January marks New Gamemaster Month, a month of learning about how to be a GM and learning a system that will be run at the end of the month. The idea is to provide inspiration, advice, and a step-by-step process that guides prospective GMs up to and through their first game. The New Gamemaster Month site provides twice-weekly posts to act as a seminar on becoming (or becoming a better) GM. Each post takes the reader through a step or two in the process, with a brief lesson on an aspect of GMing followed by some quick activities to get ready to run a game. The activities are based on the game that participants choose to run.
The information in the posts is well written and engaging, with good “homework” assignments that are easily organized by the systems sponsoring the event.
Each system is given a tab that contains highlights of that system, or notes about specific adventures to use, as well as what pages should be read to prepare.
Participating games this year were:
- Numenera by Monte Cook Games
- Unknown Armies by Atlas Games
- Trail of Cthulhu by Pelgrane Press
- RuneQuest by Chasosium
- Delta Green by Arc Dream Publishing
- Monster of the Week by Evil Hat Publishing
The challenge is that doing it through this method doesn’t engage all learning styles. There are no video or audio sessions available for people who may benefit from those. While the TTRPG systems and adventures to be run will need to be read to be successful, this limits the ability to revisit some of this information at a more convenient time.
The community also uses a Facebook group and has a Discord server for participants to participate in, but they weren’t very active. These would have benefitted from having a group of dedicated individuals driving conversation between the members of these groups, or maybe a person from each of the systems to help drive conversation in the respective Discord channels for those games.
Overall, if you’re someone who is self motivated and has people that you can ask questions of, this is a great way to get started. It makes it easy to figure out the important parts of what to look at in a new system without having to read an entire book from cover to cover, it’s a really easy way to start taking the dive into the GM seat.