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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: The GM is a Player

    I like this whole discussion a lot. I like the discussion of the whole group, players and GM, working together to have fun.

    How about instead of "The GM is a player" (which is a wonderful meme) we go with something little less succinct and comfortable? Gaming is a relationship.

    In this model it doesn't matter if we think of the GM as a player or facilitator or whatever. The GM is a participant and has the same obligations and responsibilities as everyone else in the game. When you frame the game as a relationship it becomes obvious that people need to share the workload (some may do more in some areas but it should roughly even out). It becomes obvious that people need to discuss expectations and desires. It also becomes obvious that not every game is for everyone. Sometimes the game is simply not going to work for you and you need to figure that out and take the appropriate actions.


    Food for thought.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: The GM is a Player

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    The GM is a Player
    I usually take it a step further and say: The GM is a rule.

    Meaning, before we accept that there is a GM, there is no GM. Especially because there are RPGs that do not feature this rule at all, or have two GMs, or rotate the position. Even if there is a GM, what they are supposed to do can vary wildly between games. And new players need to be taught explicitely what a GM even is.

    So, in a game there might be a player who is called GM in a game. And therefore, of course, the GM is also a player.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: The GM is a Player

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    Discovery is not always important.
    Oh, absolutely! It happens to be my favorite aesthetic, my greatest source of fun in a game, but even i don't hold it as required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    But even if it was important and there was a vision, the place to discover is usually not the whole world. You could still share worldbuilding.

    One of my current groups is literally on a discovery voyage. A huge continent beyond the horizon and no player knows what is there. There was one former expedition but that didn't do much more than take water and some food and make repairs.
    At the same time the players got a lot of leeway and duties for worldbuilding in their homebase. Where they come from is important for who the players are, so why not let the players do it ? Requirement was that the PCs are rich/important enough to actually finance such an undertaking or have powerful sponsors, know each other and are somewhat competent and have things they are searching for in that new land. Politics, allies, rivals, religious affinities, all of that was also nice. It was also hinted that there would likely be other expeditions which may or may not become rivals later. If they end roughly in the same place.
    Queue my "not from around here" meme. I'm completely at home with building things outside the scope of the adventure, in order to preserve Discovery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    The first part of that quote does talk about sharing responsibitlities and because the workload of the GM is pretty big otherwise. Then it gives shared worldbuilding as one example how to do that in only one short sentence. Immediatly after that it again affirms that there other ways to distribute the work.
    Well, sure. But, if there was intended to be no overlap between the 4 sections, then I am confused as to what else can belong in this one.

    However, if you relax the restriction I inferred/inserted about no overlapping content between the 4 sections, then it's not such a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Gaming is a relationship.
    Well, I think I've long likened it to relationships, talking about "courting periods" and such, so I'm onboard. Thing is, not all relationships are as balanced and symmetrical as you describe.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-09-15 at 01:00 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: The GM is a Player

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Queue my "not from around here" meme. I'm completely at home with building things outside the scope of the adventure, in order to preserve Discovery
    Except this is a very special campaign while in nearly every other one the characters and players are expected to know the setting.

    And even here the players still share their homebase and thus know it. And it is still part of the gameworld and part of the game and the GM will use it and the NPCs the players created. Granted, most of them for the "Let's get this expedition started" part and for extremely rare but possible later interactions and the glorious? return. But still.

    It is very much not like your preferred "not from around here" playstile.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: The GM is a Player

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Well, I think I've long likened it to relationships, talking about "courting periods" and such, so I'm onboard. Thing is, not all relationships are as balanced and symmetrical as you describe.
    No relationship is exactly like another relationship and all healthy relationships share some general characteristics. But even if we argue that this is not the case what's important is that the analogy helps us to look at our games in a new light and that can bring about new realizations.

    While the GM may not be a player, precisely, they are a member of the relationship that is the game and there are certain things they need to do. There are certain things the players need to do. So that everyone has fun. And the best way to approach this, in my opinion, is for everyone to talk about what they want and what they can bring to the table. In this way, each game is unique and tailored to the needs/wants of the participants and there are fewer misconceptions about what everyone is trying to do.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: The GM is a Player

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    Except this is a very special campaign while in nearly every other one the characters and players are expected to know the setting.

    And even here the players still share their homebase and thus know it. And it is still part of the gameworld and part of the game and the GM will use it and the NPCs the players created. Granted, most of them for the "Let's get this expedition started" part and for extremely rare but possible later interactions and the glorious? return. But still.

    It is very much not like your preferred "not from around here" playstile.
    Hmmm… well, "the GM using it" certainly differs from both my style and what I perceived you to be saying about "the adventure *isn't* taking place in your homeland".

    But the players all collaborating at the high level, and all knowing about the Homeland, would work fine with my "not from around here" style, because the players aren't trying to play my sister, my uncle Jeff, etc.

    Really, it's just people bungling the foundations of the character I worked so hard to create that annoys me. Not the high-level access. So, I suppose, the GM declaring that the Homeland has declared a new holiday isn't actually in opposition to my "not from around here" style.

    And the positive part - the "exploring a new 'world'/zone, separate from the Homeland", is decidedly an integral part of both what you described, and my "not from around here" style.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    No relationship is exactly like another relationship and all healthy relationships share some general characteristics. But even if we argue that this is not the case what's important is that the analogy helps us to look at our games in a new light and that can bring about new realizations.

    While the GM may not be a player, precisely, they are a member of the relationship that is the game and there are certain things they need to do. There are certain things the players need to do. So that everyone has fun. And the best way to approach this, in my opinion, is for everyone to talk about what they want and what they can bring to the table. In this way, each game is unique and tailored to the needs/wants of the participants and there are fewer misconceptions about what everyone is trying to do.
    You certainly don't have to try to sell me on the importance of communication, either.

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