On Sunday, I indulged in a little of what I have termed, “GM Freeplay”. The idea is that I sit down with no particular objective other than to open my mind to whatever possibilities intrigue me at the table. Time is set aside to see what might freely arise from the playful act of putting on my GM’s hat and having an opportunity to explore whatever comes to mind.
Last weekend’s effort involved grabbing my GURPS Deluxe Edition rules books and three other GURPS sourcebooks: Space, Ultra-tech, and Magic. Drawing on the advice of Jamison, I began to set up a game for myself solo and started with the design of the world. Jotting down ideas in a notebook with a pencil in hand, I was able to freely describe the outline for a game excites me.
Interestingly, I found myself drawn back to my personal Passion Statement as encouraged by Kenny Norris (of Solo Roleplayer fame) and mucking around with an interesting blend of science-fiction and magic that got me smiling.
Why is this a good idea? As I have said before, one of the key ingredients of play is the apparent purposelessness of the activity. Ditching GM prep and instead engaging in GM freeplay allows me to enter the mode of play and enrich my hobby. From these sessions of freeplay I am starting to discover rich ideas that could, if I should so choose, easily be developed into full-blown games. Or not.
The point is that it’s fun to muck around with ideas while wearing your GM’s hat. You don’t know where it will lead you, the ideas might not even work out, but the play is strong. It’s fun. You should try it sometime.