As the GM, what you need in your hands for the next session is a list of Bangs and a pile of “Assets” (NPCs, monsters, demons, locations and items). Here’s how you get there.
1. Review Player-Characters’ actions in the previous session. What do you think they’ll do next?
- List any new Assets you will need to support what the players (probably) want to do.
Just list them for now.
- Think up some more Bangs that you can use to add pressure to their current situations and plans.
- List any new Assets that you’ll need to support those Bangs.
2. Think about each important NPC in turn (including PCs’ demons). What has just happened to them? What do they know about the events that have just transpired? What are they thinking now? Based on their own desires, plans, needs and personalities, what are they likely to do next?
- Create some Bangs related to the important NPCs.
- List any new Assets that you’ll need to support these Bangs.
3. Review the people, conflicts and conspiracies which you have not yet revealed. Do you want to modify or add detail to any of them?
- Create Bangs and list new Assets as required.
4. Write all those Bangs down in one place. Remember: Bangs demand choices and movement; they do not determine a direction. Bangs put pressure on the PCs, the PCs drive the story.
5. Now sit down and create all those new Assets: the NPCs, monsters, demons, locations and items, that you listed in the steps above. Don’t start by staring at blank character sheets, start with scrap paper. Scribble, sketch, flesh out ideas and character concepts. When things feel meaty and real, then summarize them onto character sheets, item cards, graph paper and GM’s notes, add stats and you’re done.
For me, this process takes about two nights. I have my best ideas between the first and second nights.
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I wrote this post because Sorcerer is supposed to be a light-prep system; but I have spent an incredible amount of time preparing for this game. I’ve spent the past two weeks buried in cool ideas with no clue how I was going to get them all to the table! Finally, my masses of notes are coalescing into stuff that I can use in play. So I wanted to write down what worked so that I can streamline the process going forward.
To be fair, I’m also developing and playtesting this Dictionary Of Elric mini-supplement, so extra work should be expected. I know from past experience that that the inter-session prep gets lighter as the game goes on. Two hours should be sufficient.
Do you guys find that Sorcerer is a light-prep system? Any prep advice for the Story-Now! GM?