The Game Master is the guy who manages and controls a Role Playing Game
. There are many misconceptions regarding what a Role Playing Game, aka RPG
, truly is. Satanic? A waste of time? An opportunity to pretend to be a half-orc with a very large battleaxe that cuts off the heads of bunnies? It is interactive storytelling
, and it is the Game Master's job to present to the fellow players the environment
that the players
will exist in. Except for the Characters
of the Players
, the Game Master, or GM
, plays everything else.
He describes to the players all the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and other sensations of whatever imaginary space they all agree to occupy in their accumulative minds' eye. He is also the Director of the story, presenting a beginning, and having in mind a conclusion with various scenes envisioned along the way. He is to direct the players from the beginning to the end carefully with clues and other elements of what he brings to the story. In short: The GM tells the Players what they see. The Players tell the GM what their Characters do in the setting. The GM explains to them the result. Sometimes the GM uses tools like dice and gaming screens or place markers on a grid map to help detail for the players the ongoing story. He is to present a concrete and consistent world, but though his internal beginning middle and end may be linear, he has to be lenient and open-minded enough to allow the Players to choose how they get there, or whether they even go where the GM intended.
The best GMs have no end in mind. They simply present the world and let the Players decide what happens next by their actions, common sense, and the natural consistent laws of the universe in question. Though the GM is for all intents and purposes "in charge" and his word should be final (for the sake of argument if nothing else), the storytelling aspect of Role Playing Games (RPGs) is interactive, and requires a mutual corroborative effort between Player and GM in order to successfully work. What follows is a list of guidelines which if taken to heart will get you through a gaming session more successfully, and everyone will theoretically have more fun.
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