Friday, August 25, 2017

#RPGaDay: Day 25

We're in the home stretch, only one more week to go.

While this hasn't been as involved as my "30 Days of World Building" exercise from last October, this has been a fun daily task to undertake (even if I had to play catch up a couple times). If nothing else, it pads up the amount of content on the blog...

And now for a total self-serving answer!

What is the best way to thank your GM?

Oh, a question near and dear to my heart; probably because I GM a hell of a lot more than I play.

As a GM, I'm going to give you all some insight as to what I appreciate seeing or receiving when I run games.

  • Show Up to Play: Obviously there's the literal definition; if we schedule a game, I appreciate it if you actually show up to the session. But beyond that, show up ready to get into game and get into character. I love it when the story can inspire folks to really get into the feel of the game, and into the session. Immersion is a wonderful thing to achieve. Look, I know some times you just want to show up and roll dice, and that it's hard to completely disconnect from life some days, but as long as the effort is there I'll see it and appreciate your efforts to at least share in having a good time.
This also means helping to keep the game on-point. I get that we're playing with friends, and I'm as guilty of going on a tangent for the sake of a joke or a story, but the ability to bring it back to the game quickly can be a real savior.
  • Logistical Assistance: There's a lot of work and effort that goes into running games, or at least there's a lot that can go into running games. Some GMs are happy and content to sit down with a prepared module and adventure and simply run that. Other masochists, like myself, want to write a story from scratch, to weave in character backgrounds into the narrative. That takes time, but it also takes material to work with. I appreciate it when my players can create backstories I can work with, and that fit into the story.
I do a lot of my campaigns on Obsidian Portal, so everything is written into a wiki on the page. I reward my players who add to the game by writing up a summary of the adventure from their perspective. It helps me track what happened in which adventure, and what the story looks like from the player's perspectives. This is helpful because if the PCs missed something I intended them to see, I can take steps to correct it next session.
Finally, yes there's the monetary support. Obsidian Portal is cheap, coming to about $5 per month, but paired with Roll20 that means I'm effectively paying $15 per month to game. I'm on a fairly tight budget these days. Fortunately several of my players happily chip in so I have the tools necessary to run games. 

  • Thank you: This is a big one, appreciation for the work and effort I put into these games. Trying to herd a group of 6-12 PCs is sometimes like herding catnip-stoned feral cats. Writing and gathering the supplies to run the game isn't always easy. Transporting said supplies to a place where I can run a game for 6 people is sometimes a pain. Running the game means trying to juggle running the adventure, combat encounters, adjudicating die rolls creatively and in fun ways, and portraying a dozen unique characters (at least). Nothing makes me smile more than someone afterwards telling me they had a good time. Criticism of any sort is welcome; if something didn't work then I want to know for next time.
One of my favorite parts of GenCon was the fact that at every table, someone shook my hand afterwards and said they had a great time, that they thought I was a great GM, and/or that I made their convention. 
There are many ways to thank your GM, simple appreciation is perhaps the easiest one.

Oooo...tomorrow could be really tough. I'm going to have to think on it...

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