GMs are an endangered species!

DMMike

Game Masticator
The situation is dire, friends. The world is running out of GMs, and we might never get them back. Just look at the cute, little things, in their natural habitat:
dungeonmasterccartoon.jpg

Let's look at the causes, so that we can begin to form a solution:

- Not enough Dungeon Master's Guides. Lots of games put all of the rules in one book, giving players easy access to the GM's secrets.
- Rules-light games. If there are few-to-no rules, for what do you need a rules referee? Such games also facilitate low-prep, which could also mean low-need-for-a-GM.
- Narrative moves. These let players control the story, not just their characters. Formerly a GM's job.
- Fate points. These allow PCs to say, "sorry GM. We're gonna change that," thus diminishing GM authority. See also: GM Intrusions.
- Random generators. Players can create their own unexpected content with these. (Here's looking at you, OGRE!)
- Virtual Tabletops. Who needs a GM to describe a scene, when a VTT lays everything out in PICTURES!? And sometimes animated fog-of-war...
- Gloomhaven, an RPBG (...board game), is GM-less and the second printing has about $4 million in Kickstarter pledges.

Two questions:

- Would you like to see a hard line between the GM role and the PC role?
- If not, where do you draw the line?
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
The situation is dire, friends. The world is running out of GMs, and we might never get them back. Let's look at the causes, so that we can begin to form a solution:
That's not true.

The real situation is that there are plenty of DMs, but that good DMs are non-existent.


And I know that has to be true, because I keep reading it here.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
You too can help the endangered species. Just for pennies a day your can help restore the species. Send $99.99 to Jasper add redacted redacted. That is just 27 cents a day.
Oh who are we kidding just send DMMike 1 issue of prophylactics, 3 lipsticks, 3 pair of nylon stockings, Mickey can pay his own way to vegas.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Every single hour in this world, a DM is terribly annoyed by player behavior. Three thousand DMs were rescued last year from tables with rules lawyers. For hundreds of others, the help came too late ... and they died from excessive eye rolling.

Hi, I’m Sarah McLachlan, will you be an angel for a helpless Dungeon Master?

Every day, innocent DMs are abused by players with bags of rats, beaten with optimized dex-builds, and neglected when pizza is ordered, and they’re crying out for help. And beer.

Please, call the number on your screen, and join the SPDM with a monthly gift right now.

For just sixty dollars a month, less than a latte a day, you’ll help rescue Dungeon Masters from their tables, and provide psychological care, dice, books and love.

Call or join online in the next thirty minutes and you’ll receive this welcome kit with the photo of a Dungeon Master in a shelter at a convention right now. One has been given a second chance. Thanks to you. Right now

There’s a Dungeon Master who needs you. Your call says ‘I’m here to help. And I don't care how you adjudicate hiding and stealth.’

Please call right now.
 
The situation is dire, friends. The world is running out of GMs, and we might never get them back. Let's look at the causes, so that we can begin to form a solution:

- Not enough Dungeon Master's Guides. Lots of games put all of the rules in one book, giving players easy access to the GM's secrets.
Meh, encourages players to become GMs. Part of the natural player-GM-burnout-player life-cycle, really.
- Rules-light games. If there are few-to-no rules, for what do you need a rules referee?
Seriously? Filling in all the holes those rules leave open.


Seriously, (I know, hardly the thread for it, /and/ out of character for me) GM - and, especially, DM - scarcity is self-correcting. The harder the game is to GM, the scarcer GMs become, the greater the 'reward' for DMing. The easier a game is to run, the more players can hop into the GM role when there aren't enough to go around. The system will tend towards equilibrium, even if the dynamic seems to favor one or the other.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Maybe we can get Matt Mercer, Jeremy Crawford, Holly Conrad, Satine Phoenix, Chris Perkins, and a bunch of other famous DMs to do a rendition of "We are the World" as a fundraiser?
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
As satire, this is pretty funny.

If serious, this is really sad.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
You too can help the endangered species. Just for pennies a day your can help restore the species. Send $99.99 to Jasper add redacted redacted. That is just 27 cents a day.
Oh who are we kidding just send DMMike 1 issue of prophylactics, 3 lipsticks, 3 pair of nylon stockings, Mickey can pay his own way to vegas.
You forgot heels. I could work some wonders with heels.
[MENTION=177]Umbran[/MENTION]: ask, and ye shall receive:
good DMs are non-existent.
Spencer Crittenden: not seen since 2017. Wil Wheaton: no Titansgrave since 2015.

Looks like everyone's in a bad mood today. I could have called the thread RPG Trends That Undermine the Traditional GM Role, but isn't that a little boring?

Seriously, (I know, hardly the thread for it, /and/ out of character for me) GM - and, especially, DM - scarcity is self-correcting. The harder the game is to GM, the scarcer GMs become, the greater the 'reward' for DMing. The easier a game is to run, the more players can hop into the GM role when there aren't enough to go around. The system will tend towards equilibrium, even if the dynamic seems to favor one or the other.
This actually is the thread for it. Although I'm not sure I buy it; if a game is hard to GM, doesn't that mean that people just choose a different game to play?
 

Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
All the other GMs asked me to let you know that they're not gone. They're just busy running games. And they stopped inviting you because your ideas are a little unsettling.

"Scary" is what I think they actually said. Not me. :)
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
These days, maybe? In the old days, I know a lot of us just muddled through it, oftentimes ignoring a bunch of the rules until the game became at least somewhat playable.

This actually is the thread for it. Although I'm not sure I buy it; if a game is hard to GM, doesn't that mean that people just choose a different game to play?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Spencer Crittenden: not seen since 2017.
Who?

Wil Wheaton: no Titansgrave since 2015.
So, I have to ask, if you walk by a restaurant, and see someone eating a hamburger, do you start jumping up and down, pointing at their meal and hollering, "OMG! Cows are going extinct!!!1!!!one!" I hope not. Not only because you'd be disturbing some poor innocent's dinner, but because the loss of an individual or two is not relevant to discussion of the health of a population.

But, here, let me assuage your fears. I ran a game for a friend of mine, to teach his daughter about RPGs. She went on to run her own game. One of her players started also run games. So, Messrs Crittenden and Wheaton have been replaced in the GM pool. There is no cause for alarm. Nothing to see here. Move along.

I could have called the thread RPG Trends That Undermine the Traditional GM Role, but isn't that a little boring?
Boring. Constructive. To-may-to, to-mah-to.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
[MENTION=177]Umbran[/MENTION] , you are bringing sensibility to the parody of the sky is falling thread.

Methinks thou dost protest too much....;)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
[MENTION=177]Umbran[/MENTION] , you are bringing sensibility to the parody of the sky is falling thread.

Methinks thou dost protest too much....;)
No. Just enough. Or have you forgotten the role of the straight man in comedy?

(Really, dude, I use an XKCD cartoon to make a point. Relax.)
 
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DMMike

Game Masticator
RPG Trends That Undermine the Traditional GM Role

Fine, there's the new title, in case your Troll-Tolerance is set below 20. (I recommend mid-range, around 125 or so.)

I'll just go update the OP...

BTW Spencer Crittenden DMed Harmonquest. Which was awesome.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Fine, there's the new title, in case your Troll-Tolerance is set below 20. (I recommend mid-range, around 125 or so.)

I'll just go update the OP...

BTW Spencer Crittenden DMed Harmonquest. Which was awesome.
Eh. It's just occurring to me that perhaps I'm not the only semi-autistic humor challenged participant on the boards.

Also seriously, you have to be really over the top to separate yourself from the sort of extreme points of view that are all too common at EnWorld.

Also seriously, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure that this is satire, it doesn't stop me from wanting to discuss this as a serious issue.

Also seriously, despite the self-parody (?) of the original post, are you intending to start a more serious discussion, or should I just be going along with the joke?

"Asking for a friend."
 
This actually is the thread for it. Although I'm not sure I buy it; if a game is hard to GM, doesn't that mean that people just choose a different game to play?
Not if the game that is hard to GM is D&D. Then they go through a cycle: the DM wanting to try something else, the group being unable to agree on what else to play, the DM burning out, someone else running something terrible for a short while until the DM (somewhat recovered) can't stand it anymore, and back to the DM running.

OTOH, sometimes the hard-to-GM aspect of the game is kinda the point. The GM runs the game the way he likes, and the players either toe the line, or get the old "if you don't like it /you/ run for a while!" That usually shut's 'em up...
… I mean, hypothetically.
 

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