In this week’s episode, “Making Prep Doable” on the Roleplay Rescue podcast, I shared a list of the one-time and recurring behaviours that I have identified which help me to actually prep my sessions. I thought it might be useful to publish those lists on the blog for easy reference.
A quick aside: the behaviours that work for you will be things that you both want to do already and which you feel capable of doing. If you want help with figuring those out, read Tiny Habits. And, no, I am not getting a kick-back or royalty for mentioning Fogg’s book – this is a genuine recommendation.
Before starting a new campaign, do these one-time:
- Choose the players
- Organise a conversation with the players about the World for the game
- Choose the system of rules for this particular game
- Co-create characters with the players
- Write an adventure skeleton
- Find or draw and key a World Map
To help prep for the next session in an ongoing game:
- Review the characters
- Look at the current player’s goals for their characters
- Create obstacles to the player’s goals
- Create secrets for the players to discover
- Provide three clues per secret
- Link adventures to the character’s backstory
- Plan adventures with a node-based structure
- Decide which of the four key game structures are in play
- Grab stats for NPC combatants
- Grab maps for locations – although you’ll only need them when you deploy The Location Crawl game structure.
And, for my Mystamyr and other online games:
- Grab digital battlemaps for combat scenes
- Input necessary data, images, tokens, or whatever to the VTT
- Build necessary encounters within the VTT – this usually involves putting tokens on maps and placing key objects, setting up lighting effects, and similar numerous fiddly tasks.
Making It Tiny
The key is to focus on the actual behaviours you want to develop for prep. Break it down. Break it down even smaller. My list is a basis but each individual behaviour breaks into smaller definable actions. This clarity helps to make you believe that you can do each tiny step in the larger tapestry of your prep.
I hope this helps you find a pathway to more consistent prep. I will keep you updated with my progress as I refine the process.