3 Tricks To Becoming A Better Gamemaster

Being a gamemaster can be a tiring, time-intensive proposition. Game preparation, especially for those of us who are older and have families, needs to be as easy and quick as possible.
This article will provide three tricks that will help you to become a better gamemaster.

What is Gamemaster?

A Gamemaster is the person who is responsible for creating an adventure and playing all of the NPCs (non-player characters) in a roleplaying game. There are variations on this idea but the most popular roleplaying games are structured so that these are the gamemasters responsibilities. While most Gamemasters enjoy the challenge of creating an adventure for the players, it can often take hours to perform. Another issue with adventure creation is that if they players decide to perform a task that the Gamemaster had not considered, much of the work that went into creating the adventure can become useless.

Trick 1: Create A Timeline

Creating a timeline is a great way to have a general layout for the adventure without detailing each and every event and character that the players will interact with. The easiest way to do this is to consider what will happen in the adventure from start to finish if the player characters were not present. Make sure you do this chronologically. Then you don't have to worry about "railroading" your players; events occur as they would if the player characters were not present and the players then decide how to react to the events.

Trick 2: Prepare Only What You Need

A common mistake of preparing for games is to try to plan out the entire adventure before the first session has begun.

DON'T do this.

Just plan enough to cover the amount of time you have to play in the session. The players will inevitably do things to change your plans so it makes no sense to map out twenty sessions in advance.

Trick 3: Adjust the Timeline to Player Actions

Once you have a timeline, it can aid you in dealing with your players driving the game in a direction you didn't plan for. Often, this can be dealt with simply by rearranging events in the timeline you created. It also provides a "skeleton" that can be used to make improvisation easier.


While being a gamemaster can be a time consuming task, it doesn't have to be. By following the tricks outlined in this article, you should be able to shorten the time it takes to prepare for a game and spend more time on the important part - having fun!

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