From the devious mind of Barking Alien comes the ‘What are you good at’ GM Challenge. It is pretty simple, five systems/genres you do well, three you do not, five GM skills you excel at and three that need improvement. For me:
“What genres, settings, or games in general do you GM best? Which ones do you think you totally rock?”
- Traditional (as in D&Desque) Fantasy, fantasy is a good standby and the central pillar of my gaming experience, by now I am pretty good at juggling the needs of it as a genre.
- Silver Age Superheroes, when heroes were heroes and villains had themes (“Not this day, Comet Master!“).
- Cyberpunk/Shadowrun, the dark future is a surprisingly fun place to play games.
- Legend of the Five Rings, the Empire of Rokugan has always proven to be a good place to run games. Everyone likes magical samurai, right?
- Action/Adventure, as a general rule, this is my strength.
Which games could you use to work on? That is, if your group wants to play one of these games, you yourself would probably recommend a different GM.
- Politics, I have real trouble tracking the vast number of NPCs and plots required for a really solid political game.
- Horror, never sure how to get player buy in for this.
- Comedy, while I have run games with lots of humor, a pure comedy game I suspect would collapse with me as a GM.
What elements of Gamemastering do you do best? What aspects do you nail more often than not?
- Flexibility, I can adapt quickly to whatever craziness the players throw at me.
- Making Players Awesome, I want everyone to be awesome! So, letting players and their be cool is what it is about.
- Imagination, I like to think that I present an exciting and interesting world.
- Action/Adventure (again!), presenting high action really does seem to be one of my strong suites.
- NPCs that help without getting in the way, this is a skill that took me sometime to learn as a GM but I think I have it down now.
Which elements are still a work in progress? Name some things that you don’t do as well as you’d like.
- Organization/Note-taking, not as careful or as complete as I should be on either of these (linked) GM duties.
- Politics/large number of required NPCs, as mentioned above, the organization and tracking needed for large scale politics and intrigue seem beyond me.
- Player Commitment, not as good as inspiring this as I would like, no one seems to be willing to do more than the minimum needed to play. Which can be understandable but to build a strong campaign some additional interaction and support is needed.
An interesting exercise and food for thought.