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Author Topic: Ons and Offs for a GM  (Read 1217 times)

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Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Ons and Offs for a GM
« on: December 20, 2009, 06:23:08 pm »
When was the last time you were in a group roleplay and wondered if your Gm was enjoying the game as much as you were? Oftentimes as players we focus on having fun and leave the GM to organize the resulting chaos while suffering quietly. However, trip even a few of a GMs hidden 'off' buttons and instead of posting replies in character you'll find yourself scanning through the Group Wanted section.

Usually when I write here I approach things from the GMs perspective and brainstorm how to keep players involved. However, this leaves out the player perspective on keeping their GM doing his thing, namely GMing. For the time being I'm a player in more plots than I am a GM, so I figured it was a good time to turn the tables. What advice, as a GM, would I have for myself and others as players trying to keep their GM energized. If you care to comment below(I hearts comments <3), what advice do you, the experienced GM/player, have for players who want to keep their GM well fed and happy ;)?

In my experience, engaging the GM depends a lot on who your GM is and what kind of plot involvement they prefer. GMs can burn out on plots just like players so it pays to know your GM and what keeps them going.

So, as a player, the question is
How do you keep your GM as excited as you are?

Players are lucky here. The GM starts out being fully engaged with the plot since not many people would volunteer to GM a plot they were meh on (its too much work!). I'm going to throw out two kinds of GM roles, both of which I've been in, and how players either kept me excited or made me feel like I wanted to start a new group.

GM as Player
When I GM and I'm a player in the same plot its easy to keep me into things. Just rp like you would with another player and the GM will stay hooked.

GM as Observer
A GM who controls some NPCs and the plot but doesn't have a character is harder to keep happy. In my experience these

GMs have either a strong vision for the plot or just really like the group of players. If the GM likes you as the player then just keep letting him/her know you like what they're doing. I myself also love to brainstorm with players about ideas for the plot. It lets me know they like the plot and what to be more engaged. The downside is brainstorming can lead to too much preplanning. Probably why I avoid being an observer GM.

--My Offs as a GM
Players who say 'hope this post works.' This kind of line from a player tells me a few things, primarily that the player doesn't feel like they have ownership of the plot or they are very confused about something. They are saying they hope their post fits with my vision. I don't have a strong vision for the plot though, I want that vision to flow equally from players and myself. Unengaged players make me sad, and more importantly, make my thoughts drift to that other plot idea I've been toying with.

Players who say they plan to post tonight/tomorrow. Yes, I do enjoy knowing when a player will post. However, I prefer to know it based on past track record. Talk is cheap. There was also a study showing that saying you planned to do something made it less likely you actually would do it.

--My Ons as a GM

-Co-ownership of the plot-
When players make an addition to the plot or setting and it just sorta feels right. I know that seems a little vague but I love a player who isn't afraid to directly impact the plot or say that there is in fact a reasonable item like a lamp in a motel lobby. The only time I've seen this player trait go awry is when players tried to add too much at once or added something that helped their character but didn't really gel with any of the other characters. Think about the team and plot flow before you add something, that's all I ask.

-Power to the Players-
Sometimes it can seem like the GMs character has too much power because you as a player are depriving yourself. Look through your posts, are you adding something new to the plot, setting, or characters in every post? If not the GM might be supercharging their character and posts to make up for what they perceive to be players who don't take co-ownership of the plot and move things forward. If the GMs char does have too much power for no good reason he's probably a tool :)

Those are just a few of my GM O/Os. What are yours?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 07:00:07 pm by Enmuro »