unning an entire chronicle can be exhausting unless you pace yourself. Expect to spend a minimum of an hour per player writing the story and setting everything up. Expect to actually play a story bi-monthly or even monthly. Trying to run a weekly game is very taxing and may result in the eventual death of your chronicle. Don’t make your games frequent and tedious, but rare and spectacular.
As a Storyteller, your focus should always be on keeping the game running as smoothly as possible. To ensure that the game doesn’t get out of hand, make sure you have enough Narrators. They’ll serve to answer players’ questions and resolve the majority of inter-player disputes, as your arbitration should only be required in the most extreme circumstances.
More importantly, though, your Narrators will be an integral part of game action. Serving as Shadowguides and Harrowing Masters, Narrators will be in constant interaction with players on all levels of your game. This requires a great deal of commitment from your Narrators, as they’ll constantly be on the go, interacting with only a few characters at a time. On the up side, by having your Narrators serving as Shadows, you have an instant conduit for getting information and rumors to characters, as well as a constant source of player feedback on what’s going on. Rather than having to cook up a convoluted plot to let characters know that an Anacreon’s gone corrupt, you can just have a Shadow whisper it a wraith’s ear. At the same time, if the action slows or people are getting frustrated, having your Narrators constantly on the floor will enable you to pinpoint trouble spots quickly.
Concentrate on where players stand in terms of resolving the plot or solving the mystery you have given them. If they are struggling, drop a few hints and spread a few rumors, then watch your Restless scramble to discover new information. If they are too close to solving the mystery, throw in a red herring or create a new scene on the fly. Improvisation is a potent art, and Storytellers who learn to use it are well-rewarded.
Preparation is essential to running a successful story. The greater the preparation, the less you have to worry about maintaining focus. A well-prepared game frees you to enjoy your creation and interact with players, while a poorly prepared game leaves you scrambling to maintain control. When you maintain focus on story elements, the surroundings and your players, you need not fear the results of any game session.