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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.

Highlights:

  • 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!

 
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Reviews (4)
Discussions (9)
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
PUBLISHER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PURCHASER
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
PUBLISHER
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
PURCHASER
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.

Bob
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
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
Can you name some please? I know "Play unsafe" and "Unframed".
Customer avatar
paul C February 29, 2020 3:14 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
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
BSB Rechtsanwälte H March 02, 2020 4:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
Yeah, that's the ones I previously readeaded and they were better. In my opinion.

Even the Lazy DM (Both versions) were better.
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This title was added to our catalog on February 27, 2020.