MC'ing Strange New World


  • Make the players’ characters’ lives not boring.
  • Play to find out what happens.
  • To explore strange new worlds and new civilizations.


The Principles are things you should seek to do whenever you speak, in the game.

  • Make the world seem real.
  • Build a bigger world through play.
  • Create interesting dilemmas, not interesting plots.
  • Address yourself to the characters, not the players.
  • Make your move, but misdirect.
  • Make your move, but never speak its name.
  • Look at your NPCs and ideas through crosshairs.
  • Name everyone, make everyone human.
  • Ask provocative questions and build on the answers.
  • Respond with challenging circumstances and occasional rewards.
  • Be a fan of the players’ characters.
  • Think offscreen, too.
  • Sometimes, reflect a question back upon the players.
  • Take the characters boldly to the final frontier, without budget constraints.
  • A dilemma can be used to make social commentary.
  • Give opportunities for the characters to exemplify the best of humanity.

MC Moves

  • Separate them.
  • Put them together.
  • Put someone in a high-stakes situation.
  • Trade harm for harm (as established).
  • Deal harm (as established).
  • Announce off-screen badness.
  • Announce future badness.
  • Take away one of their Things.
  • Demonstrate one of their Things’ bad sides.
  • Give them a difficult decision to make.
  • Tell them the possible consequences and ask.
  • Turn their move back on them.
  • Make a move from one of your Dangers or Bigger Pictures.
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