How to Gamemaster: Table of Contents

The following is the table of contents from the upcoming book How to Gamemaster, a manual for running any tabletop roleplaying game using any system, setting, or genre. It’s all of the time-tested gamemastering advice that gets left out of a lot of newer games. Whether you’re just learning how to be a gamemaster or consider yourself a veteran, this essential volume has something useful to offer you.

How to Gamemaster is a concise 96 pages, A5 format, and will be available in PDF, epub, Kindle, and print-on-demand.


Introduction 1

What is Tabletop Roleplaying? 3

How to Benefit From This Book 4

Being the Gamemaster 6

Gamemastering Style 7

The Scope of Your Games 9

Game Group Size 11

What You Need to Play 14

Materials 14

Using Props 17

Understanding Players 20

Fun-Loving Players 20

Imaginative Players 21

Problem-Solving Players 22

Tactical Players 23

Preparation 24

Must Have 25

Should Have 28

Could Have 29

Won’t Have 31

Winging It 32

Session Zero 36

Introductions and Icebreakers. 36

Setting Expectations 37

Safety Tools 44

Running a Game Session 45

Anatomy of a Game Session 45

Your Role as Gamemaster 46

Telling the Story 49

Pacing the Session 56

Applying the Rules 59

Narrating Outcomes 61

Ending the Session 66

Between Sessions 67

Being Human 68

Applying the Rules 68

Making Mistakes 68

Dealing with Problem Players 71

Handling Character Death 73

Teaching New Players 74

What the Game is About 74

How the Core Mechanic Works 75

What You Can Do in the Game 75

How to Read a Character Sheet 76

Glossary 77