June 9, 2005

Lunchtime Poll 29: Adversary or not?

Ravings of a Textual Deviant � Blog Archive � Lunchtime Poll #29: Us and Them

Li asks a deceptively simple question:

Do you consider the GM part of the group, and why or why not?

The question is deceptively simple, since my conception of a GM and what they do has changed, evolved and grown over time.

Back in the days of D&D and its kin, the GM (or more commonly, DM) was the adversary, the opponent, the one who held the other side of the equation that the players balanced. Both as player and as GM myself, I considered it a competitive sort of relationship.

As time has gone on, and especially the experience of running a long term PBEM, and being exposed to new ideas, games and gaming philosophies, I have come to see things differently.

I see the GM now as a partner and active participant in the game. I've always had at least the germ of this in Amber gaming, when I infuse some of my NPC creations with as much vitality and drive as their PC cousin counterparts.

Games like Dogs in the Vineyard, Nobilis, Everway and the like have (via osmosis if not direct ownership and play), and exposure to campaigns like Arref's Eternal City and House of Cards have only confirmed this "partnering" sort of philosophy. Granted its not a communistic equal, the GM has, I feel a larger stake in world creation and building.

However, gone are the days when the GM created everything. I not only feel comfortable when players create pieces of my world in mini-me fashion, but I actively want that sort of thing.

Posted by Jvstin at June 9, 2005 9:38 PM