You know what ruins an RPG session? When the rulebooks get opened up. You know what ruins it the most? When the GM is the one opening the book.
While my point could be applied to “rules lawyering,” I’m actually hitting at a more present problem at my gaming table: lack of familiarity with core rules. As you know, I’ve embarked on a quest to play through many of the classic 1st Edition AD&D modules. We have one session remaining in T1: The Village of Hommlet by Gary Gygax. That means after a solid ten sessions, we’re still having to look at rules. Why is that?
Of course, there is the charge that 1st Edition is too complicated, contradictory, and clunky. Granted, it is complicated. There are moments of fuzziness to the point of possible contradiction. But there’s a charm and personality about the system that helps me to overlook all that. I’m enamored by the tone of the game.
Beyond the quirks of 1st Ed. AD&D, I think that there are some rules that are simply hard to remember when you first begin playing any game. They’re not on the GM screen–they’re not readily available–nobody remembers! And, as a result, you can find yourself digging through your books at the gaming table more than is necessary.
So here’s my solution!
Post-it notes! That’s right. It’s simple, it’s easy, find those finicky rules quickly if they’re absolutely needed at the table. The problem is less the books and more the fifteen minutes finding the rules.
So grab a pack of post-its, whatever RPG book you’re learning right now, and let’s mark our pages together. Ready? Here are the top pages that you need to mark right now: