In Game Design, GMing or Life, There’s No Such Thing as Perfect

Posted: January 19, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Roleplaying Games

The superior man is distressed by his want of ability.
Confucius, Analects

Nothing is perfect. This is a fact that many of us have heard, but few of us ever acknowledge.  The reason I’m talking about this is because of the usual vitriol and flame wars that occur whenever there’s an edition change. Designers put their hearts and souls into every iteration of every game they make, and one should acknowledge that their efforts truly are motivated by the urge to create something better than what they already have.

Likewise, GMs also do better by acknowledging this fact.  By taking a moment to tell yourself, “I can do better,” you motivate yourself to take a critical eye towards your performance, your habits and methods.  You become free to experiment, to try new things and see how they feel and how they impact the game.  It’s important that a GM never stops looking to improve, that they never calcify and become predictable and therefore boring.

This is of course, not to say that all change is good.  Remember to keep an eye out towards the good and the bad, and learn to tell the difference.  Listen to your players, and see what they like and don’t like and always go back to asking yourself the most basic of questions: “Is it fun?”  Ultimately, game design and GMing share the same objective, to facilitate play in such a way that all the participants are having a great time.


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