One of the key creative skills is the ability to improvise. For a lot of GMs, however, improvisation is thought about in terms of “pulling stuff out of thin air”. To my mind, improvisation is best performed within the rigorous boundaries of a creative practice that encourages the GM to use tools to help them.
Some people use improvisation as a short hand for “prep done while at the table”. This approach requires the GM to toggle between running and adjudicating the game while also creating new content just a few moments ahead of the player characters. I am really bad at this because toggling between tasks means I do both badly.
It’s a fact that so-called “multi-tasking” is a myth, repeatedly dismissed by psychology under experimental conditions, and that “switching” between tasks loses you a good chunk of your brainpower as you toggle between them.
Instead, I prefer a…
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