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  • Writer's pictureRachel Saunders

A Fledgling Game Master | The World Introduction

I decided that the players—and I— would benefit from an introduction to the world I’d created. Something I learned very quickly in the process of world building was that I like to create collaboratively. Which is why I wanted to bring my players in earlier than some game masters might. Early on I had my husband to bounce thoughts and ideas off of but the thought of sharing what I’d worked so hard to build with the rest of my players was exhilarating…with a touch of terror.

So, it came time to get us all together and for me to introduce them to Vraith. I had about twenty pages of handwritten notes compiled over a number of weeks. Only eight of those pages were shareable with the players, as only those pertained to the present era of Ikoth, the continent where we were beginning.

Right away I was shaking, literally. Also, I was very suddenly all at once too warm and too cold. Both reactions seem to be my body’s standard reaction to somewhat managed panic. But here we were, I was in front of a few of my close friends and I was about to share a vulnerable piece of myself with them. That’s not terrifying…at all… Why is it that, often, sharing yourself with those closer to you can be more terrifying than sharing with strangers?

I digress, and probably did a bit before I got down to sharing the world they’d be shaping with their characters. It became very clear that while I had planned, and planned a lot, that I hadn’t (couldn’t have) thought of everything. And this is, looking back, exactly why I’m so glad to have brought my players in early. They helped me find questions that I hadn’t considered and managed to stumble upon every conceivable way I had overlooked important details. I’m forever grateful!

The way I see it, sure I’m the game master, but I am also only one person. And a person who is honestly very sick of being overly organized and perfectionist to a fault. I really cannot be that person and enjoy the glorious ride that is game mastering.

I might have blacked out for a bit, I’m not sure, because one minute I was going over the details I’d come up with and answering questions, the next it was over. It took a few days to come down out of that space and to understand that I had truly enjoyed myself, underneath all the panic of doing something new and wholly outside of my comfort zone.

It was also nice to have a soft opening to game mastering for the first time. Anyone who knows me well knows I like to ease into doing things. I need time to consider—sometimes what feels like an inordinate amount—before there can be any hope of a “yes” on my part.

Have you game mastered before? What was your first experience like? If you haven’t, do you want to?

PS. Here's the first page of notes I had to share with the players...and a drawing of a strange aquatic deer that is indicative of the somewhat aquatic nature of all land life forms due to certain intermingling of the Earth's ecosystem with that of Vraith's. The art is also neatly blocking super top secret game master knowledge that I may or may not share with players once the campaign is over.


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