Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A-Z: Don'ts for GM

Yeah! In schedule.

Don'ts For GM - 5 GM's Shouldn't Do During Get Together Gaming Evening Based On My Personal Experience, As A GM


I love the headline... But let's get down the business. 10 don'ts GM's shouldn't do, but what I have done and know I should have done it better.

1. Forget food, snacks and drink. People get hungry. Also in game sessions if they are long enough. It's also unwritten custom to eat snacks for fun, and maybe to keep that bigger hunger off. And drinks, of course you need to keep your throat moist as a GM you usually talk alot.
What if you forgot them all? And there is no shop available nearby. Well, that sucks. You could promote yourself as gaming groups that evening's special charity subject to donate drinks and pizza slices, but usually that is not accepted. And I have to admit, not that comfortable.
But you could order pizza with lemonade, usually though, for some reason that is not possible (no money available, don't want to loan).
This is not fun situation. With good friends way more easier than with new or stranger gaming group.

But always remember your supply or money. Don't remember both.

2. What happened last time? Yes, for some unfortunate reason I have really bad memory. I do remember what game I Game Master. I do remember who the character's are (mostly), I know what I want from the campaign but I have no single idea, where game was left previously.
I nearly always have to verify before I start, that what happened. I could take notes (basically I do take them) and could try to clear out what happened myself.
But for my defense when I hear what's going on I get the grip back and game can start.

3. Music is for mood and atmosphere. But sometimes, I have to admit, that tune what I wanted Nosferatu night club or fight against Dark Overlord sound like, takes me with. I love music, and sometimes I cannot resist it, it hypnotizes me and makes me party!
I love using music in games, and will never stop (Youtube + MP3 library + occasionally CD's) using it, but I could pick up more carefully in advance what I do play. I am Game Mastering, not a DJ of a rave club.

4. You know how annoying it is when some player quits earlier than others? Yes, it is. Don't be the GM who ruins others fun by leaving. Luckily, I only did this as younger when I had school and some other bad excuses to leave before 3.00 am in Wednesday.
Anyways, there is a good part though. If GM leaves, rest of the player party can continue with another game and another GM from the group. And no one misses you. They just think that you are the campaign ruiner and party pooper for leaving early.
Funny thing. If player's leave earlier, or come later than the rest of the people, it can usually be fixed by for example putting that player character in automatic NPC mod, let other player play the necessarities etc. tricks. But if GM leaves, it's hard to... well... put game world in automatic NPC mode. And it could result horrible mass murders by vile players when you next time play, as your gaming group has destroyed your entire campaign setting for experience points...
So, GM, plan your time. You are needed there.

5. One major don't for me is that don't try to read 10 rpg books at the same time. Because it won't work out. It always results not a single book read.
Decide what book you will read. And read it. Then decide what book you will read after it. So simple. And what, rpg's got like 100-400 pages, I can read at least 10 pages a day (not much, I know, but I am busy) and propably more. So let's say, one rpg book per month? Even faster. Still, how many rpg books I have read fully from cover to cover in past 12 months? Let's see... Cover to cover? One. How many have I started or partly read? Dozens.
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