Ok so to prove I still do RPG thoughts: here’s me articulating stuff I think in response to +Brendan S sharing an article:

The article: https://www.anthonyhuso.net/blog-1/learning-to-dm-by-playing-a-character-right

The money quote:

“Turns out there's a REASON transcendent BBQ cannot to be found on every corner. Serviceable BBQ is ubiquitous...if you know where to look. And then there are dens of abomination where atrocities are worked out in smoke and darkness. These sometimes, mercifully, go out of business but not before traumatizing a new coterie of survivors (who may never eat BBQ again).”

^^^ yes this, absolutely this

I just completely disagree with the skills. I track things ok, I’ve never run anything RAW & if you are using spells right it is more a debate than a rote application

Being a DM, a modest proposal:
—be terse
—horribleness is inherently fun, find horrible, grotesque, violent and horrifying things. Dredge the bottom of the “shock image” concept and figure out how to say what an accident involving a hand and a meat grinder looks like in 16 words or less
— if you have excessive backstory you are a failed writer and a failed dm because you are Hand crafting some shit that is never interesting or useable. Have some tables. If you think grime encrusted peasants knew the name of their fucking king you need to pick up a book.
—read good short stories, see how fast someone can get an amazing gutshot of an idea across
—read good short stories: and learn that they are not necessarily translatable to table directly, snag details don’t lift things whole cloth if it is literature and not gaming
—re-read Tolkien: it’s torture he’s an awful fucking writer. Because LORE IS FUCKING BORING
—read generic fantasy once in awhile to remember: it is awful power fantasies and borderline unreadable. I think Scott Lynch is an exemplar of this shit.
—NO GODS NO MASTERS make this shit work
—make accomplishments, Chance and fortune FEEL REAL
—don’t ever describe a typical boring ass room to me if you are DMing
—make enemies, adversaries, challenges and horrors that are something your players want to overcome

Back to the cooking metaphor: the best bakers are precise and measure things exactly. The best cooks account for thousands of tiny differences in a protein that is in front of them right now vs some platonic ideal, in the quality of their spices, and the outcome they want right now and roll it like fucking free jazz.

The best times are lightning in a bottle
The worst times from a good chef are miles better than most people because they are learning how thousands of things interact.

Also: tip your bartender, encourage having a good time, so something unique and memorable.
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