The Game Master is a key role in The Armoury Bible Game. They keep the game moving, interact with players through challenge questions and encourage players to remember the scriptures they have covered as they progress through the game.
To be a Game Master may seem like a daunting task, but it can be exceedingly rewarding when done well. So here we go; 10 tips to help you become a better Game Master:
1. Be Prepared
“YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!”~Illidan Stormrage.
Famous words for those who are familiar with the Warcraft franchise. To be prepared is a vital responsibility for the Game Master and will shape the progression of the game. Know the questions you are going to ask before playing The Armoury. Where do you want to direct players? What doctrine do you want them to walk away with?
This is where taking notes during Sunday sermons or family worship/devotions can be helpful. Use The Armoury to test your family on scriptures or doctrine you have encountered throughout the week.
Be prepared to reward success. Have awesome rewards or Quests lined up for when the team defeats the Boss. Have a think about how Quests can be used to encourage further Bible learning after the game ends.
2. Master the Game Rules
You would not be much of a Game Master if you had not mastered the rules of The Armoury. Players will look to you when they don’t know what to do next. Players will become bored and distracted if you are endlessly searching for rules. This in turn defeats the purpose of The Armoury which is to interactively engage players with the Bible.
Make sure you are well acquainted with the How to Play page and the Game Master Tools page. The Game Master Tools can be accessed once The Armoury is purchased and possessed. We have also produced a Let’s Play The Armoury video that will give you a firm idea of what is required of you as The Game Master which is available to anyone.
3. Tally Everything
Make sure players know what Positive and Negative Effects they have. Using the provided Attack, Defence and Uitlity Increase cards to display Postive Effects while clearly displaying the Boss cards players have picked up that are Negativly Effecting them. Being well organised will quicken the flow of the game and allow players to make intelligent choices of which challenges, abilities and strategies they will implement.
It is important that the player knows what they are hoping to achieve. You will find players will be encouraged if they can see themselves progress. This will only happen with a consistent means of measuring success.
In any timed challenge it is a good idea to have a visual reference that you can use.
5. Be Flexible
Make the questions and challenges age appropriate. For example, instead of asking a child in a Utility challenge, “What are the first five books of the Bible?”, rather have them read out the first five books from the contents page of their Bible. Through this they are becoming familiar with opening the Word of God and are also learning the location and names of the books of the Bible.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” ~ Colossians 3:21 (NKJV)
What is implied by Paul here is that fathers are to encourage their children. Game Masters must carry this same responsibility. Your job is not to frustrate players but to help them understand the Bible.
You should show mercy and grace to the player if you notice they are becoming discouraged. Use this as an opportunity to further explain these Gospel concepts. When appropriate, implement the heart of the rules of The Armoury, not the letter.
6. Aid Retention
Return to the scripture that the player has already covered to test their memory and help them learn through repetition. For example, if the child mentioned above was to do another Utility challenge, ask them if they can remember any of the first five books of the Bible.
Note what scriptures have been addressed by certain players and bring them up again in the challenges in the future.
7. Note Distractions
Sometimes players can become distracted when it is not their turn.
Note the scripture or questions that the current player is doing and then when it is the distracted player’s turn ask them the question that has previously come up. Don’t allow other players to aid them.
This will encourage players to concentrate even when it is not their turn!
8. Keep the Game Moving
Through the challenges some good conversations might erupt, particularly amongst adults. This is fine if people are prepared to invest a large amount of time into playing The Armoury. However, it is a good idea to encourage players to keep the game moving and take note of what was said for discussion afterwards.
If players are slowing down and appear to be less interested, have a break and come back to the game in 15 - 30 min after a chat and refreshments. A mental break is sometimes all that is needed to get players back into the game.
Just because you are The Game Master that does not mean you should do everything for the player. Assign one player to control the video timers, another player to be in charge of handing out Might, Fortitude and Swiftness cards and another to distribute awarded Armour. This also give players something to do when it is not their turn and helps them learn the rules.
“…no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)
Biblical truth is spiritually discerned. The study of the scriptures is not simply an intellectual exercise, the heart must be receptive by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to receive the things of God. Always pray before you start playing and after so that you give God the glory as He chooses to impart wisdom to His people!
Well, there you have it! 10 ways to improve your Game Mastering ways. Let me know if you have any other tips in the comments. May you and your family be richly blessed as you, in the meekness of wisdom, search the scriptures and test all things.