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I'm about to pass the campaign setting I've been working on to a different DM. I've given them the references I made and I've done some slight explaining of certain elements.
Is there anything else I can do to make things easier for them?
What do I need to avoid doing so I'm not rude or anything?

Background

I will be staying in the group as a player. He was our GM for a school club. He wasn’t available during the summer so I stepped up and ran during the summer. He hadn’t developed the world a whole bunch so I went ahead and fleshed it out. We’re back in club now and he’s running for us again

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In a situation like this, more details would be helpful. If they were a player before and stepping up to being the GM now, then handing over the notes, discussing future plans, and shaking hands is probably all there is too it. If they are brand new to the group, there might be more involved. Also, will you be staying in the group? That might affect some of the available options and some of the social aspects. And how experienced is the new gm? \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Aug 28 at 17:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimothyAWiseman I will be staying in the group as a player. He was our GM for a school club. He wasn’t available during the summer so I stepped up and ran during the summer. He hadn’t developed the world a whole bunch so I went ahead and fleshed it out. We’re back in club now and he’s running for us again. \$\endgroup\$ – Gwideon Aug 28 at 18:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to edit that into the question because I think that is relevant. \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Aug 28 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gwideon swapping player to dm to player is something my brother and I do in a shared campaign. I added that background element since I think Timothy is right: it's important context to your situation. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 28 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure if the multiple-gm tag fits here (so I haven't added it), but regardless, the other questions in the tag might be relevant as well. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 29 at 2:21
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Provide a smooth turnover

The most important thing is to provide a smooth turnover regarding the background of the campaign, the setting, your notes on what has already happened, and your plans for the future. Handing over a stack of papers is less than ideal, you should actually go over it with the new GM. In your particular situation, it sounds like you have already done this, which is good.

This won't apply in your situation, but if handing over a campaign to a truly new GM, it is worth taking some time to go over general strategies for running a game and provide advice on common difficulties. Of course, doing that if the person has experience as your GM does could be seen as condescending, but it is helpful for someone that has never had the role before.

It also sounds like in your case the GM will already know the players, but in general providing thorough introductions could be useful.

If you remain in the game, try not to be overly possessive of the world and be careful of unsolicited advice.

The hard part can come after the handover. It is very easy, and even somewhat justified, to feel an ownership over the campaign and world you have spent a lot of time developing. But if you want things to go smoothly, you should resist the temptation to be a backseat driver. The new GM will do things differently than you did and make different decisions. Bringing this up will likely cause resentment.

Remember, even if the new GM is building on the foundation you created, they are the GM now and falling into the temptation of holding onto the world you created before too tightly will likely help no one. In particular, I would try to avoid being offended if the new GM completely ignores the outline of future plans you have. They likely have or will soon have their own plans that are very different from yours, and that is not only justifiable for them it could be good for you since you generally don't want to know exactly what will happen.

The same goes for unsolicited general advice. For a brand new GM, providing advice is likely to be helpful, but providing advice like that to an experienced GM that didn't ask may be condescending. Of course, if the new GM does ask you should offer your full expertise, but that is a different situation.

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Make a list of points that are important to the group

List the aspects of the world that are important to each of the current players

One of the most important things to players is that their expectations are being met or they're being surprised in an entertaining way. The aspects of the world you were building tailored to the expectations of the players are going to be the most important to be passed on.

E.g.

  • For Alice: An upcoming area where her druid-monk "kung-fu panda" achetype gets to shine was being anticipated.
  • For Sean: Their character was looking forward to finding a clue to the Lost Tomb of Zeph (their grandfather) in the Library of Braiden. See notes on possibilities for that.
  • etc...

List the aspects of the world that are important to you.

Being explicit about what you were hoping for and where you felt things were headed is a good way to let the other DM know what you were expecting. They don't have to meet all your expectations, so set your own expectations low, but at least they'll know what you were hoping for.

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