How Lost Can Make You A Better Gamemaster

I thought I would hate it, I thought it would suck, but in the end I gave in and started watching Lost. I usually completely disregard the TV advice of my fellow geek friends, especially after they recommended that I watch the new Battlestar Galactica, which I hated every minute of with a smoldering dragonfire like hatred. So when they started recommending Lost I didn't listen. I didn't listen for five years, but three weeks ago everything changed.

My girlfriends brother gave us a copies of all the first four seasons of Lost. She started watching them first, I just sort of let them play in the background while I was doing other stuff. Eventually they became the other stuff, and I'm proud (and somewhat ashamed) to say that I have watched four seasons in three weeks, and I'm hooked on the show like it was heroin.

Because of this recent obsesion I have tried to incorporate some ideas from the show into my current campaign, and I think the show has a lot of valuable ideas for any game master.

If you haven't seen Lost you might not get where my ideas are coming from, but if you haven't seen Lost you shouldn't be reading this you should be watching it.... right now... I mean it... stop reading this and go watch Lost.

Here are what I consider to be the best "Lost" lessons for gamemastering:

1) Keep them Guessing - Never, ever, ever reveal anymore than you absolutely have to in any campaign. You want your players to feel as if there is something bigger going on that they don't quite understand, but they know is really important.

2) You're lost, now survive - Dungeons are strange places, easy to get lost in and hard to get out of. The best adventures are always the ones that are the hardest to survive.

4) Secrets, Secrets everyone has secrets - Players should have secrets from the other players. Maybe these secrets are only revealed as the campaign develops, or maybe they are so important that if someone knew everything would change... and does.

3) The players are incredibly special and crucial to the campaign... or are they - Players like to the center of attention and rightly so. Maybe they are so important to the world that the world itself can't exist without them... or maybe they're just being manipulated into believing that for someone else's gain.

5) I got your antagonist here, and here, and here and possibly here - Wow you just killed the big baddie... oh shit he was just working for the real big bad, and the guy that I though was the big bad might not even be bad, and who the hell is that guy. You get the picture.

6) The big reveal is only there to reveal a bigger reveal - I thought we had it figured out finally, oh that wasn't it. What happens now?

7) Hang the end of every adventure off the edge of the cliff with hungry tigers below and a mouse chewing through the vine the players are holding onto - I think this one is pretty self explanatory.

8) 4 8 15 16 23 42 - Push the button.

Any thoughts?

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