As an Improvisational Style Game Master, I have a difficult time doing prep work. I find it very rewarding, especially when running a game with heavy elements of mystery and intrigue, but it is not always easy to do. A lot of prep work gets wasted when players do not go the direction you expect them to go, and that hurts a lot when you put all that effort doing something you do not enjoy just to make the game you run better. But can you really blame the players for pursuing something that they find more interesting in your game?
That’s not a rhetorical question. Are we allowed to do that? I’d love to know!
Back to point, I find that over the years I tend to compromise my prep work by spending most of my time prepping for improvisation. I prepare little fun encounters that can fit when a player does something random, or I stat up a crazy monster if I ever need to have one kick down a door to pick up the pace of a game.
Today I want to talk about making one of my favorite Improvisational Preparation tools, one of the simplest and most popular tools in our genre for embracing random encounters: the list!