My GMing Prep Process

I just finished my first read through of Mage and Burning Wheel.  Something that I try to do before I even start planning a game is a solid read through of the core rules, with highlighter, pens, and notebook handy.  

Part of my weekly prep, once the game starts, is to try to re-read a chapter a week of the rulebook.  Not the fluffy parts, for at this point I have my story in my head and will reference fluff as the story planning dictates.  No, this is a crunch chapter read through.  I strive for RAW (rules as written) but hate having to stop a game mid-scene/round to look something up.  I feel that unless I have it bookmarked, the group loses tempo as everyone sits around waiting for a ruling.

So I tend to rule from the table, unless one of the players knows the correct ruling, and then over the next week, I will focus on that chapter for my re-read.  Then the next session I can have the correct answer, explain how the rules work, and from then on play RAW (or in extreme cases explain my house ruling).

This is not as easy as it once was, with the addition of a one year old to the family, but I find that one chapter a week is something I can make time for.

Thoughts?  How do you deal with mid-session rulings and rules prep for games?


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