Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 31 to 41 of 41
  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    1: Modifying the world to match players' expectations.

    If the players attempt to socialize out of their problems, make the campaign have more intrigue. If they search for a trap that wasn't there and they rolled high, then they find a trap anyway. Each player has their own expectation of what kind of game they want, and built characters to match. A good DM knows how to make those choices matter, and changes their vision to suit.
    I think this pretty well fits under the umbrella of adaptability, but I will make a specific objection- simply because you raised a specific circumstance-

    You can't conform too much to player wishes, because an important part of growth for any character is getting outside of their comfort zone. If you get into the habit of tailoring your game too much toward your players, you risk never meeting important narrative challenges for a character.
    Back in my day we used all of our spells before the fight, and it was just a matter of time before the DM realized his encounter was over.
    And we walked to our dungeons uphill through the snow, both ways.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    3) Attention to player incorporated detail. A competent GM can seize on major factors in player backstories and use them. A great GM can get exactly what sort of person any given NPC described by a player is and faithfully portray them. I think a lot of the friendless orphans from another dimension PCs are an overreaction to GMs mishandling their character's relationships, and so they decide to get rid of all of them in the future. A great GM can play these relationships well, and knows enough to know when he doesn't know enough to play them well and will ask questions until he's satisfied.
    Hi. As the self-reported paragon of this virtue, whose characters are always "not from around here", I would like to point out that this is in no way an overreaction. Oh, sure, *in theory* there exist GMs whom one could just *ask* not to incorporate one's backstory elements in their game, but I've encountered too many incompetent GMs who thought it would be OK "just this once" (it wasn't), God-complex GMs who believed that they couldn't possibly **** it up (they did), senile GMs who "just forgot", and insensitive GMs who couldn't care less about my preferences and included them anyway, for me to willingly make my fun dependant on the Mythic Rare "reasonable GM". So my characters are… "friendless orphans from another dimension" (), at least until session 0.

    It really would take a great GM to roleplay a character of my creation, or someone I know (which pretty well covers what my backstory characters consist of) to my satisfaction. If I ever met a GM who could roleplay out a complex scene involving several of my former PCs to my satisfaction, I'd consider letting him run my backstory characters in a game.

    Until then, my characters are friendless orphans from another dimension, with standing orders to Power Word Kill on sight anyone they know from backstory.

    But, yes, I think you've nailed the cause and effect of how I came to optimize my behavior to minimize the GM's ability to **** my enjoyment of the game.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Hi. As the self-reported paragon of this virtue, whose characters are always "not from around here", I would like to point out that this is in no way an overreaction. Oh, sure, *in theory* there exist GMs whom one could just *ask* not to incorporate one's backstory elements in their game, but I've encountered too many incompetent GMs who thought it would be OK "just this once" (it wasn't), God-complex GMs who believed that they couldn't possibly **** it up (they did), senile GMs who "just forgot", and insensitive GMs who couldn't care less about my preferences and included them anyway, for me to willingly make my fun dependant on the Mythic Rare "reasonable GM". So my characters are… "friendless orphans from another dimension" (), at least until session 0.

    It really would take a great GM to roleplay a character of my creation, or someone I know (which pretty well covers what my backstory characters consist of) to my satisfaction. If I ever met a GM who could roleplay out a complex scene involving several of my former PCs to my satisfaction, I'd consider letting him run my backstory characters in a game.

    Until then, my characters are friendless orphans from another dimension, with standing orders to Power Word Kill on sight anyone they know from backstory.

    But, yes, I think you've nailed the cause and effect of how I came to optimize my behavior to minimize the GM's ability to **** my enjoyment of the game.
    Honestly from everything you've posted I've just sort of come to think that you've developed your preferences based on a lot of interactions with bad to mediocre GMs. It's certainly a tricky talent to portray someone else's NPC to their satisfaction, which is why I put it on my list of things that makes for a great GM, but it's not unachievable either. And like I said, part of that skill comes with knowing enough to know that you don't know enough, and continuing to ask the player questions until you've filled that gap in your knowledge.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    It really would take a great GM to roleplay a character of my creation, or someone I know (which pretty well covers what my backstory characters consist of) to my satisfaction. If I ever met a GM who could roleplay out a complex scene involving several of my former PCs to my satisfaction, I'd consider letting him run my backstory characters in a game.
    This post has inspired me to add another trait to the list- managing player expectations.

    At a certain point you have to be flexible about story and characters. Limitin yourself because of some poor experiences and your excessively high bar is only denying yourself enjoyment.

    A Great DM can come into a game and help players understand what theyre gonna get out of a game, and that by necessity there will be different interpretations of elements.
    Back in my day we used all of our spells before the fight, and it was just a matter of time before the DM realized his encounter was over.
    And we walked to our dungeons uphill through the snow, both ways.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haldir View Post
    This post has inspired me to add another trait to the list- managing player expectations.

    At a certain point you have to be flexible about story and characters. Limitin yourself because of some poor experiences and your excessively high bar is only denying yourself enjoyment.

    A Great DM can come into a game and help players understand what theyre gonna get out of a game, and that by necessity there will be different interpretations of elements.
    Excessively? No. Abnormally? Sure. Inconveniently? Absolutely. But not excessively.

    Some people enjoy (insert long list of niche pleasure, some of which are illegal). I have decades of experience testing just how high that particular bar needs to be in order to not utterly ruin my experience. You don't get to tell me what I enjoy.

    -----

    That said, I'll run with your word "manage", and parallel sentiment of great GMs having social skills, in saying that a great GM is like a great manager. Sure, it doesn't have to be you, but *someone* needs to get the group to work together in the way that's best for the group, and that's not done through inflexible adherence to cookie-cutter imbecility, but through starting with understanding the group in the first place.

    Or, at least, that's what my experience with managers (and, to a lesser extent, GMs) tells me.

    EDIT: in case it came off the wrong way / wasn't clear, I actually rather strongly agree with the notion that a great GM should "manage" the players. I may have different opinions of what that means for optimal management, though.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-06-11 at 10:05 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm going to start with something most wouldn't expect of me: the ability and wisdom to say "no".

    There is a time to say "no". A great GM knows when that time is.

    I'll post more answers later.
    Agreed.

    Another good trait is to not fudge things when the players do something that unexpectedly, utterly wrecks or circumvents an encounter or obstacle you setup.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    I have found that an ability to manage real-world logistics, and how to handle "down time" is pretty useful. The best GMs I've seen have made sure that you could do your down-time stuff away from the table, and maintained a small reality off table as well. You might not be playing, but you can catch up on what the world looks like, dramatis personae, etc.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Between SEA and PDX.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by antiochcow View Post
    Agreed.

    Another good trait is to not fudge things when the players do something that unexpectedly, utterly wrecks or circumvents an encounter or obstacle you setup.
    Or basically, "Don't plan more than 1 session ahead". If you don't do that, then there's nothing to preserve. You're constantly adapting the plot and your game to what has recently happened, which ensures that your players' actions always stay relevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Mid-Rohan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Or basically, "Don't plan more than 1 session ahead". If you don't do that, then there's nothing to preserve. You're constantly adapting the plot and your game to what has recently happened, which ensures that your players' actions always stay relevant.
    Probably slightly better is to have a very general campaign destination to work towards, loose plans for 3 sessions, and only detailed plans for 1 session.

    This way you can avoid the sessions from becoming disjointed. They retain a better theme and consistency, which helps the players plan and know what to expect. As long as you keep long term plans loose and flexible, they won't make player actions irrelevant.

    Basically, Quantum Ogres should never change states in the active session, but it's fair for them to shift their position in the story if they aren't due for another session or two.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Some play RPG's like chess, some like charades.

    Everyone has their own jam.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    zinycor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    I believe it would be possibl to write a book on the things that could make a Gm great, but for the most part isAbout
    • 1 Knowing how to entertain your players
    • 2 Being good at communicating
    • 3 Interesting and consistent Worldbuilding
    • 4 Knowing when to use the rules, enforce them and disregard them.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2019-06-17 at 08:54 PM.
    Last son of the Lu-Ching dynasty

    thog is the champion, thog's friends! and thog keeps on fighting to the end!

    Thanks to zimmerwald for the amazing avatar

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: Research: What Makes a GM Great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Everyone kind of skipped the first and most important point: They run fun games.[/LIST]
    Thread closed!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •