Monday, 22 July 2013

Rules for Non-Asshole Gamesmasters

I had always assumed that a GM's job was to be a judicator and guide into a fantasy setting, in order to be a good one equal measurements of affability, fairness and welcoming attitude would be needed. As it turns out, after reading this post it seems there is a small minority (I hope) of GM's genuinely believe that there are situations that call for rude behaviour towards their players. 

I had thought that with the advent of modern role-playing games and their focus on co-operative storytelling, that the generally accepted notion of what makes a good GM had changed. It's no longer GM vs. Players but a co-operative experience, one that fosters fair play and good 'sportsmanship'. Moreover that the whole process of getting together with a group of people connected by a shared interest should be a fun, light hearted and generally positive experience for all.

Now don't get me wrong I appreciate that there are problem players out there, that people can be difficult and not everyone can and should get on with everyone else. Thats life, people can be awkward and sometime purposefully so. But should there ever be a reason whilst playing a game for pleasure that you are required to be and I quote 'an asshole'? I could understand drastic behaviour would be called for if a player became violent, or another type of inexcusable behaviour that required some sort of drastic action, but the above post is dealing with a lack of attention!

I tried counter the original poster with the notion that perhaps a calm and polite word after the game would have been a better, but several other GM's chimed in with support - with the asshole behaviour tactic!? 

Edit: Just to be clear, its not necessarily the passing over of the player I take umbrage with, I have in the past moved on when a player isn't ready for whatever reason. Its the manner and delivery of this advice that got me. Its not what you say, but how you say it so to speak.

Now I know this has probably devolved into some form of pseudo-rant and i'm definitely not trying go tit-for-tat with the original poster, but I just couldn't believe that actively being an asshole - to another person whilst playing a game was being prescribed as sage advice. It left me a little dumbfounded.

So if a player is displaying behaviours at your table that you or others find less than agreeable -  don't be an asshole - have a quiet word with them afterwards, be nice, you never know you may find that in the long run it breeds less resentment and doesn't damage your reputation as an awesome GM to play with.

To finish I thought i'd end with a quote that particularly suites the situation - Happy gaming all.

"Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and 

expecting the other person to die."
                                                      -Buddha