11 GMing Tips I Learned from Being a Parent

11 GMing Tips I Learned from Being a Parent
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Sometimes running a game feels like herding a group of toddlers through the glassware department of  a department store while carrying an armload of wet cats. While most of the time players act like the responsible adults they usually are, there are times that I feel I’ve got a table full of cranky toddlers. On those times, I’ve found the following parenting skills really useful:

  1. Never give your players an option you hate.
  2. Look for ways to say “yes.”
  3. Don’t tell your players what their character thinks, just tell them what they can do.
  4. Don’t give in to whining.
  5. Never be afraid to say “no.”
  6. Limit their choices, if need be, but let the players make their own choices
  7. When everyone’s tired and hungry, take a break
  8. Admit when you’re wrong.
  9. Apologize when you need to.
  10. Let players make their own mistakes
  11. Insist on good manners.

How about you? What parenting (teaching, whatever) tips have you found helpful as a GM?

[Photo courtesy of fiskfisk under the Creative Commons 2 license]

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2 Responses to “11 GMing Tips I Learned from Being a Parent”

  1. John Lewis says:

    I would add:

    Remember your job is to provide an environment where people can grow and thrive.

    • Jade says:

      @John Lewis: Thanks. That’s a really good one, too. I think sometimes as GMs, we can forget the “and thrive” part.

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