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Terror is an experienced game designer.

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It's been over a year and my desire to be in a game is strong.

I work with a great number of folks who feel the same way. One of them is supposed to be running a game, and has been in that state for a few months. On Friday he looked to me and said "I can't wait to play in YOUR campaign! When does it start?"

He's a great guy and that was his way of saying "I'm just too busy man, you want to pick up and run? Let's play!"

So now, I'm going to pick up and run! Huzzah! Joy! Right?


I'm a little terrified.


Because that guy, and other people in the office who are itching to play are published game designers. One of them had his first item hit print in the 1980's. Many of them have designed for multiple systems, as well as video games.

Yes, my terror is part of a charmed life. I've spent a lot of time at work feeling quite snazzy that I even work with such esteemed veterans of the paper industry. When I was growing up it was my dream to work for TSR, or FASA, or Steve Jackson Games. I don't, and it's not likely that I ever will... but there you go - I am working with folks who have and loving it.

Except for the fact that I have to figure out how to run a compelling campaign that wont get me laughed out of the room!

This is how you take a GM who's been at it for 30ish years and make him sweat.

I have done it once before, had a veteran designer and business owner at my table. It was pressure. Now it's like I'm the only person at the table who hasn't been in print... and *I'm the GM???*

Ah well, time to suck it up and learn the hard way. It's also time to fire this blog back up and get back to my roots. I'll leave notes here about what I make for them in a crunch environment, and how it goes. Right now I'm on a week of staycation... so I have time to do things!

Next week, I'll be back to a far more intense schedule, but I will make this happen. Wish me luck. It's been a long time since I've been this nervous about running a game.

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  1. Farcaster's Avatar
    It'll be fine. Just relax. I had the same jitters for similar reasons not too long ago, but once I actually sat behind the screen, the GM side of me took over and it flowed just fine.
  2. Grimwell's Avatar
    I figure I'll get drunk. That solves everything right?
  3. rpg_pro's Avatar
    Just because they are game designers, doesn't mean that they can GM their way out of a paper-bag, or that your campaign will be substandard. With 30+ years of gaming under your own belt, you've got more than enough experience to not only get by but I'm sure you'll provide an entertaining RP experience for them.
  4. templeorder's Avatar
    Whats to be nervous about!? You are in control! Seriously... i develop big campaigns and 6 months down the road the group dies, or people complain, and someone leaves or whatever... make a good arc and jot down multiple threads (i always used to note which maps or modules i would use before i built everything on my own) you can option the threads as you run through the campaign. Ask the players up front - is this more for fun and blowing off steam, or more for drama and story - tweak a little as you go, and just keep asking for feedback. Heck - build the last 15-20 minutes of every session into a feedback venue and then adjust between sessions as needed. Once you pick up steam it will keep going for a while. Communication is the key, and being creative with your story telling and getting what you want, while making sure the players get what they need.