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Author Topic: Best and worst examples of a GM  (Read 1348 times)

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Offline MysticMoon

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Best and worst examples of a GM
« on: July 15, 2011, 01:08:58 PM »
In the tradition of What's the worst player and the best player you ever had at your table?:

The Worst

Michael's biggest flaw was his enjoyment in pitting players against each other. He would secretly hire one player to take out another or put the players in situations where the best way out was to turn on whoever was his least favorite at the time. I only played a few sessions before I dropped out. At one point one of the players got so pissed that he chucked a d20 hard enough to go through the GM screen without knocking it over (barely missing the GM, although I think we were all disappointed about that.)

The Best

Dwayne was incredibly creative and presented memorable NPC's like nobody's business. He was good at providing game balance while focusing on the story over the rules. He was probably the second GM I had and ran a 1st Ed AD&D game (up till 2nd Ed came out) with a richly detailed world. The history had a werewolf messiah. We ran into a particularly nasty bunch of weres with silver rings, necklaces, and teeth. That campaign was epic.

I discovered later (after I'd read the books) that much of what he did was inspired by the first 6 Dragon Lance books. Even so, he made it his own and I learned more about GMing from him than from any other.

What about you?

What were your best and worst examples? (and as in the other thread: no real names, please)
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Offline Silveressa

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Re: Best and worst examples of a GM
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 01:38:35 PM »
The Worst:

Lets call him Mr. Module mc'Railroad.  Mr. module learned how to GM from some very rigid and dry rule book somewhere, and seemed incapable of running an adventure that wasn't already written already.

Worse then that, his presentation was dry, with action and interaction (what little there was) delivered in the same dry monotone a crusty old history professor would use on his lecture to the class some lazy afternoon. (When not gaming he had plenty of personality, it just all bled away when he set down to game, as if he was transmogrified into a golem by the dice.  :?

Even the combat was dull, a harrowing encounter with bandits (magical lightning bolts to disemboweling axe cleaves) described as calmly and serenely as the market place spices, or the evening meal at the inn.

The real frustration was whenever one of us tried to do something outside the narrow confines of the module we were instantly told "that's not in the script, do something different."

It got to the point during his games even the flies in the windows would cease buzzing, and be lulled into a stupor by his droning, never varying voice, like the dull hum of a fan on a hot summer day.

After about 6 sessions of this I stopped showing up, not so much because I was bored to tears, (although that did factor into it) but more because I had trouble staying awake on the hour drive home after playing in one of his adventures.  :down:

The Best:

The best ever I'd have to say is Murometz, and his Hard Way campaign. (Yea I know pretend names for this, but I'm pretty sure Murometz isn't his real name  :P) From the cinematic quality of detail in the NPC cut scenes to the presentation of the entire story line, the game reads more like a best selling novel then a mere rpg.

It's a rare Gm that can keep a campaign moving at such a smooth pace with a solid blend of interaction, intrigue and action, while creating NPC's that have instant appeal, and seem to perfectly fit their roles without apparent effort.  :up:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 01:43:35 PM by Silveressa »
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Best and worst examples of a GM
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 03:43:04 PM »
The Worst

Peter: I had only the dubious pleasure of playing tabletop Warhammer against him (he'd check the rules for the most unlogical loopholes, take it to the extreme; he'd cheat and argue until he got his way), but there he was, small, lanky, mean as they come.
Once, a player brought his wife to the table for the first time, telling her what great fun his hobby was. Who'd have guessed, the wife's PC got captured, and the GM took her into the other room, describing her how her character was raped.
In tears, she came to her hubby: "We're leaving - now." I can but guess how long the poor guy had to sleep on the couch.

The Best

Another Peter: we played Prime-Time Adventures, and his ingenious, creative and subtle approach brought us through session after session of cinematics, one-liners, twists of fate and hillarious player interaction, fuelling the plot and never standing in the way of fun. He's a game designer today, btw.
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Offline Silveressa

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Re: Best and worst examples of a GM
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 03:50:03 PM »
The WorstWho'd have guessed, the wife's PC got captured, and the GM took her into the other room, describing her how her character was raped.

 :shock: Wow, he's lucky the husband wasn't the type to drag the guy into a different room and beat some mannerisms into him.

It's stuff like that which gives rping a bad name, hopefully the little weasel learned his lesson somewhere along the way.
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