Minimizing GM prep work

I’m currently working on my own hack that uses the FITD engine. My hack is going to feature a section for GMs that aims to help GMs lessen the amount of prep needed for the game. BitD already requires below-average prep work and over the years I’ve come up with my own ways of minimizing prep for RPGs. So, I’ve already got quite a few ideas for this section that concern NPCs and dungeoncrawls, but…

…I’m wondering what tips and tricks you guys have/ use/ know of that could help minimize a GM’s prep work?
I’d greatly appreciate any input you have to offer.

  • Use DW threats and portents
  • Expect your adventure to be broken (don’t hold on to your ideas too hard)
  • Keep things to a structure, template (5 Room Dungeon, e.g.)
  • Offer rewards and situations suited to each of the characters.

These are my rules in general, and they’ve worked well in 5E, DW and BitD. YMMV


What I do when I want to do quick prep is I bring out random tables suitable for the game I’m playing, roll up a couple of job offers and randomize what factions that are involved.
The further into a season I get the less randomization I tend to do, but the tables are always there for me to lean on.

I like tables of job types, quirks, twists, etc. I liked the ones for A Fistful of Darkness, and the ones in Silent Legions (not a Fitd) are amazing.

Quick character generation is good too.
The Augmented Reality kit for general cyberpunk games has tables of different kinds of NPCs where you can roll once and read across the lines to get a complete character quickly, or roll several times and assemble one out of parts.
It does the same for gangs, mission types, etc etc. I recommend getting it for cyber GMs, or resource writers :wink:

Here’s a sample from the job designer table:
You can just use that as-is, or roll new results for the different columns.
Street gangs:

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Oh yessss random tables are amazing!

I put up an open source interface with a bunch of them

  • search by name
  • all offline (no active server connection. Either clone the repo and open the HTML or open the link above and keep it open)
  • by categories (also a section for some Blades tables I use)
  • open source at :
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Thanks for the input. I’ll write this stuff down and work it into a chapter on GM prep tips.

Wow, that interface is amazing!

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