When to be a GM?

chongjasmine

Explorer
I am still new to the world of role-play, and just applied for my solo game.
But I hope to be a GM one day.
The question is, how do I know when I am ready?
Roughly, what is the your recommended minimum amount of games I participated as players before you recommend I take on the role as a GM?
 

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SableWyvern

Adventurer
I am still new to the world of role-play, and just applied for my solo game.
But I hope to be a GM one day.
The question is, how do I know when I am ready?
Roughly, what is the your recommended minimum amount of games I participated as players before you recommend I take on the role as a GM?
Zero is the minimum number of games, especially if you're playing with real life friends.

Even if you're getting a new group together with people you don't know, I suspect you'll have people eager and willing to play. Just be up front about the fact that you're new and still finding your way.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
The question is, how do I know when I am ready?
"I can't tell you, but it lasts forever."

Roughly, what is the your recommended minimum amount of games I participated as players before you recommend I take on the role as a GM?
Your best indicator of "time to start GMing" is when you start coming up with rule- and outcome-ideas faster than other GMs do. Or when it's about the same speed, but your internal monologue says, "this idea would have been better."
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I watched a Dimension 20 behind the scenes video that talked about this very question and pointed out that, in this day of actual plays, the person who has watched even a single season of Dimension 20 or listened to a season of The Adventure Zone or, god help us, has watched a full campaign of Critical Role, has vastly more understanding of how RPGs work than most people did the first time they began to GM.

Just watch an actual play of whatever game you're interested in -- whatever game that might be -- for a single session and you're ready, IMO. Learning from someone else has always been the best path and nowadays, nearly every game has exceptionally good GMs showing how to do it on YouTube, Twitch and elsewhere.
 

aco175

Legend
As long as you are comfortable making the decisions and applying it fairly to all, the go for it. Sometimes there is weird social problems like playing with older people, playing with people that outrank you, or playing with opposite sex/political ideas/religions. etc. I remember feeling strange the first time I was the DM and my father played in the game. It was back in high school, but after a few episodes it was fine. I never really felt weird playing with other diverse groups, but can see something coming up that can trigger things in others you may not know about.

The other part is being able to talk to the group and tell them you are new or trying something. Feel free to rewind and encounter if the group wants if you did something unknowingly. Most players are happy to work with you since they get to play and not be the DM.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
The other part is being able to talk to the group and tell them you are new or trying something. Feel free to rewind and encounter if the group wants if you did something unknowingly. Most players are happy to work with you since they get to play and not be the DM.
Yeah, I tell my players all the time when I mess something up in a new system (typically not by doing a rule I just realized I need to use going forward).

That said, once you know the system, if you do mess up, you can always smile mysteriously when someone asks. And then they wonder, "why doesn't this goblin act like all the rest?" (Because I forgot about some of their abilities, that's why.)
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Organized play is a great place to cut your teeth on GMing. Its low commitment so you dont have to carry a campaign for your first time. I'd build experience there and work until you feel confident to go it on your own.
 

Yora

Legend
I ran a game before I ever played in one. Someone got to start.

There's no necessary qualifications to run a game. Learn the rules of the game you want to run, and do it.

You won't be good, but you will be good enough.

The only recommendation I have is to start with something short and simple.
There are much fewer ways to screw up a simple adventure, and that will be more fun for everyone than something incredibly complex and fancy that even the most experienced GMs can screw up in an infinite number of ways.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I am still new to the world of role-play, and just applied for my solo game.
But I hope to be a GM one day.
The question is, how do I know when I am ready?
Roughly, what is the your recommended minimum amount of games I participated as players before you recommend I take on the role as a GM?
There's no standard metric for being ready to GM. If you want to give it a go, get some friends together and try it out with a couple of short and straightforward adventures and work through them.
As far as how much experience as a player is recommended, that's really up to you and when you feel like you can run the game. I think it's good to have a little play time ahead of taking the reins as a GM, because it gives you a chance to see the game from the player perspective, but when a game is brand new, anybody who steps up to GM it is working without experience with that specific game. So don't sweat it too much. I played once before I was thrust into the GM's side of the screen and, thanks to some friends as my players (who were willing to forgive mistakes and rule misinterpretations) I made it through and have been GMing for over 40 years.
 


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