by Mike Shea on 21 December 2015
"He never assumes that he knows more than you do. He says: 'We'll learn this together.'"
Annette Kowalski, Bob Ross's Strange Afterlife
Mastery is a weird thing. To some, mastery is an end goal, a certain level of proficiency that shows one's true capability and understanding of something. To others, mastery is path, a continuing road one travels to improve at something.
The ideas on Sly Flourish aren't finished. Every article, every tweet, and every idea is an experiment based on a hypothesis. Can narrative combat be as interseting as combat with maps and miniatures? I don't know, let's try it out! How will your running of Rise of Tiamat work out? I don't know but here's how it worked out for me.
The tone of the writing and the use of the active voice in Sly Flourish articles can sometimes give the impression of direction. "Do this" might be a tone one picks up anytime one reads about an idea. That's just the style of the writing.
The real theme is "let's try this and see how it works out". Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it works for some of us. Sometimes it doesn't work for others.
There are over three hundred and forty articles on Sly Flourish. I guarentee you that a bunch of them just plain suck. There are a lot of ideas here. Some of them still work well. Some of them have been tried, discussed, and tossed aside.
The ideas on this site and on Twitter don't live in a vacuum. This blog lives beside dozens of other active blogs and hundreds of thousands of other sources of great GMing ideas. The internet, with Twitter, Youtube, podcasts, and blogs gives us a huge hivemind of great GMing ideas. The last ten to twenty years has given us amazing access to great GMing minds.
James Introcaso, Enrique Bertran, Liz Bauman, Liz Theis and I all discussed these ideas on one of my favorite alltime podcast episodes The RPG Twitter Community. Give it a listen if you want to hear about the advantages and trials of the RPG community on Twitter.
None of us are done learning. There aren't any real "master" game masters. We're all trying things out every game. Some of us play a lot. Some of us think about it a lot. Some of us are great. Some of us are terrible. But none of us are done unless we just plain quit. We're all learning from eachother. We're watching the Youtubes. We're reading the tweets. We're arguing about spell description meanings over at EnWorld. And, hopefully, we're all keeping open ears and an open mind so we can all get better at this stuff.
You won't find mastery or direction Sly Flourish, even if it sounds like it sometimes.
We're all here learning together.