Here are some ideas that I keep thinking about, some I’m already doing, some I want to do more. Here are more things I want to be doing. Some of these are contradictory, that’s okay.
1. Players framing their own scenes
3. Players controlling NPCs
4. Characters defined by their “issue”, whatever troubles them.
5. Experience Keys (Shadows of Yesterday)
6. Principal of Narrative Truth (Wushu)
7. Setting stakes for a conflict
8. Related to seven, assume any conflict that would appear to potentially stop the story (i.e. do I pick the lock to the door I need to get into) is not about success or failure, but about complications (i.e. I will pick the lock, but do I do it before the guards arrive).
9. Kickers (Sorcerer)
10. Bangs (Sorcerer)
11. Conflict resolution the DotV way. What will you give to win?
12. Plot is defined by character’s attachments. Threaten, challenge beliefs, but also support them and help them flourish.
13. Bring conflicts to Dice rolls, especially in the case of players disagreeing
14. Use pacing mechanics. Depleting pools, consequences, timers, etc. to increase urgency.
15. Wilderness of Mirrors style planning.
16. Mash up systems
18. Consider Setting vs. Situation
19. Storycrafting vs. Immersive play styles
21. Props that triggers different senses (tactile, audible, etc).
22. Play a game to it’s strengths.
23. Duel of Wits
24. Consider Yes
25. Define what the game will be about before starting
26. Related, have a pitch session (PTA style)
27. Create games in games (Justin’s mini-games, 1001 Nights)
28. Sins and Virtues cards for NPCs
29. Give players a currency to author the world (Mortal Coil)
30. Related, make the players contribute to world building (Dresden RPG)
31. Thematic Batteries (Full Light, Full Steam)
32. Frame Scenes with each person having a part (Location, Action, People, Mood, Mystic) (Panty Explosion, Mage)
33. Frame Scenes letting players define aspects they want to see, interact with
34. Read character sheets as flags. This is what the player wants to see.
35. Provide simulation for the players who want to explore the GM’s world
35. Recognized exploration and discovery vs. Experiential play. Different players want different things.
36. Use oracles, aspects, whist codes or roach cards to drive the story (In a Wicket Age, Fate, Sons of Liberty, Shab-al-Hiri Roach)
37. The Jenga tower (Dread)
38. Port familiar Settings to other systems (Jedi in the Vineyard, 1001 Parsecs, My Life with Palpatine)
39. Web of Clues (Gumshoe)
40. Progressive degrades of sanity as aspects (like complications, mild, moderate, severe, etc) for horror.
Those are the 40 that I can think of off the top of my head. Now the trick is to employ them. I know I can’t do all of it at once, and several of these things I already do, but this is a means for me to keep all these ideas in one list so I don’t forget them. Please feel free to add suggestions to the list.