The players and GM of The Dee Sanction have the option to play on the edge of the unknown. By that, the intent of the game is not to know everything in advance of every session. However, that isn’t to say that a lot of things can’t be handled intelligently and proactively by the group as a whole to make the whole experience less taxing.
The GM should, for example, think plot rather than a story. Better yet, thinking plots, plural, would be even better, as then the GM can be in a better place from which to improvise (a little or a lot). That sort of living on the edge should never present more stress than it has to; if you do better with more prep, go for it, but the game will benefit from greater fluidity. You can’t be totally side-swiped by the players going off-menu if you only bought in the ingredients rather than preparing a single set meal in advance.
The players, as the bulk of the table, have characters who will never know the full story at the outset. And the fact that the game uses an alternate history where the unfolding of events has opened up the reality of magick as a force for change in the world means that even the history buffs can’t know everything in advance!
Another thing about being majority stakeholders at the table is that players shouldn’t stay out on the edge of being involved with keeping the game moving, entertaining and well-managed. Because the session will involve a fair amount of story-telling and setting creation on the fly, knowing a player (or players) will diligently keep notes in their Journal is reassuring for the GM and the others at the table. Maybe someone keeping an updated map would be good, too.
And yet another way off the edge of the unknown is to step away from the sidelines in prepping the session location, the play space, the beverages, and so forth. Sort the time out and the place. Let the GM know in advance if you can’t attend. Discuss at the end of the previous session — or certainly well before the next session — if there’s something, in particular, you think the party will want to do next time. If a thread of investigation caught the table’s interest, let the GM know so that this particular morsel can get appropriate prep time.
Working together as a table — as a coordinated gaming group — should add to the entertainment of venturing beyond the edge of the unknown without making it all the business of a minority (or even just one) to get it sorted and kept track of.
Every day during August, I’ll be writing something new on The Dee Sanction and aim to connect the word prompt of the day with the development of the game. Check out the concept, the list and the graphics over at AUTOCRATIK.