That's a really good set of GMing advice, alextaylor. Can you tell me which AW hack it's from?
I'd like to offer, though, that some of the posts in this thread seem to be more about good GMing advice than they are about things that Lord Drake might want in a prospective "Oath of the Drake" for GMs. My understanding from his original post here is that he's looking for something parallel to the player oath, as shown here:http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=54576.0
There are a lot of different GM styles and lots of them can be fun, whether you're playing as an impartial and neutral referee, or an active antagonist (Hmm. Need to run a Paranoia game on here sometime.), or a co-writer, or what have you. Railroading, illusionism, fudging die rolls -- all of these could be acceptable in some groups but not others. If you're looking for an Oath that covers everything, it seems to me that you want to focus on the practical real-world stuff and the social interaction stuff, but not so much the in-game stuff.
Thufir's Rule Zero certainly fits the bill, I think. Don't be a dick. In fact, in much nicer language, that seems to me to be the root of Drake's original Oath.
So without the nice language, I'd propose the following for a GM Oath:
- Don't be a dick.
- Keep the game moving at the pace you'd advertised at the start.
- Don't play favorites.
- Be clear about what the rules are, especially house rules, and communicate in advance if they change.
- If you have a problem with a player, handle it privately and OOC, not publicly and in-game.
- Listen and respond to the players' concerns.
- Don't bitch about one player to the other players, even privately.
- If you're not having fun, either close the game or work with the players to change it so that you're having fun again. Don't run the game out of a sense of responsibility.