Is the DM the most important person at the table

So I haven't seen anyone here characterize DMing D&D as hard. We've said it's harder than being a player and this is a fact. Saying that we are arguing that DMing is hard and then constructing a counter is a classic Strawman.

Take your 3 room dungeon for example. The DM had to create a dungeon. The players didn't. The DM had to come up with the encounters to put into the dungeon. The players didn't. The DM has to describe the evironment. The players don't. The DM has to run 6 goblins, deciding where they move, who they attack and how they attack, if they run, etc. The players have to worry about 1 PC each. The DM has to adjudicate all actions the PCs take. The players adjudicate nothing.

DMing is not hard. It is in fact harder than playing.



First you have to decide if the outcome is in doubt. You don't even get to a roll until after the DM completes this step and decides that the outcome is in doubt. Then the DM needs to figure out if there are any bonuses, penalties, advantage or disadvantage that apply to the roll, and often those things don't come from a player specific ability. THEN the DM comes up with the DC. If the action isn't specifically covered by the rules, which happens fairly often in 5e, the DM has to come up with even more in order to adjudicate things. The DM also needs to figure out if the action in question is going to use the typical stat for the skill, or use an unusual stat. Afterwards, the DM narrates the result. The player just declares what he wants to try and do, and hopefully how.



Not according to the 5e DMG, page 5. That page gives a very clear example of the DM's job as master of rules including correcting a player error on movement.
I’ve seen many people here argue it’s hard.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I’ve seen many people here argue it’s hard.
I haven't, but admittedly I've skipped several posts. I have seen quote a few people saying it's harder and being accused of saying it's hard. I have seen those people like my posts clarifying that while it's not hard to DM, it is harder than playing.
 
I haven't, but admittedly I've skipped several posts. I have seen quote a few people saying it's harder and being accused of saying it's hard. I have seen those people like my posts clarifying that while it's not hard to DM, it is harder than playing.
I think you missed some important early on content.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
You've said a few things about how you're currently playing BitD -- that GMing is work intesive for you and that your players haven't had to make large adjustments coming from D&D. That has me very curious as to what play looks like at your table, because those two statements are very different from my experiences -- or, if I may, how I've understood @hawkeyefan's related experiences. Since this thread appears well and truly derailed at this point, would you mind presenting a quick overview of how one of your sessions goes? I'm curious if you're importing some D&Disms into play.
I probably don't have the time to write up an entire session but if you had specific questions or aspects you want insight into how they played out at my table I'd be happy to provide them... though not sure this specific thread would be the best place to discuss.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Eh, for the most part the argument has been framed in terms of DM workload vs. Player workload.
Thanks. To sum up. And a little add.
GMing is hard due to fact the GM has a larger workload than a Player.
Little add. As GM I have to talk to all you beeping people. As Player I just have to talk to the GM.
***
I not talking to Lanefan this week because he told the head cheerleader I thought she was hot. And now that evil football captain Maxperson has shove me into my locker.
hello hello is any one out there? My locker combination is 32-.6.36
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Thanks. To sum up. And a little add.
GMing is hard due to fact the GM has a larger workload than a Player.
Little add. As GM I have to talk to all you beeping people. As Player I just have to talk to the GM.
***
I not talking to Lanefan this week because he told the head cheerleader I thought she was hot. And now that evil football captain Maxperson has shove me into my locker.
hello hello is any one out there? My locker combination is 32-.6.36
To be clear. Are you saying DMing is hard, or just harder than playing due to the work load?
 

jasper

Rotten DM
To be clear. Are you saying DMing is hard, or just harder than playing due to the work load?
I not talking to you this week!. :)
Harder due to the work load. Even if you push all the rules knowledge, and booking keeping to another gamer; a GM has to handle multiple people talking to them.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
I haven't, but admittedly I've skipped several posts. I have seen quote a few people saying it's harder and being accused of saying it's hard. I have seen those people like my posts clarifying that while it's not hard to DM, it is harder than playing.
Heck, for many people playing is hard. It can be very difficult to carve out consistent multiple-hour blocks of time to engage in entertainment.

Being a DM is hard for some; much like knitting and birdwatching are hard for me.
 

FrozenNorth

Explorer
Since yesterday, one of the games I’m playing in has been put on hiatus because the DM has other commitments that prevent him from ensuring he can DM adequately. He is still able to play though.

Irony!
 
Since yesterday, one of the games I’m playing in has been put on hiatus because the DM has other commitments that prevent him from ensuring he can DM adequately. He is still able to play though.

Irony!
This has has been the case in my group as well, to all of the DMs at some point (including myself).

Things in their lives got hectic and they weren't confident in their ability to devote the time and resources that they felt were necessary to running a good game. So they bowed out and another DM took over (we're fortunate in that this group is made up of multiple DMs).

It was perfectly understandable. Life happens; most of us at that table are getting older and have greater responsibilities away from the table than we used to. In many cases, the one stepping down would still play, just not run. IMO, it's not all that much different from asking someone else to take over due to DM burnout, this is just preemptive.
 

pemerton

Legend
No; but it's most of it, which means if discussions like these don't largely revolve around it they're not much use for the vast majority in the hobby.
And?

This isn't a community service provider for D&D players. It's a discussion forum for RPGing. And the description of the General forum says it's for discussion of systems that don't have their own dedicated subforums.

This repeated attempt to channel all discussion into discussion of D&D is becoming a bit frustrating. If you want to talk about DY&D there's a whole other part of the board set aside just for that.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
And?

This isn't a community service provider for D&D players. It's a discussion forum for RPGing. And the description of the General forum says it's for discussion of systems that don't have their own dedicated subforums.

This repeated attempt to channel all discussion into discussion of D&D is becoming a bit frustrating. If you want to talk about DY&D there's a whole other part of the board set aside just for that.
It's as frustrating as trying to define why GM'ing is harder than playing for (most) GM's because X... and being continuously told not all games require X. Where "not all games" is some obscure ttrpgthat only a minuscule portion of the hobby base has heard of and even less play regularly.

How does citing such a game in fact address (again for the vast majority of the hobby since nothing is 100%) whether GM'ing is harder than playing and/or it has more importance as a role? Instead it feels like more of a way to push a particular playstyle or shut down real conversation as opposed to addressing the question in a practical way
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It's as frustrating as trying to define why GM'ing is harder than playing for (most) GM's because X... and being continuously told not all games require X. Where "not all games" is some obscure ttrpgthat only a minuscule portion of the hobby base has heard of and even less play regularly.

How does citing such a game in fact address (again for the vast majority of the hobby since nothing is 100%) whether GM'ing is harder than playing and/or it has more importance as a role? Instead it feels like more of a way to push a particular playstyle or shut down real conversation as opposed to addressing the question in a practical way
There's a way to make this argument without denigrating games or people aware of more games than D&D. Sure, 800 pound gorilla and all, but let's not be elitist either way, yeah? Because, it's equally frustrating to see people treat not only D&D but the accumulated detritus of tradition and belief that surrounds "how you play D&D" be cited uncritically and without any consideration that there might be a different way, even in D&D, much less outside of it. It's a diverse hobby, so unless you really only want D&D, let's not be so hasty as to call everything else "niche" and decide to ignore that everything else just because it's more comfortable and less challenging.
 

MGibster

Adventurer
The majority of mainstream games rely on a similar dynamic between the GM and the players as found in D&D. GURPS, anything produced by Palladium, most World of Darkness games, Legend of the Five Rings, Paranoia, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, Star Wars produced by FFG, WOTC, and FFG, Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, Alien, and many others I'm sure. But that doesn't make games with a different dynamic any lesser for it.
 

pemerton

Legend
The majority of mainstream games rely on a similar dynamic between the GM and the players as found in D&D. GURPS, anything produced by Palladium, most World of Darkness games, Legend of the Five Rings, Paranoia, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, Star Wars produced by FFG, WOTC, and FFG, Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, Alien, and many others I'm sure. But that doesn't make games with a different dynamic any lesser for it.
I've GMed quite a bit of Classic Traveller over the past two-to-three years.

I won't dispute that it puts certain demands on the GM (as it does also on the players). But I wouldn't say that prep is one of the them. I say this only because I get the impression that preparation is being identified (in this thread, if not necessarily by you) as a significant burden on GMs. And for Traveller I don't think it is.

A referee needs to roll up a few NPCs and worlds, true, but that is pretty quick. Designing starships takes more time but the system comes with a number of prewritten designs (analogous to a D&D MM) that are good enough to work with.

There's no need to prepare "adventures" in advance beyond these things. It can be played pretty close to "no myth" style, using the various systems (for patrons, other encounters, random generation of cargo, etc, etc) to establish the required setting elements as one goes along.

I get the impression that this is different from eg WoD or CoC, which - as I understand it - depend much more on preparing the adventure. (Though I've run Cthulhu Dark sessions fine with no prep and riffing off the players' PC professions to get things going.)
 

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