The Legendary Strangething

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GM School
Remember when I used to post things here unrelated to cartoon ponies?

A while ago, a couple of my friends asked me to teach them how to run a table top RPG. So I started compiling a document of all the useful GMing advice I've absorbed over the years. It's something I worked on in fits and starts, between homework, games, and internet surfing.

Here's my work so far. It's not quite halfway done, but it's a solid foundation. A solid study on how to torment and lie to your players, and have them love you for it.
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I'm with you on the stealth railroad idea. As a player it is usually more fun to go through the stuff that the GM has thoroughly prepared. My gaming groups typically went along with the obvious clues planted at the beginning of games; we basically consented to being railroaded. The fun of RPG isn't "outsmart the GM." We wanted to see the story they had made up. :)

Second point... here is what you will do.
(1) Finish this thing, and hang onto it.
(2) Finish your book of RPG rules that you want to sell.
(3) Offer the GM advice thingy for free and advertise it far and wide on the intertubes.
(4) When people show up and download it, you'll have a polite, non-pushy announcement & catchy description of your book, and a link so they can buy it if they want it.

Content marketing is the new advertising! so they say.

There are two main styles of role-playing, with a range of possibilities in the middle. At one end it the linear style that you describe, where the players are mostly reacting to the GM's prompts. The other end is the sandbox, where the players are on their own and the GM responds to their actions. If a Player is on a different part of the spectrum from the GM, he's not going to have any fun.

It's possible to play both sides of this fence. The GM just needs to listen to his pro-active players, and build their goals into his plans, and be ready to adjust when the Players change course.

This idea isn't original -- it's mostly derived from the GM advice in Spirit of the Century.

As to the second point, here was my plan:

Start a new blog for my RPG work. Start posting about the game's development, and my RPG philosophy. Post the GM school document as a series of posts. Use the blog to recruit beta-testers. Post regular updates about the beta test. Start a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final product. (Probably an illustrated PDF.)

Sounds like a well thought out plan. :)

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