January 11, 2011

GM Interview: Bill Korsak

game master interview

This week we interview a veteran GM who runs a lot of different systems. Short and to the point, Bill offers us some great nuggets in his answers.

Bill Korsak

Describe your perfect gaming session with you as GM

Never having to open the rulebook or have the dice rolled.

How long have you been a GM?

Since the mid 80s. I started with the original red box of D&D.

Estimate the number of times you have GM’d a game.

100+.

Game(s) you have run in the past two years:

GUPRS, Witchcraft, Pathfinder, All Flesh must be Eaten, DC Adventures, Little Fears & Dread.

What is your gaming schedule, on average?

3-5 hours usually on Sundays.

Describe your usual game environment.

RIW Hobbies in Livonia, MI and a friend’s house.

Do you use published worlds or create your own?

Published worlds – helps folks have the same bases of information.

Do you use published adventures or create your own?

I have tons of adventures from rulebooks and I use them for conventions.

What non-digital GM aides do you use, other than books?

Some maps, minis, news paper clippings, art books.

What electronic GM aides do you use, if any?

Do not use any.

What player handouts do you offer, if any?

When i do mysteries I use journals, notes and photographs.

When was the last time you were a player? What insight about GMing did you pick up?

Just last night – modern fantasy. Make sure that I know what my powers do and the rule set.

Laptop/ mobile device at the table?

I do not use them but if other folks use them, sure thing.

Describe in a few words each of your players and their playing style.

  1. Passive…needs rule help
  2. Creative…willing to think creative within and sometimes beyond the rules
  3. Rules lawyer…sticks to the book
  4. Willing to try something new

Describe in a few words your group’s playing style.

Team work. They work well together, although two folks take the lead more than others.

Describe in a few words your GMing style.

Impromptu, creative, story is more important than the rules, want players to enjoy themselves.

What is your best GMing skill or ability?

Thinking on my feet and have the players tell me where they are enjoying the game.

What advice would you give to a GM wanting to improve in that area?

Listen to what your players are saying. They will add meat to the bare bones of your plot. When all else fails toss in combat.

What process do you use to organize game sessions?

Email contacts and try to have a regular time to play and stick with it.

What are your favourite GMing reference books?

Books on anthropology or urban legends.

What are your favourite online resources for GMing?

Roleplayingtips,com and Wikipedia.

After working through these question and getting a 10,000 foot view of your GMing, what is the number #1 thing you’d like to learn about and work on next to become a better GM?

Mapping skills and making my own cheat sheets.

[interview-request]?
Alan

The perfect session means “Never having to open the rulebook or have the dice rolled.” Why? If your ideal is to not use the very mechanics you paid for, why are you running GURPS, Pathfinder, and the like instead of just going to pure freeform?

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