What makes a Good GM

This is the toughest part to write when talking about the three groups of individuals I need for Heroic Tourney.  In part because I am not certain I am a good GM.  I also think that over the years I have an instinct, not necessarily conscious thought, on what makes a Gm appear to be a good GM for me.   So breaking that down is a bit more challenging than I thought.

On the other hand I have spent decades across the table from Gm’s watching almost their every move and spent plenty of time discussing with others as a Gm and a player what makes a Gm Good as well as read plenty on the subject.  So here goes….

A good Gm is first and foremost a thinker. As an example they are willing to get up in the middle of the night to write a note or two when the muse whispers them because that is when the muse strikes.  Many know the times when they want to sleep but then the wheels start turning and you know you have to write it down or it will be lost forever.

Flexible but not too flexible.  I think my Gm might like to play Pathfinder but for me it doesn’t seem to work.  So we have come up with some compromises and we have a ton of Fun.  Make sure to ask me About Bron Oliphant sometime!

A Shared vision and the ability to share the vision well.  For example one campaign was described as “LOTR +100 years”  It was quite enjoyable.   As was Vegas Vampires Part 3.  For most of our games I think

Giving everyone time in the spotlight: A good gm can make someone else’s story feel intimate to everyone at the table and answer all the needful questions especially during a time passes.

Let the bad guys get shafted.  look a character over hundreds of sessions spends a lot of time risking being

Good Gming is also far and away more than letting the players paranoid conjecture write 80% of the campaign.   Because you have to winnow out the good from the bad parts of their conjecture. I know because I tried that from ’09 to ’11 and it wasn’t enough to keep a sustained campaign going.

Specifically this campaign going. Here is my first Gm notes…

Echo is a cyborg with a LOT of guns and evil detecting glasses. I don’t remember how he was attracted to the area…. Mr. Zero is a doctor with Shape shifting abilities he has dealt with William and others including Shimigami who was given info from his mentor that there was something spiritually going on with the area around Sloan’s Lake in Wheat ridge.  Lilly/ Archaeopteryx is a shape shifter that has multiple forms of an Archaeopteryx, mouse & trout.   William Falcon is an empath who was driven away by a small band of children who were trying to separate him from his friends he then was burned by a flaming Gorilla.  Neighbors spotted the kid dropping like a fly and called 911 the ambulance went to the St. Anthony’s hospital (four blocks away).  The players discover him and ask questions.  Teaming up they go back and discover that the Gorilla has a path and seems to be increasing in ferocity/manifestation….

Yes I have run campaigns (HERO System naturally)  I also tried to work a V&V as Fantasy old school but that was riddled with complications.  It had some interesting concepts but it was (and would have been ) challenging.

And I think my talents and skills as a GM (and player even)aren’t up to the snuff I NEED for the show. I may find myself wanting, but I think I can find the stuff I want and that can be just as good.

But what if you think you have the goods?  Contact me!  I want more Gm’s (and Judges and Players)

Photo credits for the picture of Scott Field as Gm go to  Wendy Reischel.









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