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The Near Perfect RPG Session

by Mike on 13 February 2023

Thinking back over the games you've run, which ones do you consider your near perfect games? Which ones hit just about every mark? What was it that made them near-perfect?

We're avoiding "perfect" games because often our self-defeating attitudes won't let us pick any game as perfect. But near perfect? We've had a few of those.

What criteria define a near-perfect game? Only you get to decide. Write down your own list and see what you come up with.

Here's my own list of criteria for a near-perfect game:

What Brings You the Most Fun?

A Reddit thread entitled "What part of GMing gives you the greatest pleasure?" covered similar ground to this question. The top comments offer comparable results to our near-perfect-game criteria. These included:

There's some common ground in these top comments and my own list. It leads us to the practical question for this thought exercise:

What can we do to pave the path for a near perfect game?

How can we focus our preparation towards a near perfect game?

It's important to consider that a near-perfect game relies as much on the players, maybe even more on the players, than it does for DMs. We must also consider that some players may love a game that others didn't care for. That's ok, we can still pave the path. How?

Prepare to Improvise

I think the greatest fun during a D&D game comes when the game takes a turn no one expected. We can prepare for this by focusing our preparation to support improvisation. This means having what we need to react as things change. Here are a few things we can do (some of which will be very familiar):

Focus on the Characters

Players love their characters. A character is the focal point and interface between a player and the world. The more time you spend understanding the characters, both mechanically and in their own story, the more you can draw the players into the game through their characters. Here's a few things we can do:

How will you prepare what you need to set the stage for a near-perfect game?

More Sly Flourish Stuff

This week I posted a couple of YouTube videos on Scarlet Citadel Session 14 – Lazy GM Prep and Designing Vampires for MCDM's Flee Mortals.

Last Week's Lazy D&D Talk Show Topics

Each week I record an episode of the Lazy D&D Talk Show (also available as a podcast) in which I talk about all things D&D. Here are last week's topics with timestamped links to the YouTube video:

Patreon Questions and Answers

Also on the Talk Show, I answer questions from Sly Flourish Patreons. Here are last week's questions and answers:

D&D Tips

Each week I think about what I learned in my last D&D game and write them up as D&D tips. Here are this week's D&D tips:

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This work includes material taken from by Michael E. Shea available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

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