Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep

Softcover, 132 pages, digest-size (6″x9″), full-color cover, B&W interior
Stock # EGP42003, ISBN 978-0-9836133-2-9
Published 2012
Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session PrepChoose format:

$19.95 print + digital

(Print books switching to a new fulfillment option)

$9.95 digital only

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You may think that you already know everything there is to know about prep, but trust me reading someone else’s words on the matter can give you a new perspective on things. — Stargazer’s World review

Other good gaming find of 2012: Never Unprepared by @Dnaphil has been a great resource. Helped pinpoint areas of prep I’ve struggled with. — Game designer Mike Mearls

Gnome Stew has hit another home run for the Game Master. Never Unprepared has earned a permanent place in my GM toolbox, right along side the likes of Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering, Hamlet’s Hit Points, Play Dirty, Eureka, and Masks. Highly recommended. — RoleplayDNA review

What’s in the book?

Whether you’re new to game mastering or have been running the same campaign since 1974, Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep will help you prepare for games faster, avoid common pitfalls, and have more fun in the process. To our knowledge, this is the first book entirely devoted to the process of prepping for tabletop RPGs.

Never Unprepared breaks game prep down into its component phases — Brainstorming, Selection, Conceptualization, Documentation, and Review — and provides the tools you need to make the most of each phase. If you hate prep, you’ll find ways to make it more enjoyable. If you already have a great system for doing your prep, you’ll learn how to make it even better.

Ten years in the making, Never Unprepared is award-winning author Phil Vecchione’s epic rock ballad to game prep. A project manager and veteran game master, he draws on extensive experience to present flexible systems for developing or optimizing your own unique approach to game prep. Within Never Unprepared you’ll find prep techniques, utilities, and tips that are applicable to any RPG:

  • An in-depth look at each phase of session prep, from brainstorming to review
  • Templates for sessions, scenes, NPCs, and combats that you can modify to fit your gaming style
  • Practical advice on selecting prep tools, putting them to good use, and scheduling enough time to prepare for every session
  • How to identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as tips for preparing when you’re short on time — and what to do if everything goes horribly wrong
  • A comprehensive index to make it easy to find what you need

Free PDF preview

We’re big believers in “try before you buy,” so we’ve put together a free 16-page PDF preview of Never Unprepared for you to check out.


You can read reviews of Never Unprepared on our Reviews page.

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Every order — print + digital and digital only — includes the digital edition: DRM-free, fully bookmarked and hyperlinked PDF, as well as epub, mobi, and text versions of the book.