Towards Purposeless Prep

Roleplay Rescue’s Blog

Been thinking about how to make the so-called “lonely fun” of prep more enjoyable as a GM and I’ve come to a couple of decisions. In essence, the trick is to make the prep for adventure as playful as possible. Make it more fun by treating it as an episode of play.

Building on Brown’s insights into play, the first decision I have made surrounds the idea that a key property of play is having, “apparent purposelessness”. Counter-intuitively, this means it’s far more fun to prep an adventure when you don’t need to than when it’s looming on the schedule.

Designing an adventure for the session I have tomorrow is work. I have a clear goal – to provide an entertaining session tomorrow – and so I set to with that purpose. I might draw and key a map, choose monsters, set up clues, whatever… but it’s all done on…

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