As part of my efforts to read through my backlog of pdfs, I am now enjoying the awesome Play Dirty by John Wick. The blurb for the book describes it as follows:
Learn the worst, most despicable, dastardly and downright dishonest Game Mastering tricks, traps and tactics that will make you the GM your Players love to hate.
This incredible store of GM wisdom has eleven chapters outlining ways to squeeze more out of your game. Despite some of John’s stylistic flourishes, this is not a book about how to kill characters. John plays a hard, dirty style of game, but he is not a “Killer DM”. You could use these technique to simply screw the Players.
However, Play Dirty speaks to me about how to make the Players really engage with your game. John shows how to make the Players care so much about the events in your campaign. RPGs can be a deeply emotional experience, and this is the pdf to help you draw the Players into your game by making it about the things they care for.
I now feel the need to compile a list of books that GMs should read annually to maximise the impact of their game. Play Dirty will be on this list. What tactics do you use to engage your Players with your setting? Share your thoughts with your fellow GMs in the comments below.