View Full Version : Co-DMing Questions

2018-12-20, 08:21 PM
So me and a friend are doing this in a low level game. At first I hesitated to make a character as I hear it's bad form. But we work it out by having my character (he took the first section of mines of themselves) getting possessed of sorts by his, a fire djin sealed away for political reasons. So he has control while I DM and vice versa

But I was wondering. How does Co-Dming usually work for people?

2018-12-21, 04:23 AM
When I hear co-GMs, I'm thinking of multiple (usually two) GMs working together, with none having PCs in the game. Large/split groups or DM 'apprenticeships' can be reasons for that sort of arrangement. When you take turns GMing, I'd call it something else, like round-robin, though that could also mean just taking turns as GMs, each having their own campaign.
I think a round-robin way of GMing is more common than the co-GM version.

2018-12-21, 05:00 AM
One thing to be very careful of is not to step on each others toes. Try and keep seperation from each others stories, and do not mess with each others plotlines, NPC's, or quest rewards.

I played in a multi-GM game that died because we didn't follow this - some DM's just stopped respecting the events and ideas that previous DM's introduced and either ran roughshod over them, or straight retconned (sometimes in very heavy-handed ways) events and changed the personalities of NPC's on a whim, which led to bitterness and resentment on the parts of the DM's who were being seemingly disrespected, culminating in a rather heavy handed and petty TPK.

2018-12-21, 07:12 AM
I've co-DM a campaign, and it worked well, but it was not a "balanced co-DMing".

There was a main DM (not me), and I was mostly a Player without knowledge of the plot. I've only DMed one session. But between sessions we were both designing the game (homemade RPG, a little inspired by 4e, so a LOT of spells and special attacks to create) and creating the universe.

It worked quite well because:
1) As a Player, I was playing the mage, so knowing the whole universe was not a problem. And it was quite RP for the other players to ask me in-character question about other races, magic, diplomatic situation in the multiverse, ...
2) As co-DM, we didn't compete. Even when building the universe, we were either doing it in an evening discussion together, either contributing in very different way. (He was taking care of plot-related part, while I was taking care of lore-related parts).

Ken Murikumo
2018-12-21, 09:13 AM
The group i play with has 3 of us (myself included) that are capable of Dming. When i first started playing with the group, the game was "round robin"; our group uses that term for same campaign with a different DM for a period, but we still had one primary DM directing the overall story. We quickly learned that not everypne in the group had what it takes to Dm and it eventually came down to the 3 of us as DMs.

Since then we trade off different concurrent campaigns after a few weeks. 3 weeks of mine, 3 weeks of another DMs, and so on. We go longer if we need to get to a point where we can come back to it. We have also had a few other campaigns the are Round Robin (our version of the word) using a guild or league style structure with taking missions and contracts (I'll run 1 mission, then the next DM will run a mission within the same campaign, etc...). Of course we each have the power to veto the decision of another DM in these games (if it is especially bad or game ending).

As of now, I'm the primary DM and run my own Campaign for long periods of time (like 8 months-ish). The other 2 DMs have their own smaller games that we dabble with between chapters of my current game. This gives me time to refresh and prepare for the next chapter.

Darth Ultron
2018-12-21, 12:59 PM

Apprentice DM: This is simply where an experienced DM has a other DM they are teaching while playing. The wiser DM runs the game, while the apprentice DM helps..and basically does anything the experienced DM wants. Neither DM has a ''player character" in the game.

Helper DM This person is not there to ''play" the game as a character, they are there to help the DM. Often the DM will give the helper DM things to do like control monsters or NPCs. This works good for complex games where the main DM controls the main foes, and the helper DM controls the minions.