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Inspired by a discussion with the co-GM of my tabletop game...

Be very clear about what you're using from the published rules and what you've modified with "home-brew" rules, and tell the players before the game even starts if at all possible. If you suddenly spring a change on the players, they can be confused and upset, and may even decide to leave your game.

Remember what they say about making assumptions ("When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me..."). Sure, you may know what's going on, but other people might not, and they can get upset if they assume things are another way.

Most characters deserve better than to be passed around like a cigarette. Seriously, though, giving an "orphaned" PC to another player can be a dicey proposition. The difference in characterization between the two players can be jarring, and I've played in games where the differences in the "adopted" PC after the new player took over caused a great deal of friction between players. The difference in characterization thing may also apply to the GM playing a character. so be careful...

Don't "railroad" your PCs. Most players I've encountered hate this with a passion. After all, most players like to feel that they have free will, and that what they do makes a difference. And what's the point of playing if your character's actions don't have any effect on the plot? You might as well go watch TV or read a book.

Don't ask questions you might not want answered. Or, if you do ask them, be prepared to get answers you might not want to hear. If you don't want to hear that players have nothing but bad things to say about your game, it's probably not a good idea to ask them what their complaints about the game are. Instead, you might ask, "What do you like about my game?"

Don't tell people how to play their characters. This is a big no-no with just about everyone I've played with. The only person who can really know what's going on in the character's head is that character's player -- not the GM, not another player, sometimes not even the player's S.O. And some players tend to be very protective of their right to play a character they way they want.

No matter how well you plan your scenario, there will always be a player who does something unexpected. When this happens, be flexible, even if you have to abandon your carefully-crafted scenario.

If you make a mistake, be willing to admit it.

Try to keep a sense of humour.

Remember, it's just a game.

Hopefully, these disjointed ramblings of mine have provided some insight, or at least entertainment, for you the reader. ;-)

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sarahgilly
thegamemistress
The Geek Queen
This LJ chronicles my experiences in geekdom. Feel free to read, but beware of falling dice!

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