Instead of writing a ton of tables I find myself wasting time. It’s sad.
What I should be doing instead:
Write a ton of tables.
Pearce Shea recently posted Storing Information, Playing Information, Dungeons on his blog. The part that stuck with me as far as setting description and session prep is this:
Another interesting was this: “As a GM, I don’t want to run the kind of dungeon we discover together, because of things like stakes, and fairness and me not being amazingly good. As a player, I really, really, don’t want to explore a dungeon we discover together with the GM, for all those reasons and more.” I thought of my need to believe in the independent existence of imaginary worlds.
On the whole, Pearce’s article is confusing and now that I went back to it, I had trouble finding the passages I thought I had read. At the same time, the article set something off. An urgency to write down the relevant facts about the game world, right now. An urgency to write tables for actual use. Think about the possible non-player characters, monsters, items, buildings, and so on. My problem is that I’m a visual person and I close my eyes and I see a vista of where the game is going and think to myself: “That’s cool!” But it’s not, not yet. It needs more.
The techniques to be used against improvising the entire adventure or railroading the party through the vision I had earlier that day:
OK. This is going to be my goal for tonight.