to a few of my go-to resources for off the wall inspiration. A few minutes on these sites is usually all it takes to get my creative juices flowing.

Satire New pages & YouTube and Paranormal/Cryptozoology sites I find are often much better than any plot generator program. It is rare that I can not find in a matter of minutes something that would make side quest, plot or rumor to toss out for my players in any game session.

If you run a Monster of the week style game these resources can provide you with everything from News Clippings to Video footage that you can bring to the table depending on your games setting.

For example, I logged on over to Paranormal News  clicked the tab for Cryptozoology. And there it was.

GettyImages-182116_2865835aSightings of eight-foot werewolf known as Old Stinker spark panic across city

Residents report seeing the beast on SEVEN recent ocassions

As I mentioned earlier it is likely that I could put it in any setting or a one-shot game such as a story plot or a hook for my players. For the most part, this story can be delivered into the hands in many ways.

  • Now obviously in a modern game or a monster of the week session, I likely would just use this article as is for a jumping off point for my players.
  • In a Fantasy game, I might have a Town Cryer or a post on a job board draw attention to the story.
  • In a 1920 story, a news stand or radio broadcast would be my vehicle of choice to get the hook to my players.
  • And so on..

But is that all I could get from this ? I mean it does spark some creative ideas but maybe if I look past the headline there is more that I could mine from this. As it turns out yes there was a lot that I could make use of.

Rumors? (Tweaked for example of game notes)

  1. A centuries-old legend states that the foul-breathed creature is on the prowl.
  2. Locals claim to have spotted the creature on the loose in an abandoned (industrial area, graveyard, woods whatever suits your needs.) outside the city, which they fear has now become its habitat.
  3. One eyewitness claimed to have seen it morph from a man to a wolf as she watched from a bridge above.
  4. Locals are gearing up to go on a werewolf hunt.

Quotes? We got plenty of these as well !

“It was stood upright one moment. The next it was down on all fours running like a dog. I was terrified.

“It bounded along on all fours, then stopped and reared up onto its back legs, before running down the embankment towards the water.

“It vaulted 30ft over to the other side and vanished up the embankment and over a wall.”

In the end, this quick example turned out a cornucopia of stuff I could bring to use in any game. Granted if you are running a Fantasy game to tweak quite a bit of what you would find. But given this example, you might come to see that you really do not need to change much to use these in any setting.