Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DM vs. Player

No, this post isn't about antagonistic DM's, but rather about getting the chance to game as a player rather than as a DM. It's about which side of the screen I sit on most often, and why.

For most of the time I've played RPGs I've been the DM (or GM, or storyteller, etc.).  In elementary school it was because I was the one with the books.  I didn't get to play at all during middle school, so I spent a lot of time reading the rule books, and in doing so, learned the rules really well.  After the first game I played during high school I was asked to DM.  From that point on, I was usually the DM.  The times I spent on the players side of the screen were more often than not, less enjoyable than I'd hoped they would be.

I always strive to bring the best game I can to the table, especially as a DM.  I have, on a couple of occasions, called off a game and just done a movie night when I knew that I not only wouldn't be bringing my "A" game, but would actually run a terrible game.  When I sit on the other side of the screen, I want to feel that level of commitment, and there have been times that I have felt it.  There have also been times when someone wants to run something and then we all board the unfun railroad. 

The problem is the balance between those two.  There isn't any.  Most people when they aren't frequent DMs run horrible games.  Maybe that's an exaggeration, and I know I always try to enjoy myself when i don't DM, but too much of my brain is thinking "I'd have done that differently, I'd have done it better!" that it gets in the way.

So I guess a lot of it comes down to the fact that I'm a DMing snob.

I'm curious what your experience is.  My impression is that most bloggers are DMs, but maybe only part time.  I've set up a poll off to the right, and I'd love to hear back about why you DM.

1 comment:

  1. I am only an occasional DM/GM.

    What I try to do as both player and DM is make the game fun for everyone. Especially as the DM. I try to bring them all in and have some fun...sometimes at their expense lol.

    The important thing for me is to just have fun and imagine. Don't let the rules run the game..just guide it.