Thursday 10 February 2022

It's time to stop fetishizing the role of GM

 If you're knee deep in the quagmire they call TTRPG Twitter then you've definitely seen people talking about how nervous they are about being a GM for the first time, or you've seen the endless memes about the GM's role in the game as some sort of God of arcane lore and keeper of sacred wisdoms. You hear as many tales about amazing GMs as you do about nightmare ones, but only really the two extremes. Folks bestow a weight onto the GM as if they were ordained. Sometimes it's about how much the GM has to improvise (but the players will never know), or it's about how you'll keep improving until you're an incredible, polished storyteller. 

The reality is, the GM is just one of the players. It's no more grandiose than that. People put heavy expectations on themselves because they're constantly seeing advice on how to be a better GM, or how to be more like Matt Mercer. Voices, pacing, minis, props. The role inevitably becomes daunting when it really shouldn't.

I'm not saying effort isn't good, but it's more than ok to GM in a way that you're comfortable with. You can take a minute, or five, to think about things. You don't have to do voices. You can ask the players for help. You don't need to know the rules in their entirety. You don't need to make intricate plots and NPCs. It's great if you want to and you can, but there's no pressure to do so. Here's the thing: as long as players feel comfortable with who they're playing with and what the game's about they'll have fun with pretty much anything. It's fine to be fine.

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