Tip: You Talking is a Cutscene.

Every piece of advice I put up on here will have been repeated by many people all over the internet. But despite that I’m still waiting on a GM who consistently delivers on this one thing. So maybe it hasn’t been repeated enough. I don’t know.

My advice is this: rush your players to the next meaningful choice in the game. If your players aren’t making choices, they’re just listening to you talk. Obviously this is going to happen, since you need to give them information, but my point is that every single moment you spend talking is just like a cutscene in a video game. They’re cool, sometimes they’re even vital, but they’re not really part of the game.

If you tell your party they need to fly to Japan to talk to the Yakuza leader who is arranging your next heist, you don’t need to ask if they pack their passport before they head to the airport, right? It’s obvious. It’s not a choice. You can ask if they try to smuggle their weapons and equipment onto the flight or if they’ll just buy some when they get there, though. That’s meaningful.

I think the Alexandrian did a great job discussing it here. I highly recommend their content on GMing advice.

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