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Old June 5th, 2018, 10:45 PM
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For me it seems to be a few things together:

- a familiarity with the immediate setting the characters are in; being able to "see it" pretty solidly in my mind's eye.

- a solid grasp of the larger setting - the worlds or region they're at. A dash of culture and flavor goes a long way. Some dialect, some nuance. I can do this on the fly but it works out if I write down half a note card of details. Can definitely be inspired by source material

- a knowledge of what makes the players smile. This is profoundly important to running a game the players will enjoy. Part of your enjoyment might rub off on them, but I've found that running The Players Show works out much better than running Spenser's Show for the Players. If that makes any sense.

- an understanding of the ruleset. I don't get crazy here; I'm way more story-driven and I roll only as necessary.

Another tidbit that works for me: as often as I can, I use the wisdom of improvisation geniuses by embracing "Yes, and..." I try not to come out and directly say "no" to things my players clearly want.

I'll reject stuff that clearly isn't supportive of fun, but I try to be very careful about dismissing ideas or circumstances simply because "that's against the rules" or it didn't jive with some idea I had. I find lots of times I can flex and provide players with teh experience they're seeking, as put spin or add something to it that helps guide things the way I envisioned. Practicing this keeps overall prep down as it's a bit like "surfing" on the players' ideas.
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Marquis Zukalis - DAGU 1625 Remnants - C421798 - A

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