Game Design Misconception 3: Planning Stifles Improv

Welcome back to my series on game design misconceptions! Today’s topic is the idea that if one plans too much it can get in the way of being spontaneous and in the moment.

I started noticing this misconception a handful of months ago when I started acting as Game Master (here forth contracted GM’ing) in Dungeons & Dragon (5th Edition). It’s been pretty exciting (especially as a new way to put game design skills to work in a very immediate sense), but whenever I start up a conversation with an experienced player about GM’ing I always get this advice:

Don’t overplan.

and it always struck me as a little strange.

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