Saturday, March 23, 2013

On Being a Game Master: Getting it out of my head...

Tonight was essentially a disaster for me as GM.  Everything was off and very little went right.  I haven't felt like this in years.  

But I'm posting about it to get it out of my head.  


I won't lie, I think of myself as a pretty good Game Master.  I like action, I like letting the players take the spotlight, I like seeing them succeed.  I like all of us laughing and having fun.

But tonight wasn't good.

Last week's session was my first running Dragon Age for the Friday Group and it wasn't my strongest.  But I chalked it up to seeing a player off as he headed to Naval Basic Training.  And we had a huge number of people at the table.  But it was off.  I won't lie to myself about it this week, like I did this past week.

Tonight everything just flew apart.  I tried getting some of it back in line, but I simply succeeded in splitting the party up in four separate directions.

I've had two other spectacularly terrible sessions as a GM.

The first was at a small Con an old friend put on for all us.  I was still a student and had gotten in trouble with my parents and I shat forth a terrible session.  I was voted worst GM at the Con.  Worst.  G.  M.

You know I think I had actually blocked that?  I think I had buried that one very, very deep.

The second was stranger.  In many ways it was the night I found my voice as a GM.  I ran a high octane and slightly gonzo game of Mekton Z that I thought was awesome.  I had a blast.  I thought my players had a blast.  All of us were laughing.  But of the two players, one apparently hated it and when I arrived for the next week's session at his house, he informed me I wouldn't be continuing, that he hated my Mekton Z adventure more than what I'd run at the Con.  You know where I was literally the worst GM?  That one.

Both times hurt to hear.  This time does too.  But it's me who's saying I sucked, now.

I apologize for sounding like a smug prick, but it will get better.  I'll do better and my players will help me do better.

Now back to the party being split.  I'll figure it out.  Or the players will help me figure out.  It will get better and I'll still aim for great campaign.  I wanted to push myself with this game, after all.  But pushing yourself hurts.  I firmly believe this is merely growing pains.  I believe that because I'm pissed at myself and I'll fix this.
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