Smart prep and conceptual density

Some good articles I’ve read recently:

  • Joseph Manola observes that good setting and adventure materials have a kind of conceptual density that makes them novel yet cohesive.
  • Justin Alexander has written two articles about what he calls “smart prep”. I agree with just about everything in the first one; I think that’s true for the second one as well, but I feel like I need to process it some more.

Joseph is talking about using third-party sources, while Justin is talking about making your own material, but there is a common theme — support material that’s no better than the ideas you can improvise on the fly is a waste of time. It’s not just neutral — it’s actively bad.

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