Discussion: How much RPG prep do you do?
I’m really curious to see how much prep work you do when you are GMing an RPG? Of course, I know that it depends on the game. You are obviously not going to do the same about of prep for a game of Hollowpoint or Spirit of the Century that you will for Pathfinder or Rolemaster, but I’m asking the question as a general rule. Even as a younger person, I was never much for GM prep. Which is saying a lot because I was basically always the GM for my group (other people took turns on occasion, but I was GM by default, especially since most of my players were not terribly interested in rules). Plus, there’s the old ‘no plan survives contact with the players’ thing that really put a damper on me doing much except for knowing what had happened that the heroes woudl become interested in and what had caused it to happen. I didn’t become much more invested than that. I would usually make a small assortment of stat blocks or bookmark a couple of monster in my Monstrous Manual, but after a few early, not great experiences with pre-written adventures (I remember an especially bad early go with Dark Sun - my favorite setting – where I was mercilessly mocked for trying to stay on script and likely deservedly so) that resulted in me (and, by reflection, me) developing a very lassez-faire style of playing that was mostly ‘okay, what madness should occur next?’ I do more prep now, but I’ve become much better at deciding where my prep time is well spent (games where you are going into a dungeon are a little easier to script, obviously, but I’m sure the heroes would find a way to knock down a wall or something).
So, how much prep do you (on average, I know it varies by game)? What’s the most work you’ve put into a campaign? The least? Was there a substantial difference in enjoyment or the experience? Does your prep amount vary wildly (mine really doesn’t)? Leave a comment and join the discussion! Also, if you’re done checking out the discussion post, why don’t you check out the Related Posts below, the Recent Posts in the sidebar, or go to a random post on Futile Position.