*Saunters in and orders a large glass of something strong*
Seriously, I need a drink!
I have a question regarding dropping out of a group game. Let me first of all, present my argument:
This is a hobby. It's supposed to be fun, right? If it's not fun, if it has turned into a chore, then it's time to stop. I'm sure everyone would agree? So, if you start a one-on-one role-play with someone, and after a while you realise that, actually, you really aren't enjoying it, the sensible thing to do is to PM your partner and apologise, tell them you don't wish to carry on, and see what they say. Of course it pays to discuss it first because there may be something the two of you can do to save the story, but at the end of the day, no-one who is mature and reasonable objects if you say "I'm really sorry, I'm not enjoying this as much as I thought I would, can we do something else, please?"
Yes, I know there are some immature players out there who do throw a hissy-fit if you say that, but in all honesty, they deserve what they get...! And of course we all know that the most common way to drop a game is to simply stop posting in it... (Guilty of this myself, to my shame).
But this particular thread isn't about one-on-one games, it's more about group games.
So, the same rule applies, really, doesn't it? If you join a game and then either don't have the time, or find that you aren't enjoying it, or someone else joins whom you absolutely cannot stand (That hasn't happened yet, but there's always a first), the thing to do is to either PM the GM, or post in the OOC, to say that you will be dropping out, and why. Okay, so it's not as easy to do that in a group, especially when people say stuff like "Aww, we're sorry to see you go, we'll miss you"... But generally no-one objects, everyone understands, because we've all been there.
All that to say this (Yes, my actual question):
What if you are the GM?
Seriously: You start a game that seems like a great idea and you have some really good plans for it, but as can happen in group games, especially sandbox games, it goes off in a totally different direction. Suddenly it's no longer the game you set out to run, other players seem to have taken over and are making their own plots.
Don't get me wrong, please, there is nothing whatever wrong with that - in fact in a sandbox it is the way it is supposed to work! But if the poor old GM suddenly isn't enjoying the game anymore, why should they not be allowed to drop out, the same as any other player?
See, the thing is, if a player says "I'm dropping out", unless he/she is a player in a critical role - and in a sandbox there shouldn't be any critical roles - or is the last player, the game can actually carry on, and usually does, and the GM can often recruit more players. But if the GM says, "I'm dropping out", every other player in the game goes "Oh... oh well, it was nice while it lasted", and drops out too! No matter how much they were enjoying it up to that point!
Personally I don't think that's fair. What do others think?