Preparing for the game is a topic that currently makes the round on a couple of German RPG-blogs as part of a bloggers’ carnival. The focus in this has been on the minutiae of concrete, practical questions regarding game prep.
I’d like to approach this topic from another direction, taking a look at the bigger picture and touching upon something that I consider important in any event:
RPGs do not exist in a vacuum.
Yet, it seems to me like they are often treated as if they were and game prep is just one example of this.
With some regularity, roleplayers go about proposing solutions – quite often good ones, too – for tackling problems related to gaming or prepping for the game. They set out to deal with issues like securing enough prep time, motivation (during preparation and on game night itself), for proper planning and timing in face of time-constrained convention games, and so on and so on.
As I said, many of those ideas and solutions are quite good…
…but looking at this from another perspective, they are also largely unnecessary (at least it appears that way to me).
For in the end, what they often do is just rehashing techniques and insights which have long been staples of project management modules, leadership courses or less high strung job-related trainings. All they do for the most time is set those things in an RPG-context, which mostly manifest in the choice of examples. They neither present uncommon variations on the basic techniques, nor do they introduce new concepts (quite the opposite, I’d say, as in most cases they just scratch the surface of things – no offense intended).
Looking at it in this light, the best recommendation for good game prep is already cited in this editorial’s heading:
Get a job!
Get a job and then transfer what you learned there to your game and the preparation for your game.
The willingness to make this jump should solve many of the common issues facing gamers – all that without having to frantically search for some kind of special RPG solution.
In the end, work itself is thus game prep, allowing me to use the skills and competencies earned at the workplace at the gaming table as well. All I need to do for that is to accept that such a transfer is possible and beneficial.
By the way, the office skills which went into this weeks (two) articles are also transferred from the job:
After finalising Miranbrück, Shadom now starts a new setting series: Nydele takes us to a fantasy world and on Thursday we will get a first overview of it.
The German version of Nydele already appears on Thursday.