View Full Version : Male and Female DM?

Cardboard Tube Knight
06-14-2009, 09:25 PM
Do you find that there is a difference between male and female DMs?

I've never actually had a female and only really had two DMs before I got here. But the question just kind of struck me a moment ago when I was reading something.

So do you think there's a difference.

06-14-2009, 09:56 PM
As a sweeping generalization, no. On the individual level, yes, just as even if one male in your group is GMing and a different male takes over the nature and feel of your campaign will undoubtedly change, so too will it change if a female takes over. The two female GMs I've ever had, one was more into roleplay and less into combat, so we spent more time without fighting than I'm used to, while the other female GM I've ever had also created some of the most challenging fights I've ever been a player in, tactically.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-15-2009, 12:01 AM
Never had one that i can recall, but we have had some evil female players that i would have loved see take the seat of the DM. In my experience, females can be just as dark, devious, and gritty as me when running campaigns such as WFRP.

06-15-2009, 12:07 AM
i find that there are some slight differences in general, but they are tendencies, not rules.

06-15-2009, 09:24 AM
Sadly, i have only had two female GM's in my time. I don't think they were any different than male. It's more a factor of personality, age, maturity, and world-experience. I'll chalk up any real differences to those, but one of the truly bad experiences i have had as a player was with a female GM. I've constantly sought after a different perspective in both play and GMing from the female gender. There is a difference in play styles, not content, but usually in character priorities. We have a new female gamer in our group now, and she does not have any interest in GMing... dang.

06-15-2009, 09:46 AM
I've experienced both and have to say other than style of play and which one is more pleasing to look at, there is no real difference. Then again I am a lucky DM who has a table of 4 female players and one male, so i guess i am spoiled. :hat: :dance:

06-15-2009, 09:56 AM
I've only ever had one female DM/GM run a game for me. Though I know of 4 in the circle of gaming friends. I just never had the opportunity or interest (genre based) to play with the others.

From my very limited experience, I'd say the world has more 'social' depth when a female is running things. While, as guys, we want to beat things up, get the gold, and save the chick. We really don't want to talk to the chick.

06-15-2009, 12:03 PM
Yes, in my experience Female GM tend to be less focused on the rules and more concerned if the players are having fun than their male counterparts who focus on the details of the rules and telling their great epic. Obviously this is a horrible stereotype as many people will fall on the other side. Just what I have found over the years YMMV

06-15-2009, 12:35 PM
Never had the pleasure of having a female GM. But for female players I've noticed a tendency for females to be more focused on character development, story lines and (dare I say it) relationships (yeesh), while guys generally just want to hack things up. I would think a female GM would be more focused on story lines and such as well.

However I hate to put a label on anyone and I am sure there are exceptions to be found. I personally would like to try out a female GM or two. Might make for an interesting change. On the other hand, according some of the comments above, I might be surprised to find there is very little difference.

06-15-2009, 02:18 PM
In my experience, female DMs are simply better, surprisingly enough.

Here are DMs that I've played with, and my short synopsis of each:

E (Female): Awesome DM who flies out to Gen Con every year to run games.

K (Female): New and somewhat adversarial DM who had trouble with "rule of yes", but otherwise ran a fun and interesting game.

S (Female): "Wacky". Game featured Hawaiian-themed dwarves, complete with flower-print shirts and lots of marijuana.

P (Male): "Phoned-in". Game didn't have a lot going on- felt railroaded into not doing much. When asked about it, said that he felt it unrealistic that we'd have a plot right away (!).

T (Male): Had trouble with the idea that the party should actually be involved in the plot. His game felt like the party was there to be spectators for the "awesome" plot he created.

P (Male): Very good DM from a rules perspective, but very plot-light. More of a wargamer than a roleplayer. Very stingy with treasure.

L (Male): Ran the game to impress his GF. She was practically a DMPC/mary sue by proxy.

L (Male): Based his game on Baldur's Gate. Ran an untouchable DMPC that we had no choice but to bring along. Worst DM I've ever played with. I didn't go back after the first session, and later regretted not walking out sooner.

D (Male): Decent DM from a rules perspective, but if his game had a plot (which he seemed to think it did), I couldn't discern what it was. Completely random game in which it didn't seem to matter what the PCs did.

R (Male): Ran a level-0 campaign in which we played escaped slaves, and didn't find a shred of treasure in the whole game. My character's high point was finding pants.

Me (Male): I guess you'd have to ask my players. I try asking them how my game is going from time to time, but I never get any constructive criticism- either the group is very happy with them game, or too polite to say otherwise.

In short, most of the typical DM mistakes I've seen have been done by male DMs. Female DMs seem more able to "get" that the game is for everyone to have fun with, not just the DM to have fun with and the players to tolerate.

06-15-2009, 02:20 PM
from what I have seen in the women who ran games I was in. I shared more of their views of play and campaign style then the guys who ran games. The guys were usually all about direct conflicts and tactics for direct confrontation so built games towards that. While the women I played under were more about sneaky plots, characterization, RP and conceptualization of a class and skills. Plus they used more sneaks and tricks and far less large combative style things with their enemies.

Which I like more so I have since molded and run games more like they do. I am not combat heavy usually, so for those that twink their characters out to be combat monsters usually do not have as much as those that build characters and personalities then try to make the game fit them.

06-15-2009, 02:46 PM
well ... i have only dealt with male DM's for now ... i can tell a difference from when i DM and when another guy in our group DM's ... two of the females in the group want to give it a try ... one of them i can see adding a bit more RP into it (my wife) ... the other one suffers from ADHD and MPD .. so it otta be an interesting campaign she comes up with ...

06-15-2009, 02:50 PM
I must admit that I've never had the opportunity to play in a female GM's game. Certainly I would if the opportunity ever arose...

06-15-2009, 08:53 PM
The only hard and fast difference?

Some DM's have boobies and some don't... and some shouldn't.

Other than that, it's totally up to the individual. I've been with great male DM's and crappy female DM's - and vice versa. It's all up to the individual.

06-17-2009, 06:15 PM
I've only had one female DM and the game didn't last long, so I can't really say. I've played under a few male DMs and my favorite had a good campaign that had a story to go with the combat. We didn't know everything that was going on, but we knew that our characters mattered.

06-19-2009, 10:05 AM
For me, gender doesn't really have any relavence to how the person DMs/GMs. Each person has their particular style of running a game, which I find makes it just that much more fun to play. This way you don't seem to be playing in the same game all the time.

06-19-2009, 12:13 PM
I haven't played a character when the female in my group DMed. She wasn't aware that I LOVE RPGs. Both her and I admit that 3 of the 6 of us really act like complete dicks and its the same three for the both of us. One likes to steal from everyone, one likes to nuke everything and the last player likes to have mcuh too much booze and his character suddenly become a raging homosexual. But the difference between her and I from what I heard is that she TPKed my group when they acted like asshats. My approach is to just tell them I'm done playing for the night. Both her and I like RPing and combat about 65% and 35% respectfully. The only other difference from what I hear is that I give the PCs more combat than she did, but I *think* they like the combat more, assuming its engaging rather than just hack'n'slash.

06-19-2009, 06:49 PM
In short, most of the typical DM mistakes I've seen have been done by male DMs. Female DMs seem more able to "get" that the game is for everyone to have fun with, not just the DM to have fun with and the players to tolerate.
There's been research done relating to this (wish I remembered which box has this source; stoopid packing), studying how groups of girls and groups of boys play. The boys tend towards play with defined rules, winners and losers, and take loss as just part of the game. Girls, while they do have rules, tend to bend or break them to include others; I think there's a bit about loss being more detrimental to girls' enjoyment, but my memory for detail's rather weak (the observation was more towards women entering the work force, having to play by men's rules; argh, I'll have to dig through the boxes now for the quote).

Remembering how my sisters and I played, and more recently observing my nieces playing, I think there's something here. My experience with groups of boys is not as extensive, but the tendency sounds about right. (Then again, most things gender-related are less than universal ;))

06-22-2009, 10:32 AM
What's a female???? :lol:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-22-2009, 10:36 AM
What's a female???? :lol:
I've never lost my fascination with them creatures. Mmmmm.

06-22-2009, 11:11 AM
What's a female???? :lol:

When a mommy loves a daddy very much... :biggrin:

Anyway, though there may have been studies done that suggest women rather play the character's personality and their out-of-combat skills, and that men rather play the in-combat skills, I have to say that I find that a gross simplification. The sole female in my group is very bloodthirsty both as a player and as a DM. I have 3 guys in my group that would rather play without combat whatsoever if that's possible to build a story around, and two that like an even mix. The study I'm sure took into account more than 6 people, but I think that gender has less to do with the person's player/DM style than say their overall personality... Some people like to be very curious/outgoing/adventurous/political and others like to be easygoing/quiet/observant.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-22-2009, 11:18 AM
Generally speaking, women are probably easier than guys when it comes to DM'ing, but the exceptions of the rule make us hard core dark and gritty gamers bow down in respect to their superiority . Oh damn, do i love the exceptions to the rule. Thoth always walks away at the end of each game, humbled.

Truth be told, and in my experience, women are just as capable as men, and some times perhaps more so, when it comes to running a killer game. I remember a game back in 1984 where one of our gamers was a girl. Well, one of our guys almost didnt play thinking it would be too easy. Well, long story short, he died 20 minutes in. He was angry, then she did something no one saw coming: she ripped him a new one, even going so far as to explain that if it wasnt for his idiocy, he might have lived. You could have heard a pin drop. Even he was shocked. Around 10 seconds later, probably waiting for his ego to re inflate, he turned to us and said, "oh, i like her. She's tough!" I believe they dated for quite a while after that. Boy did we have fun asking him if he should get her permission to come out and play with us.

Ah, good times.

06-23-2009, 06:54 PM
Sure, there's a difference - women and men aren't the same and it's going to impact how they run a game (they being either gender). Once you drill down to the individual level though, all bets are off.

I'm more concerned about the difference between a good and bad GM and doing my best to be a good GM, and to play with good GM's and avoid the bad at all costs.