Never Unprepared is a concise guide to game prep. For those unfamiliar with (or overwhelmed by) brainstorming and the critical steps beyond just coming up with ideas, this book would be a valuable resource.
I personally think I’ve pretty much got the whole game prep thing down. I’ve been doing it for almost 35 years, and I’ve made enough mistakes along the way that I’ve learned some pretty valuable lessons.
What this book made me realize is that I am very likely over-preparing for my games. “Too much prep?” Yup. Too much.
I generally write out my scenes as if someone else was going to GM the game. I sometimes do this with an eye of publishing the adventure some day, but I’ve gotten into the habit of doing it all the time. For a four hour adventure, I could write 8-12 pages of material.
I took a step back from my old method (after reading this book) as I prepared a game to run on Saturday. I got out a little hipster notebook and on the first page I listed the storyline in scenes (I’ve organized my games like this for years). Over the next several pages I detailed out the who, what and where of each scene, and I detailed out a couple of possible plot twists.
I’m fairly confident at this point that I will be able to run the game from my little hipster notebook (with a couple of stats and equipment for my bad guys).