I’ve occasionally been described as a GM with a remarkably long memory. Decisions made in the early parts of a campaign often return to haunt my player characters by the time the endgame rolls around. They find it amusing and frustrating at the same time, but ultimately it adds to their fun.
I attribute this mostly to the Actual Play Reports. I feel that my games have gotten better after I’d started writing them up as practice and as a means of digesting my notes. Writing the Actual Play accomplished two things: It allows me to better remember the key decisions and encounters in my campaign, and helps my ability to tell a story.
I also cheat a little bit by taking the time to flesh out the setting and the situations a little more during the actual play, letting my players absorb setting detail over time if they go over the recap. This is especially important in campaign settings like L5R and the World of Darkness.
Actual play reports may be a pain to write, but the more care and attention I put when working on them, the more they are able to give me something to latch plot hooks on.
Besides, it’s also fun as a topic of conversation between my players as they discuss the last session’s recap.