Thursday, May 28, 2015

The "What Are You Good At?" GM Challenge

I challenge my fellow blogging Gamemaster to fess up, and tell us the five games you are great at running, three that you're not so hot with, five reasons why you consider yourself a good GM (or feel you are viewed as such by others), and three things you feel you need work on.
Okay, I'll bite.

"What genres, settings, or games in general do you GM best? Which ones do you think you totally rock?"

My Top Five

  • King Arthur Pendragon
  • Call of Cthulhu specifically, and...
  • Creepy/spooky games in general
  • "Historically-grounded" games (Deadlands would be an intersection between this category and the previous one)
  • 2e-era AD&D (both the system and the genre expectations that arose during that time)

Of those, I'd say right now my KAP skills are in their prime (although there's always room for improvement...).

"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."

My Bottom Three

  • "Old school" D&D of the sandbox/murder-hobo variety (I want to get better, but this isn't the style of D&D I grew up with and so it still feels a bit foreign to me)
  • GURPS (at this point, I would love to play in a GURPS game, but my days of trying to run it are behind me)
  • Superheroes (again, lack of familiarity with the genre; there's a lot here to love, but I'm not the best person to run it, unless it's TMNT...)
"What elements of Gamemastering do you do best? What aspects do you nail more often than not?"

My Top Five

  • Session pacing
  • Giving equal spotlight time
  • Table rulings
  • Improvisation
  • Stunt voices (Kermit the Frog, Sean Connery, Russian Guyovitch, etc.)
"Which elements are still a work in progress? Name some things that you don't do as well as you'd like."

My Bottom Three
  • Integrating table notes back into later adventure prep
  • Making most of my NPCs truly distinct from one another
  • Between-session mechanical bookkeeping (one of the main reasons I never got into d20!)
People who occupy the intersection of "readers of this blog" and "listeners of my actual-plays", please feel free to call bullshit on any of my self-assessments (good or bad). But I think that's a fairly honest look at things as they currently stand. And I'm pretty happy with that.
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