DM Tips: “When Last We Met…”

Don’t narrate what happened last time when you recap at the start of a session.

One of the biggest epiphanies I had as a DM was when I realised that my players often though about game details differently to how I had intended them. Of course I was all too familiar with this effect during the game. People and places that I had considered important were left virtually forgotten, and insignificant details that I had thrown in for flavour were seized upon and obsessed over.

What I had not anticipated was how this effect spreads across sessions. As the DM, your voice automatically carries the weight of authority when speaking about anything in the game world. By giving your own take on things, you are unintentionally supplying an Official Version of what happened, regardless of how your players viewed the events.

Instead, invite your players to do it.

It’s their story, after all, not yours. Granted, the pull of description is hard to ignore sometimes – you’re a DM, after all. But I guarantee your game will be better for it. Plus, you get to see what parts of the story they consider important, so this can work in your favour when planning future sessions.

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