I have heard of Play Unsafe by Graham Welmsley when it first came out, but I only got around to reading it in the last couple of days. I really wish I have read this earlier, since I think it would have improved my gaming no end. While the book is very short, it is packed to the brim with information, suggestions and ideas. In the book, Graham draws on some lessons from improv, about how to make the game more enjoyable for everyone at the table. The central ideas are one of trust, doing the obvious and taking risks.
A gaming group always needs trust around the table, and Playing Unsafe emphasises that fact. Trust enables the players to relax, and to go with the flow of ideas around the table. I have experienced a flowing game, where the whole table gets on the same wavelength, and we just push forward, riffing off each other. Every time that happened, I played with people I trusted.
Doing the Obvious
I found the idea of doing the obvious mindblowing. Something may seem completely obvious to you, but to the other players it will seem like a breath of fresh air. I have spent too much time and effort in the past trying to come up with an elaborate scheme, just to see it fall flat.
The idea of taking risks is linked with the idea of trust at the table. It means that you are free to do interesting things with your character, and to take the story in unexpected and different directions, while knowing that you will have the support of the rest of the table.
Overall, Play Unsafe is a book that I wish I had gotten when I started roleplaying, It is packed full of ideas and new ways of looking at things that would help in any game.
Play Unsafe is available from RPGNow.