Background: The goal is to provide some generic tools to try to make the rounds more engaging and inclusive through management. This is a combination of stuff I have pulled from my management coursework and from my own role-playing experience. All suggestions, recommendations, or entertaining stories are welcome. The Fundamentals of Management in Role-Play As a manager your job is to turn an objective — be it an overarching order given by the Captain or an idea you came up with — into tasks and goals for your subordinates. You should work closely with your subordinates to create goals that contribute to the objective but are interesting to the subordinate and push the round forward. The first goal as a manager is to ensure your subordinates know what they need to accomplish. New players will want more explicit instructions and narrower tasks as they become accustomed to the game. More experienced players will be more interesting in goals that they have room to interpret and expand upon as they see fit, and to delay if they want to tackle a quick side project. Do not micromanage your subordinates. Finding the right balance of between careful and timely orders and micromanaging can be difficult, the only way to ensure you’re doing well is to communicate with your subordinates. Your subordinates should feel that they can talk to you, but that they are also required to follow your instructions. Your task is to manage the environment that your subordinates work in. Your task is to make sure that your subordinates have the resources they need and access to the information they may need to accomplish their goal. Secondly it is usually on the manager to keep the rest of command aware of how the department is progressing. Creating Interesting Tasks/Goals for your Subordinates The key to creating an interesting task or goal is dialogue with your subordinates. In all role-playing games dialogue is what drives the game forward, and this is especially true with management. You will need to discover what interests your subordinates, and then come up with how to incorporate those interests into the objective of the Torch, and the tasks that those employees will be performing. To do them you will need likely need to ask them fairly detailed questions as almost nobody will know off the top of the head what it is they want to be doing. Help your subordinates understand what they want in the round. Find out what your subordinates are expecting to do in the round. This is an excellent tool for working out what your subordinates actually want to be doing. Starting here is a great way to get them to share what they are actually after. You may yet need to help them with some prompts or examples to get the creative ideas flowing. General TIPS: Try to think of ways to incorporate other departments into the tasks and goals of your subordinates, often creating opportunities for interaction between departments will be a great boon to yourself and the quality of the round in general. Making Better Decisions As a manager the final decision rests with you and the point of what I am about to discuss is not to strip you of that power. Communicate with your subordinates, make sure they are suggesting things to you. Being part of a role-playing game dialogue is the driving force. Yes you can make a decision in the vacuum of your own head, but it will never be as interesting as one with input from the people around you. The ideal process (shortcut it during time crunches). Give a super brief (one line ideally) summary of the situation. Extremely handy to make sure you know everything as somebody should jump in here if you missed something critical. Ask for ideas and options. Likely you will need to call on the people you think should be giving feedback by name, then if anyone else has an idea they can jump in. Combine what they said with what you intended to do anyhow. This combination will create unique and interesting sets of orders that will be far more engaging to the round than if you simply go with the basic set of orders over and over again. An alternative system that is good for more time sensitive situations: Quickly outline your plan to your subordinates. Request suggestions from your subordinates. This option has a few flaws as most players will not actually say anything once they think there is a solidified plan, but it can be helpful to ensure anything you overlooked is caught. Regardless of which approach you take attempt to take the feedback you have gathered and use it to expand your order. The best thing you can do is to use the yes-and approach to role-play, this will make the round far more engaging for everyone, and create interesting situations that you would never be able to think of on your own.