All manner of scifi/fantasy/nerdness: Roleplaying, comic books, .... okay, so mainly just RPGs & comic books. And Dr. Who. And Firefly. And comic books. And role-playing games. And Community. And Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And comic books. And RPGs. And Avengers. And RPGS. And whatever else amuses me today...
Now we’re just adding in some happy little kobolds there. Just a few kobolds. Maybe add a few traps too. Yeah. Just a nice little pit trap. I think we’ll throw in a spear trap or two. Yeah, that’s good. Don’t worry about planning out the whole dungeon, just a few happy little rooms. Just a little bit of treasure there. This whole complex is shaping up nicely. Now in your dungeon, you just add anything you want. Maybe some more dungeon dressing just to bring those stone walls to life.
They’re all like
but I’m over here all
So my girlfriend and I are coDMing a Pathfinder campaign and it’s like 1 AM and one of our players wants an umbral dragon and in her exhausted stupor she equates it to a kid asking their parents to something:"daddy can i have a dragon?""no son"…."mum, can I have a dragon?""what did daddy say?"….no…""well then it’s a no"lol"but muuuuuuuuuummmm"this is most accurate
Watching your 20something stubbly male DM act as a sultry female brothel owner is kind of disturbing ??
I’m sure folks feel strongly one way or the other, but for me, that’s 90% of the reason I have a GM screen. Dice rolling does not lead to dramatic tension. I do expect the players to be completely honest in their rolls, and that’s because they all need to be on the same level playing field.
But the GM is not and should not be on the same plane as the PCs. Now, I won’t fudge a roll in order to kill a player or something like that. And I don’t fudge crit fails or nat 20s. I use those as opportunities to remove the screen and show the players. “See? The dice made this happen, this isn’t me.”
But as far as altering rolls in the midst of a fight to keep it from being either too easy or too hard for the players? Absolutely.
I agree with all of this so much. It’s nice to know other DM’s run their campaigns focused on story more than the mechanics of rules. Sometimes I feel like I’m not as good of a DM because I’m not rule orientated(Even though most players seem to prefer my game to the other’s that are running, I still sometimes worry about it). This whole post makes me feel better about myself as A DM.
Trimming down the rest because this is an important topic that needs to be addressed.
If you’re a GM, that means you have agreed to spend your personal time evaluating, analyzing, assessing, and preparing for a game so that other folks can just walk in and have a good time.
To varying degrees, we all do world-building. We all do plotting. We attempt to promote character building, even and especially when those characters are controlled by other people who usually don’t want to change or grow their original character concept.
We read books. We buy more books and read those.
We research traps.
We study the rules. We try to tweak them.
We probably spend more money than we should on minis. Minis that more than likely will be used by other people.
We lay awake at night wondering if we’re doing too much combat.
We lay awake at night wondering if we’re not doing enough combat.
We don’t get quest rewards. We don’t XP rewards. We don’t get magical items to make our job easier.
On a good night, the characters and creatures we spent hours creating and making feel real and lifelike, get killed in less than half the time we invested to create them.
We talk in silly voices. We make bad drawings that our players laugh at, and we aren’t sure if we’re more annoyed at the ones who couldn’t have done a better job or the ones we know can.
In short we work, so that others can have fun. That’s not to say our job can’t be fun. I love plot twists and unexpected traps and the look of shock and horror on a player’s face, or the relief and excitement when it all comes together. But even when our job is fun, it’s still our job. We work so that our players don’t have to.
As a result, there’s no such thing as a bad GM. There are, of course, bad people: people who are grossly sexist or racist or argumentative or megalomaniacal or selfish. And when somebody who is a bad person is a GM, it ruins the game. If you have a bad person as a GM, I’m sorry.
But if you aren’t a bad person, then you are an awesome GM, because you spend your time trying to make sure other people get to have fun. And that makes you awesome.
I get a lot of stuff about running RPG sessions, but I will likely always be awful at coming up with names for characters.
My inability to come up with good names is longstanding and legendary.