GM Tip: 5 Adventure Structures for GMs

Let me describe how adventure preparation usually goes for me.

Immediately after the last session, I have seemingly endless ideas of how the next adventure could go. Over the next week, I keep having great ideas while I’m eating breakfast, biking, showering, and everywhere else in life. Then, it is night before the next session, and I sit down to write my prep.

And then I’m stuck. I stare at a blank screen, and then realize I have been reading reddit for a half-hour and still haven’t figured anything out.

GMs can also have writer’s block, and every writer has a trick for how they get over it. My trick is to start with an adventure structure.

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My Manager README

Last May, I read about writing a Manager README and thought it was brilliant. It took the implicit and difficult task of learning how to work with someone and made it explicit. It also was a great opportunity to reflect on my own processes and compare with how others work.

So, I took a few notes off the bat and then promptly backlogged it to be completed later.

And now, about nine months later, I finished the first version of my Personal README. It very much reads as a Manager README, but being a manager is a narrow part of my life, so I imagine this document evolving to be a more general way of helping others deal with me.

It’s now linked as a Page in the site navigation, but the first version is also reproduced below.

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A Perfectly Useless Amount of Chinese

Like many other Asian Americans, I went to see Crazy Rich Asians. And like many others, I had some typical takeaways like wanting to make dumplings with my family and . However, I also had one realization that I think is somewhat unusual.

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Memories of my Yeye

(Author’s Note: I wrote the first version of this post on the plane back from Toronto on December 20th after my grandfather’s funeral, so the dates are relative to that. I told myself that I had other year-end posts to write, but I think I was just trying to avoid this one.)

I didn’t talk to Yeye (my paternal grandfather) much over the past twenty years. He knew probably less than twenty words of English, and I never learned a useful amount of Cantonese. When my family moved down to Houston, I stopped going to Chinese school, and we only saw him on the occasional vacation.

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2019 New Year’s Goals: Slowing Down

Although I’m posting my 2019 goals announcement after my 2018 goals review, I actually ended up doing them out of order. By the beginning of December, I was already thinking ahead to my 2019 goals without having looked back on 2018. Of course, I ended up refining the goals and tweaking the presentation, but I’m sticking with the big ideas that I already had.

And so my goal setting process perfectly illustrates why I have a theme for 2019 to slow down. My parents could tell you that I have always been hasty about doing things. I’m the most impulsive amongst my siblings, and I rush from one thing to another as quickly as possible. It makes me sloppy and careless.

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2018 New Year’s Goals Review

Welcome to 2019! Like the last two years, I did a complete life review of how 2018 went and what I want for 2019. During that process, I evaluated progress on my 2018 goals and set new goals for 2019.

In past years, I combined the previous year’s goals review with the new year’s goals announcement. However, these posts have gotten quite long, so this year, I have split the review and announcement into two separate blog posts.

So let’s see how last year’s goals went.

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My 2018 Recommendations

Many bloggers write a “Books I Read Last Year” or “Recommended Movies” post at the end of the year. Frankly, I think most people do it because other people do it and because they’re really easy to write. It’s a total cop-out for generating content.

In fact, it’s such a good cop-out that I’m going to do it, too. It’s still a nice way to review the past year and share what I did. Here are the some things that I loved from 2018.

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