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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Ask a GM [07/07/08]: Motivation to be a GM

  1. #61
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    I wanted to keep my friends together so I decided to run a campaign. We picked up another player a few sessions later then our last player about 6 months ago or so.

    I actually like making characters with full background stories and such but the group I am running is more interested in combat. Plus my time is sort of limited so I can't delve into the character as much. I would like to return to being a player and we have worked out a rotating GM with other players.

  2. #62
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    1. I'm a storyteller. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I write what the players do...

    2. NPC's are extentions of the self as any PC is. And I get to run them all! (Muahahaha!)
    Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.
    - Edward Everett

  3. #63
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    1) Since the first RPG I ever played, was when I GMed Call of Cthulhu, I must say I fell into the role naturally. I like setting the scene and building the world, then seeing what players do with that.

    2) Rarely. I've got multiple groups, in one of which I am simply a player.

  4. #64
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    1) Initially my role as GM was decided for me because none of the other players wanted the job. I quickly came to realize that being a GM gave me a greater outlet for my imagination/creativity than being a player ever could.

    2) Occasionally I enjoy being a player in the right game and with the right GM, but I wouldn't say that I miss playing a PC. As a GM I get to detail and roleplay entire worlds full of characters, while players are usually limited to just one each.

  5. #65
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    Motivation to be a GM has come from within. It is a greater outlet for ones imagination and creativity as Redcrow said. But no one can ever say being a GM is an "easy" job. You need to balance your ideas with what your players want to see in the game, be up on the rules of the system better than any of your players, and be ready to defend why you did something. Being a good GM is very satisfying. When everyone is enjoying the game, that is your greatest motivation.

  6. #66
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    My first playing experience was in 1979. I loved the game. I loved the friends I made through gaming.

    Being a DM was thrust upon me in the late 80's. Never a GM! Take that PC touchy feely stuff elesewhere! No matter the game or the system, I am DM.

    I grew to love the creation. When others liked what I created, I was hooked.

    I still try to play when I can. It helps recharge the batteries, but I will never stop DMing...

    Motivation... what do I look like? Some actor?!? I play roles because I need to, just as I wear many different hats in real life. Now lets get to the good stuff! Roll for initiative!
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


  7. #67
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    1: I got into DMing shortly after I started playing. I had come up with what I thought would be a fun setting to play in and found some interesting monsters in the MM to use. So i pieced together a few ideas, watched some movies and decided that I had a compelling setting. I will say that the first time I ran a game I felt a little worried that I didn't have enough prepared. The most exciting thing is being able to come up with something on the fly.

    2: I do miss playing. Even though I now play in a regular group, I miss being a PC with the people that I usually GM. Although I will say that being a GM has more rewards. You usually don't get too upset at bad dice rolls because we get so many more, and you get the chance to make your story a reality. I will say that every GM is a storyteller by nature. If you don't like making stories and telling them to people, then you wouldn't enjoy this role. We all have that creative urge and being a PC doesn't just doesn't satisfy it completely.

  8. #68
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    1) Initially I started GMing because no one else wanted to do it. We had a group ready to play regularly, but everyone was timid about being the GM. All the writing and design a campaign needed looked like a lot of work. Since the fun of the game would be based on how well the GM did his job, no one wanted to be responsible for ruining the game. I've since learned that a lot of that perception is wrong.

    Writing a campaign can be a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be. There are so many module available for use that stringing a series of them together takes care of the bulk of your work. There is so much material out there that you can use or borrow from that you probably only need to spend an hour a week doing your preparation, and most of that time will be digging through your boxes and bins full of miniatures finding the ones you'll need to use. Even when you are doing all of the work yourself there are so many shortcuts you can take to cut down the amount of work you need to do.

    Making the game fun is not the GM's job, in fact the GM only has marginal control over that. The players have far more control over the fun than the GM. If the GM you write a truly atrocious story or make encounters that don't make sense or are way off the mark in difficulty, then yes you might strip the fun away. However, those ought to be fairly easy to avoid. Once you've set the scene its up to the players to make things happen. Think of it like a novel or a movie: you can have all the scenery and effects imaginable, but if the main characters don't do anything its going to be pretty boring. The players are those main characters, so they have to do the interesting stuff that the world presented by the GM allows.

    2) There are times I'd like to get out from behind the screen and play a PC. Oddly enough once I do that it doesn't last long and I mess being a GM again. I think its some sort of attention deficit thing. I'll get a cool character concept and really want to play it, then after a few sessions I'll get some new character idea and want to change. Except in a campaign it doesn't typically make sense to change characters that often. I don't get bored with the first character, I just keep thinking abut the new idea and how cool he'd be in this situation.

    As a GM I don't have that problem. When the new idea shows up, the players get a new villain to work against. He might not necessarily become the Big Bad Guy they need to destroy, but whoever that Big Bad Guy is has a whole lot of close advisors and high ranking leaders that can step in to harass the players.

  9. #69
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    1. Why GM?
    In a way, like others, I became a GM because there was no one else, but it was just me and one friend, so we both have that same answer - we both took turns being DM for redbox D&D, so we both got to play, so it was more a mutual investment/responsibility agreement than the typical "FINE, I guess *I* will do it!" thing, though I have to say the description of being a DM or GM never seemed daunting; it sounded quite fun, and has proven to be so, though I lack confidence (less so now than I used to). I GM partly for myself to develop that confidence, deal with others, increase my own performance ability, dealing with people, storytelling and interaction, conflict resolution, management, etc., as I'm not a social person, so I feel it is a good outlet.


    2. Do you miss being a PC?
    Like others, I get the idea I'd like to play now and then, but also like others, once I've gotten a few sessions or weeks or so to "get it out of my system", I'm good for quite a while, or I can just run such a character as a GMPC to some extent, and not feel much less satisfied. One thing I haven't seen anyone else say really is that I feel like, though I haven't done it much, I'm a better, or at least I feel it is easier, at least the way I do it, to GM, than to play a character - a USEFUL, significant character. I'm not all that good at figuring out sophisticated schemes or plans or riddles or solving problems or deducing things from clues, nor roleplaying interactions with NPCs or other players, to accomplish a goal; I love the old 80s show like Simon & Simon where the guys would dress up like exterminators and fast talk people into letting them into an office so they could rifle through paperwork to find clues, but when it comes to a plan like that, I at one both think, "That's silly and would never work" and "I can't possibly be the person to try to be the one to talk to the NPC to get us in". Without that, I'm not much else, and I don't always make super fighter types or useful other types, so I've found being behind the adventure book, believe it or not, is, in some ways, less responsibility, overall.
    Abstruse Decapod

    "It's apparently a lesbian romance about the world ending due to bears. I've been meaning to run it by Utgardloki." -Anon

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