Poor Quest Giver. I would know that megalomaniacal snarl anywhere. That’s because I’ve worn it myself more often than I’d care to admit.

While going back through the Handbook-World backlog in preparation for today’s rant, I discovered two previous comics relevant to session prep. As it happens, both “Prep Time” and “Zero-Prep” are all about efficiency. We’re all busy people, and getting your pre-game ritual down to an hour or less a generally desirable thing. But even if I am in favor lazy GMing, I think it’s worth exploring the upsides of over prepping as well.

Now I won’t blame you if your first reaction is to roll your eyes and mutter, “What upside?” Over prepping is largely unnecessary, leading to stress, burnout, and even (when GMs fall too in love with their own ideas) railroading. But consider what you do get when you put in the extra time and effort.

If you’re running a module, reading and re-reading will familiarize you with the resources at your disposal. You’ll be able to reference stat blocks and plot points more easily, making for a smoother experience during play.

If you’re running homebrew, then a more robust game world is suddenly possible. Name lists for NPCs, backlogs of wandering encounters, and more thought-out descriptions for your fabulous locales all become available.

And if you happen to be a crafty sort, set piece dungeons and special effects are on deck to blow your players out of their seats.

So while Cavalier waits on that quest scroll (I hope it’s not too important), let’s talk about all those show-stopper sessions that took a little extra time and effort to put together. I’m talking big 3D dungeons, professionally designed handouts, themed meals, and complete campaigns worlds that you know like the back of your DMG. In other words, tell us about the session you worked hardest to put together. Why was it so labor intensive, and what was the payoff? Sound off with your tales of over-prepping down right down in the comments!


GET YOUR SCHWAG ON! Want a piece of Handbook-World to hang on you wall? Then you’ll want to check out the “Hero” reward tier on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Each monthly treasure haul will bring you prints, decals, buttons, bookmarks and more! There’s even talk of a few Handbook-themed mini-dungeons on the horizon. So hit the link, open up that treasure chest, and see what loot awaits!