Tuesday, January 13, 2015

General DMing Questions from Venger

Over at Venger's Old School Gaming Blog, Venger posed some questions about DMing. These are my answers.

On average, how satisfied do you feel about your GMing? Does that feeling or your perception change when you're at the table running (in the moment), hours after, days after, months or years after?
I'm usually satisfied, if not pleased, with my DMing. I put a lot of effort into my time in the big chair, and as long as I feel like I'm doing that, I'm happy.

Have you ever had a (you assumed) moderately satisfied player from the past come up to you months or years later and tell you how much he appreciated your GMing or that you were a great GM compared to what he encountered later? Ever had a player tell you how much you sucked?
I have been complemented by past players, and it's a great feeling! I've yet to have someone come and tell me I sucked.

Does grumbling, complaining, whining, etc. bother you when it comes to either house rules or a particular ruling vs. book rules (RAW)?
Not really. I tend to be fairly relaxed when it comes to the rules, and I usually try to work with my players to come to a mutually satisfactory decision. On those rare occasions I've had to rule by DM fiat it's usually because of something the PC's don't know.

Do you ever feel that you don't receive enough credit, recognition, accolades, understanding, or appreciation for your GMing?
After winning the IRON GM competition, I can't really say that I do.

As a GM, do you feel the need to "entertain" players beyond your usual GM duties?
I'm not entirely sure what Venger meant by this. In general I feel like the duties of being a DM are enough that I can leave non-DMing player entertainment to the players!

Do you think it's best to keep yourself separate or apart from the group to some degree, similar to an employer around his employees? Or are you just "one of the guys" and completely informal and chummy with the players when you're not actually GMing? What about when you are GMing?
Depends on the group, and how comfortable I am with them. My usual take is to be a little bit reserved from the players at the table. Away from the table, it's all good.

How often do you get one or more players in your group asking if he (or she) can GM soon? How do you feel about that? Do you generally take it as a compliment because obviously you make it look easy and fun? Or do you take it as an insult for encroaching upon your turf?
Again, this depends on the group. Some groups it never happens, and others it's semi-regular. I appreciate when it happens, so that I get a chance to see things from the other side of the screen.

How often (if ever) do you wonder how much players are enjoying the game, each session, the campaign, and your GMing? Do you regularly ask for feedback? If you do, are changes ever implemented?
I ask when I'm unsure of how they thought the session went. Sometimes it's easier to tell than others. A year+ ago I was asking more regularly than I am now.

What are the three most important qualities for a GM to have?
A sense of fairness, patience, and the ability to react to off the wall ideas.

Do you have a particular word, phrase, question, or statement that you frequently employ during the adventures you run? What is it?
"Is that what you're actually going to do?"

How long, generally, before you start to feel GM burnout?
Usually it's around 9 months to a year if I'm running things solidly. At this point I thought I'd be there already, but I think the holiday break helped, as does my Sunday night C&C game where I'm a player.

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