I have alot of trouble motivating myself to make games for me to GM. I have the whole story plot for the adventure, clearly in my head, and I have ideas of how to keep them on track with the main quest, but I never feel like sitting down and writing these ideas.

The long lull of games this has created is no fun at all. I always seem to have better things to do whenever I think of opening up a word document. Me and another GM take turns being GM/writing the session, and it is my turn to create another session.

Does anyone have tips or something that has worked for them to stay motivated when writing out a series of quests that make an adventure? P.S. I don't want to use already created games, cause all those I play with like the world that we have created(I do too).

  • \$\begingroup\$ My question is: does anyone have ideas how to keep motivated to create a game. I thought it was clear. Can I get off hold? \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen
    Mar 1 '18 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll give an edit to your question. Tell me if that fits what you are looking for. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1 '18 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's not enough here to answer without resorting to guessing at what's causing the problem. We don't need to guess though, because we have you here to tell us. :) Can you give (much) more detail about where the problem lies, such as what exactly is fuelling the motivation problem, and what is the larger context? (For example, is this preventing running games at all? Or if you are running a game, what does it look like now, if you're not motivated to write adventures but also not using prewritten adventures?) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1 '18 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Maiko I rolled back that edit. It didn't change that it's unclear what the problem is (because the motivation problem has not yet been described in detail); meanwhile it changed several details to other specific details that are possibly not what was meant. For example, "adventure path" has a very specific meaning that would have changed how it was answered. We need clarifications to specific details to be by the asker. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1 '18 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried to answer your series of questions in my edit. If you are still unpleased with my attempts, let me know what to change. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen
    Mar 1 '18 at 16:01

To me, planning started to get boring when I detailed too much. Planning my thriller aventure was no longer fun because every part was already settled. So what did I do? Stopped getting into every detail and purposely left some points open — to improvise as whatever fit best into the adventure. Like the serial killer's motivations and such. This way, the plot surprises even me and keeps me wondering what will happen next.

My plans nowadays consist of key points written in the simplest way possible. Things I must absolutely not forget get a larger font. And I don't even print it - I leave it in the cloud to access as an offline file with my smartphone.

So, I print one or two maps — if any — and focus my attention on the narrative: keeping track of the key points.

One of my friends, however, is at his best when he has every damn detail in his notebook. It works differently for each of us.

So my advice is that you look for your own style, in an empirical way (trial and error). Perhaps you don't want to write things down simply because you have no need for it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As a non-planner myself I'd like to add my support to the "planning is the pits" team. My sole design document for our campaign is an encounter flowchart and that's more to keep me on track than to keep the game on track. I expect to have to add bubbles on the fly due to my creative and unpredictable characters. \$\endgroup\$
    – Asher
    Mar 1 '18 at 18:12

I have the whole story plot for the adventure, clearly in my head, and I have ideas of how to keep them on track with the main quest

Different things work best for different people, of course, but that's a situation which would put me off game prep, too. You already know the whole plot and how to prevent the players from deviating from it, so what's the point of even playing the game, much less prepping for it?

Perhaps you should take a page from Apocalypse World and "play to find out what happens". Try running a couple sessions where you focus on preparing some NPCs and locations, but no storylines. Give the NPCs motivations and plans for what they want to do, but don't decide anything in advance about what will actually happen. Let that develop organically during the game session, based on the PCs' actions, the NPCs' reactions, and the whims of the dice.


Point A to Point B

I often tell my players "I know point A and point B, but not the parts in between are up to you."

  • Focus on the major elements you want to showcase. This can be a combat, a new/important NPC, a location, something. Stat is out and plan a little around that part. Changes are, that's what your players will remember, not the 12 orcs they fought before taking on the dragon.
  • Wing the stuff that's not critical to the plot. Really, wing it and keep notes for yourself you can return to later.
  • Don't map everything. Have a map with a few notes
  • Dont worry about padding the session with a few "thug fights" it gets people excited.
  • Don't overpad your game session with meaningless combats that the session goes nowhere. You want to move thing along so it gets to that point.
  • Focus on the NOW, not what the players will do when they get level 20. Now.

Finally, prepping is not "just" drawing maps, statting monsters, and thinking of grandiose tales. It is also:

  • Reading great books
  • Reading material from other campaigns/ systems/ settings you like as it provides you with a wealth of idea. And YES you can take stuff from other products into your game without worrying about it.
  • Watching a movie
  • Doodling some part of the important stuff

Since you and the other GM share duties, then you may have to have a talk with him about what you both expect from the prep... What goes for him may not be for you...


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