The role of the Game Master is central to the tabletop RPG experience. It can be immensely rewarding, creatively satisfying and emotionally powerful. But it can also be intimidating, frustrating and challenging. Finding the balances necessary for a good game is something it takes most GMs years to learn. Great GMs must be at the center of attention yet also know when to give up the spotlight to their players. They need to prepare for player actions and be comfortable throwing it all away to react to the fiction. Anyone looking to learn a skill like this would be wise to take advice from a master. Once such master has compiled their wisdom in a book of advice that’s currently on Kickstarter, ready to help GMs around the world, called Your Best Game Ever.
Monte Cook has been in the tabletop industry for over 30 years. He rose to prominence as one of the core members of the team that shaped Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition before forming Malhavoc Press and leading the way in developing products that took advantage of the OGL. The company is most famous for producing Ptolus, one of the heaviest and most in-depth city settings and sourcebooks ever created. His next big splash was Numenera, which came on the first cresting wave of crowdfunding.
His company, Monte Cook Games, has been using Kickstarter ever since to bring new RPGs to their fans. For this book, he’s teamed up with a towering collection of industry titans including Matt Colville, Luke Crane, John Rogers, Monica Valentinelli and our very own Eric Campbell (Shield of Tomorrow) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) to help tabletop groups make their games better every day in every way.
Your Best Game Ever offers game advice for people who have been in the hobby for years and for people that have come into it fresh-faced thanks to its increased popularity in recent years. New fans will find great advice on how to find (or create) a solid group, determine the right game to play, how to host games and solid advice on gaming fundamentals. The first experience in tabletop gaming can be a big factor in getting people back to the table, so getting right the first time can make a big difference. Experienced readers will find topics to explore like designing their own games, advice on dealing with interpersonal drama, running games online, and worldbuilding. The book is written by industry pros with decades of experience who want to share what they’ve learned to an enthusiastic audience.
This Kickstarter also offers an excellent gateway into Monte Cook’s Cypher System which powers two of our favorite games: our Starter Kit Numenera campaign and our upcoming follow-up to Shield of Tomorrow Callisto 6. The revised Cypher System Rulebook is also the focus of the campaign’s stretch goals by offering focused add-on books with advice tailored to specific genres such as sci-fi and horror games. The Kickstarter campaign ends on August 24th, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn from the best!
What’s the best GM advice you’ve ever received? Tell us in the comments!
MORE HELPFUL GM ADVICE!
- GMs: Our Go-To Tips to Address Overpowered Player Characters
- GMs: Introduce Large NPC Casts Without Boring Your Players To Death
- GMs: Breathe Fresh Life Into Your Cities With These Tips
Images Credits: Monte Cook Games
Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He’s worked on dozens of different tabletop games ranging from Star Wars and Firefly to his own creations like CAMELOT Trigger. He can be hired as a professional Dungeon Master for in-person or remote games. His Twitter is here. You can watch him livestream RPGs with the Theatre of the Mind Players here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.