Best Quality in a GM


First Post
I think the most important trait is the ability to take the various actions of PCs and the ideas they bring to the table and run with them in a creative manner. Listening to the players, using their ideas, and giving them a lot of freedom is important, but it is just as important to take all of their ideas and actions and do something unique and interesting with them.

Of course, creating a campaign where the players feel free to take control of the campaign and are inspired to do creative things is an important skill for DMs, too.

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Doug McCrae


1) Altering your prepared material for a session in response to the unexpected things the players do, so you manage to retain the best parts.
2) Changing your campaign plan in response to player interests.


Good gas mileage and a big trunk. I've had my GM for about 12 years now and she's as good as the day we first got her. She's older now and a bit rusty, but she can still take me & my players on a good ride.

Awesome Oryan. :lol: Have you thought about Cash for Clunkers?


Sounds like me pretty regularly ;)

...The ability to maintain flowing conversations. NPC's know what they know (whatever that might be) and when a PC asks them questions and talks with them, there should not be a lot of "oh's" and "um's" - the NPC's reaction should not be halting or slow to react as I think it takes away from the suspension of disbelief (imho). Good, flowing dialog (to me) shows that NPC's have a life beyond what the PC's see day to day and this makes the world feel more real - players get more drawn in and their imaginations have an easier time of taking over. You can see this in the faces of your players (at least I can in mine) and it's great.

Now, there is a time and place for halting, jarring dialog if that is an aspect of said NPC for example - if they are slow, unintelligent maybe.

You touched on something here, Weem. I knew this guy who took acting lessons just so he could be a better role player and work on his spontaneous GMing and not doing "oh's" and "ums" was amazing. He did multiple voices, styles, etc.

This is a really good point, because I also sat on the end of a table of a guy who didn't do any role playing and just stated "you do this" or "you do that" and that was fairly boring.


First Post
I've seen some great answers, and many that would mirror my own.

But what about runner ups? Comfortable chairs, good snacks, and long attention span.


Preparation. It's got to be preparation.

I really don't mind a railroaded adventure ("Hey, you guys hear about this haunted keep full of monsters that come out and raid the local towns" - sign me up!), I definitely do mind an adventure that doesn't have anywhere to go. I played with this one GM who never prepared a damn thing in any of the adventures he ran - we'd spend ages on total minutiae, like descriptions of every single day of a two-week uneventful journey on foot. If it's stuff you wouldn't show in a movie, it's stuff that really shouldn't show up in your game. We'd do a whole four-hour session, and we'd ask each other, "What did we achieve in that session?". We couldn't think of a thing.

So yeah, I think before you do anything else - have an adventure planned. Have a few encounters ready, think of a task for the adventurers to do, think of some reward for successful completion of said task. That's basically all you need to be a decent GM. The rest will come in time, and is frankly gravy.


First Post
I agree with most of these (the prior replies).

Some qualities I would endorse, or add, are guile (I don't want to be able to predict things, I'd much rather be surprised), cleverness, craft, and originality (I don't want to be able to predict things), ruthlessness and harshness (I'd much rather the adventure be really, really tough and challenging, than easy, and I'd much rather barely survive a good fight than walk all over it with ease, walk-over fights are a waste of my time - I want my own survival skills and my ingenuity and resourcefulness to be truly tested, not just those of my character), and general inventiveness and creativity (I don't want to be able to predict things, I'd rather be dead than dead-bored with a mere rehash of the same old crap and the same old enemies and the same old situations).
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There are just too many hats a good GM needs to wear for me to pick just one, but in the spirit of the thread I'll say a GM that doesn't lose site of the fact that we're all playing for fun (the GM included).

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