Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Surprise Review

A very pleasant review of my book, How to Run, on Amazon:

"I stumbled upon this book in the "local authors" section of my bookstore. I love anything written about role playing, especially books on GMing, so I immediately purchased it.

"By the end of the book it occurred to me I was reading what could become (and deserves to be considered) a classic work on the art of gamemastering. Smolensk is an immensely talented and perceptive writer. According to the book he has been gaming (mostly gamemastering) for close to 40 years. "How to Run" is an extended manifesto for gamemasters, giving the author's philosophical views on how to run a good game based on the experience of some 11,000+ hours of gaming.

"The observations in the book are system- and genre-neutral. It does not contain any charts and tables, or reference to specific game mechanics, classes, etc. There aren't many examples given, so it takes some work in certain cases to relate the book's concepts to the real world of your game. But the effort is quite rewarding, and the book has changed the way I view campaign and world design. The author is a firm believer in the sand-box approach, and this was the first clear exposition I've seen about how to build a sandbox that is completely tailored to your players' needs.

"Regardless of whether you agree with his views, I think it would be hard not to be inspired by the author's unapologetic and consuming passion for the game and for gamemastering. It is a rare treat to read something focused on this aspect of the hobby (a sub-niche within a niche), executed with such sustained eloquence and insight.

"A must-read for gamemasters - highly recommended."
Very nice.

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