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The Prepless GM
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The Prepless GM

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What is the Prepless Gamemaster?

The Prepless Gamemaster is a complete system for playing RPGs without any prepwork.

You can just sit down and start playing whenever, wherever.

The tools of the Prepless Gamemaster will help you to effortlessly deal with the unexpected in a way that is exciting and drives the story forward. If you like preparing your games, the prepless GM will allow you to better deal with situations where players do not follow your carefully laid plans.

I know some GMs believe that you must always spend at least some time preparing for every game. But I’ve been running completely prepless games for over 20 years. And every time I came across a challenge – whether it was running a riddle, murder mystery, or even an escape room – I created a tool for running that story without any prep. The Prepless GM is the culmination of 20+ years of playtesting tools that will help any GM run a game on the fly.

For Beginners:

As a beginning DM, dealing with the unexpected can be really difficult. But if there is one thing you can count on, it’s that your players will not always follow your carefully planned prepwork. No amount of preparing your sessions will keep you from having to improvise. You just can’t plan for every eventuality.

The Prepless Gamemaster will teach you how to deal with situations where you don’t have a story ready. And the best part is that you can use the techniques for the rest of your GMing career. It’s what I wished someone had told me when I started GMing.

For Experts:

If you’re like me, as you grow older – with more responsibilities – free time is at a premium. You don’t always have the time to create adventures or campaigns. But you also want to surprise your players and keep the group together.

The Prepless GM teaches a style of play that allows you to play any RPG without any prepwork. With these tools you can create quality adventures and even campaigns on the fly. Now you can prepare as much or little as you wish and always have a story available.


  • Save hundreds of hours on tedious prep work.
  • Generate engaging stories on the fly.
  • 80+ pages of GM resources.
  • Can be used with any roleplaying system.
  • Over 20 years of playtesting. No tedious theory, only tricks and principles you can actually use.
  • For beginners and veterans: I promise it will make you a better GM.

Check out the preview!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (6)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
TOSSAPONG N July 23, 2021 4:37 pm UTC
Could you add table of content in the pdf ?
Customer avatar
paul C July 28, 2021 8:36 am UTC
Hi, the Prepless GM comes with a table of contents.

If it isn't showing in your download then I suspect there might be a compatibiliy issue with your pdf reader. All the items on the table of contents also link to the correct pages in the book. So my best guess is that your pdf reader isn't showing those. It might help to update your reader or try a different pdf reader. If that doesn't solve it, send me a message at dungeonvault dot com and I'll get you a word version of those pages.
Customer avatar
Yann E July 24, 2020 6:11 pm UTC
I am interested but I do have the lazy DM which is already my go to prep book.. Some reviews of your book are not so good. Especially with a whole chapter on your life. How would you convince me to buy this book ?
Customer avatar
paul C July 25, 2020 12:55 am UTC
Haha, I don’t have a chapter on my life. It’s not that interesting. There is one chapter in which I mention a few products I had created before I wrote the prepless GM. The reason I mention them is because there are some things that are very difficult to do without prep work such as puzzles and politics. For my own prepless games I created puzzles and a system for doing politics that you can drop into any prepless game. Think of them as optional expansions.

But it’s only a few short mentions within a chapter. It is NOT an entire chapter like the review says. And of course I’d like people to buy those products as well. I’m not shy about that. I’m excited about what I create and I never understood why creators sometimes feel like they have to pretend they’re not.

How would I convince you to buy the prepless GM? I’m not sure I want to convince you. Playing prepless is very much a style of play. It’s not for everyone. Some people love it and others really don’t like it....See more
Customer avatar
Yann E July 25, 2020 12:38 pm UTC
I am sorry. I've made a mistake, I have mistaken your product with another. My apologies
Customer avatar
paul C July 25, 2020 8:20 pm UTC
That's even funnier. No problem :)
Customer avatar
Yann E July 26, 2020 9:43 am UTC
To apologize myself, I will buy your book. it is only 4,28 € so not very expensive and I will see by myself.
Customer avatar
paul C July 27, 2020 12:30 pm UTC
Really, no apology necessary. Don't by it unless it's something you would want to buy anyway :)
Customer avatar
Leigh W July 03, 2020 9:44 am UTC
What are the contents for chapter 4 generating all those different things?

Are we talking roll table generators for random results, or questions to ask yourself to make things quickly?
Customer avatar
paul C July 03, 2020 12:25 pm UTC
The short answer: They are questions you ask yourself. But one option is to create a table to answer them.

The longer answer:
Chapter 4 contains really short step-by-step formulas for creating a challenge very quickly. Each step is easy and takes only seconds to do. But when you follow the formula, you get everything you need to set up the challenge. In the first chapter (which you can read in the preview) I explain the 'Question System' for generating story content quickly. One of those options is creating your own tables and using them. But you have more options available to you.

You use the question system to generate the content needed in each of the steps in a formula. After a while you'll know most of these formulas by heart and you can create your own. It will speed things up tremendously. For instance, I can create a good riddle in under 30 seconds. An original trap will take me about 10 seconds. A dynamic battlefield about 10 seconds. And so on.

...See more
Customer avatar
Brennan B May 29, 2020 8:03 pm UTC
What do you get from the PDF version that you don't get from the Roll20 version? I have the Roll20 version and am considering adding the PDF to my collection.
Customer avatar
paul C May 29, 2020 10:16 pm UTC
Honestly, the pdf version doesn't offer more than the roll20 version except it being in easy to read pdf format.
Customer avatar
Edward H May 19, 2020 4:09 pm UTC
Wait. Isn't reading this book prep?
Customer avatar
paul C May 21, 2020 9:30 am UTC
Hi Edward,

I do mean session prep. The name 'the session prepless GM' was already taken. And I assumed that if people buy the book they knew they were going to have to read it :)

I was a bit surprised that I get this response a lot. But I haven't heard anyone who uses Fate core or Apocalypse world (prepless gaming systems) say that having to read the book or practice GMing skills is prep. I think it must be something about our expectations going in.

Long story short: Yes you'll have to read the book and practice the skills, which aren't very difficult. But once you become a prepless master, you will be able to run a campaign without any session prep. Which I think is very nice.

In the famous words of Bob Ross:
- It allows you absolute freedom. You learn to compose your world on the canvas. And in your world, you can do anything -
Customer avatar
Maiko C May 01, 2020 6:04 pm UTC
Acabo de comprar Prepless GM en ROll20 pero no entiendo como usarlo, alguien podría orientarme por favor?
Customer avatar
paul C May 02, 2020 1:22 am UTC
No worries, roll20 has a lot of options.

Go to ‘my games’ in the menu of the roll20 website and click on the name of your game (not on the launch button). You’ll come to a webpage where you can add the ‘prepless gm’ addon to your game. Add it, then launch your game.

In your game look to the right. Open the third tab, called ‘journal’. There you’ll find a folder called ‘prepless GM’. Open it and then open the handout with the cover picture. A handout will appear with lots of links. Click on the link of the first chapter to read it. I’ve also included links to subheadings of stuff you might want to pull up during the game for quick reference. It’s best to read through the entire chapters in chronological order first.

If you have any questions, please let me know. You can also contact me through roll20. Have fun!

- Paul
Customer avatar
Richard S April 10, 2020 2:02 am UTC
I’m thinking of purchasing this on Roll20. Will that give me a pdf or ebook copy along with that purchase?
Customer avatar
paul C April 11, 2020 10:58 am UTC
Hi Richard,
No, the roll20 version is an addon that’s set up so you can quickly access the parts you need during play. It also has a simple random dungeon builder deck and tips on how to run a prepless game on roll20. But not a downloadable pdf.
Customer avatar
Richard S April 11, 2020 12:35 pm UTC
Thank you for the response, I’ll consider getting both
Customer avatar
Robert G March 26, 2020 6:46 am UTC
How come you don't cite the cover artist Forrest Imel in the artist information?
Customer avatar
paul C March 26, 2020 12:50 pm UTC
Hi Robert, I do cite Forrest Imel in the first page of the book. You can check it out of you open the full sized preview. It's the page right after the cover. I think his work is amazing by the way!

I haven't cited any names on the cover itself but his terms states: "Artist's name must be credited in all commercial and non-commercial work the image(s) appear in." So I put his and my name in the book instead of on the cover where it would clutter his cool artwork.
Customer avatar
Robert G March 26, 2020 7:40 pm UTC
I'm talking about the sidebar on the Drivethru page. You list yourself as the artist.
Customer avatar
paul C March 27, 2020 10:39 am UTC
You're right. I missed that.

I create my own artwork for my other products and my 'new title template' was still set up to list me as the artist. I will fix it as soon as creators can access their titles again. I suspect editing titles has been temporarily suspended due to corona because my edit title link doesn't work. Thanks for pointing it out!
Customer avatar
Giulio T March 13, 2020 7:56 am UTC
Never prepare an adventure in my GM careers 20+ years.
And players always had a blast.

The only trick is: listen to them while playing. They will provide you with so many ideas. On the fly!
Customer avatar
Yann E March 10, 2020 8:58 am UTC
Is this book useable for settings other than fantasy? I run Star Trek Adventures for now but I plan also to run a superhero campaign someday
Customer avatar
paul C March 10, 2020 10:36 pm UTC
I've written this book with fantasy in mind. So all the examples are about fantasy settings. But you can use it with any setting. Just flavour it to your preferences. I think it would work really well with star trek.
Customer avatar
Yann E March 10, 2020 10:40 pm UTC
Thanks for your answer
Customer avatar
Robert R February 28, 2020 10:13 pm UTC
Did anyone buy this and like it? I am a 40+ yrs experience GM that is ALWAYS looking for viable innovations to prep and flow. Any positive input?
Customer avatar
paul C February 29, 2020 3:09 pm UTC
Hi Robert, while I can't review my own product, I can give you some information that might help you decide if it's for you.

My goal was to write an easy, accessible guide that will allow any GM to run a great prepless game.

The tools of the prepless GM are simple by design. I find that complex tools are just harder to remember and I don't like looking things up during the game. But they are powerful.

For instance, I've created a tool that allows me to create a decent riddle (the kind that only has one correct answer instead of just being vague) in under ten seconds. I also created a tool that allows you to do an escape room on the fly, one that lets you do a murder mystery, and one to create a dynamic battlefield. There is a tool for just about everything you might need during your game.

These are things GMs often shy away from while improvising their games, because they traditionally take a lot of preparation to get right. Without the proper tool, having to...See more
Customer avatar
Robert R March 07, 2020 12:24 am UTC
Hello Paul
I am with you when you talk about complexity. For instance the rules of chess are VERY simple. It's the interaction that MAKE the game. Naturally I don't want chess level choices and interaction but what I do want is simple rules that create interesting and meaningful tactical choices for the players. Interaction of simple rules is key. And as a GM I do an OUTLINE prep. I use the interaction of the group to fill in what happens. After all that's what gonna happen anyway. Your ideas may fit in quite well. I'm going give your tome a try - IN GAME.

Thanks for the in-depth reply.

Customer avatar
Michael B April 10, 2020 4:11 am UTC
So what did you think, Rob?
Customer avatar
Román M February 28, 2020 6:12 pm UTC
It isn't anything special. Even in the improvisational topic there are better books.
Customer avatar
Michal B February 28, 2020 8:19 pm UTC
Can you name some please? I know "Play unsafe" and "Unframed".
Customer avatar
paul C February 29, 2020 3:14 pm UTC
I'm sorry to hear it didn't meet your expectations. Thank you for letting me know. If you have any suggestions please contact me. (My contact info can be found in the top right corner of the page under 'publisher').
Customer avatar
Daniel H March 02, 2020 4:59 pm UTC
I have to say, I find this comment very surprising. I have read a lot of books on this topic, and from what I have read and skimmed so far (just bought it today) I have to say the approach of the author is refreshing and special, as will be of immediate use at the table.
Customer avatar
Nathaniel C March 28, 2020 3:34 pm UTC
This is the least helpful review. Thanks for not influencing my purchase.
Customer avatar
Román M May 05, 2020 6:27 pm UTC
Yeah, that's the ones I previously readeaded and they were better. In my opinion.

Even the Lazy DM (Both versions) were better.
Customer avatar
August 01, 2020 12:38 am UTC
You know, they should ban drive-by hits like yours. You have added nothing to the discussion, and yet, you came back to post again with a post that managed to make you seem even less informed than your first post ("Yeah, that's the ones I previously readeaded?" In one of the laziest reviews I've seen in a long time you managed to make more work for yourself by adding more than twice as many letters to the word "read."). So, thanks for nothing!
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