• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is LIVE! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

One game, multiple GMs

niklinna

satisfied?
I've been following the "How much control do DMs need?" thread and something reminded me of a couple games I've played in, or witnessed, where two GMs split their responsibilities. One pair I know uses this approach to handle "splitting the party" type situations, or games that involve lots of secret interactions. They'll do the roleplay bit, consult with each other about what happened, and continue with the group. Another pair has one GM handling the bulk of the world and NPCs, with the other specifically playing one NPC or faction.

For example, in an excellent game of Mothership, the side-GM played the ship AI. While the rest of us were dealing with all the physical disasters befalling our ship, our crew computer tech wound up huddled to one side chatting with the ship AI. Let me tell you, it increased the paranoia factor by a lot! We could see but couldn't hear them, didn't get told what they were doing, and for all we knew the two of them were plotting to get the rest of us killed.

So I'm wondering, does anybody else have experience running a game with multiple GMs, or playing in one? How do you do it, and how does it enhance/complicate your GMing? How does it enhance/complicate your play experience?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Many moons ago, I played in three Amber Diceless games set in the same multiverse, with three GMs.

One game was set more or less in Amber, and that GM had final say over everything Amber-related. One was set in Chaos, and that GM had final say over everything Chaos-related. And the third was set in Shadow, and that GM had final say over "everything else". (I was the Shadow GM.)

It was a blast! We had a "Ten Minute Rule", that if another GM introduced something you had final say over that you didn't like, you had ten minutes to pull him aside and work something out. Speak now, or forever hold your peace!
 

loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
I used to play Mortal Kombat with a guy who was running a D&D 5E game, and then I became a "combat GM" in that game. I showed up the last hour of the session, ran a cool combat encounter and then we had our MK practice.

It was cool. On top of everything else, running a game where you can just decide "nah, I ain't feeling like it" at the last minute without screwing anyone over is really good.
 

aco175

Legend
I have players take on traditional parts, but not be the actual decision maker. I had a player track initiative until I made a tracker with clothespins and one of those expandable magnet-things for picking up nails and such. Other players look up spells and items or conditions and such. I have had players with killed PCs or a friend that showed up randomly attack as the monsters. They seem to have better tactics and actually want to win as monsters.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
So I'm wondering, does anybody else have experience running a game with multiple GMs, or playing in one? How do you do it, and how does it enhance/complicate your GMing? How does it enhance/complicate your play experience?

For a while, two friends and I used to run weekend-long games of Paranoia, in which we were GMs for a group of a dozen or so players at once.

It did require somewhat more pre-game coordination. All three of us had to be on top of each scenario, and we had plans around which of us would handle what in each scenario. Those plans didn't always survive contact with reality, which is why each of us had to be prepped on the entire scenario.

In a normal TTRPG, the players have one point of contact with the game universe and mechanics - through the GM. With a dozen or more players, one GM leads to a brutally slow experience. With three, we could keep play snappy, and still work in a certain amount of Paranoia shenanigans.
 


Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top