Life goes by fast. Faster than you’d ever expect. And with the pace of modern living, it’s all the more difficult to appreciate the truly important moments of our lives in real time. And for those of us who get so much out of playing stories together, this sentiment holds doubly true.
So this week’s GM/DM advice is all about how to better live in the moment and appreciate the precious tabletop RPG moments as they’re happening!
Awareness of the Moment
Even in the most fun moments of playing stories, when the flow is perfect and everything is going right, it’s more rare than it should be that we’re truly aware. As GMs/DMs, our focus is on how to maintain the flow, what’s (likely) going to happen next, and the various story elements at play. You certainly appreciate what’s going on – but it’s more difficult to appreciate the moment itself.
When you find yourself in these special times, try to consciously zoom out. Sit in that moment, observing it all, and appreciate it for what it is: a unique, wonderful experience which may never come again. Be joyous, be selfless, be enthusiastic, and willing to go with the flow. You’re part of a special group, a team, that has this unique and wonderful opportunity to play a story together that could go in a million different directions!
Whenever you sit down to play a story with your friends, family, or even complete strangers, that time and space is precious. Even if you have a weekly game going, never take that experience for granted – times change, people get different priorities, things happen. So taking the time for yourself to just bask in your awareness of how special these times are really helps solidify your connection to the people at the table, the story, and your love for tabletop.
As you build up these memories of being consciously aware of the special moments at the TTRPG table, start to take the time to reflect on them afterward. Whether its in your worldbuilding, your meditation, or just letting your mind wander, taking the time to reflect on these special moments further helps you appreciate just how special they are.
Think back on how cool, how special, how freakin’ fun those moments were. How lucky was each person is to be a part of that experience!? The uncontrollable laughter, the awe, the shock, the camaraderie…such times in our lives are all too rare.
And those memories are ultimately a byproduct of the players and GM deciding to invest their time playing stories with one another. And they’re rock-solid in your mind because you were aware of them as they were happening – and took the time to reflect upon them fondly after the fact.
So GMs/DMs, remind yourself just how fortunate you are to have this opportunity to have this much fun, this many laughs, this many great memories. It always helps!