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/tg/ - Traditional Games


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What are some of the most misguided pieces of GMing advice you've heard and bought into over the years?

>It's your job to make sure your players have fun

It's only your job to create the conditions in which fun can conceivably happen. It's like throwing a party and inviting people that just sit in a corner and complain that they're bored.

>You need evocative descriptions to run a great game

You need brevity far more than purple prose. This one always kills me because most people I've played with need short, punchy pieces of information about their environment and their incompleteness actually prompts the back and forth question/response dynamic between players and the GM that is essential for great games.

>You need to create a thoughtful narrative that draws players in

This one drives me nuts. Zelda 1 vs Zelda 3. Zelda 1 starts with the player in control, they have no equipment and start outside of a cave, figure it out. Whereas A Link to the Past has you jumping through the hoops of an introductory adventure and never really takes its thumb off the scale.

>Pure sandboxes are the best way to play the game

This is an overcorrection to "railroading" and the idea of the RPG as a way to tell a story (still a bad idea). Having the sandbox world is fine, but most players need something to accomplish within it, even though old school play has its own gameplay goals (get rich or die trying) that are fun on their own, most players do not have the kind of creativity and stamina to play this way.

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