The Labors of the GM


So, we have talked a lot about parts of being a GM, but we have dodged the most important: how hard they work. Too many players show up to games and just assume that everything is done by magic! These players don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes (and don’t care). GMs work hard and should be applauded for what they do. Players have their own set of work that they have to do, but the GM does that kind of work for everyone who is not a player. That being said, there are three things that should be considered when talking about GM work:

1. Don’t assume. Many GMs have to squeeze in their work in between regular jobs and school. When you assume that the GM is half-assing his job, you are nullifying his work. You should encourage him/her and understand when maybe he doesn’t always have the time to build up everything in a scenario.

2. Don’t deride. You should never deride the amount of work that the GM has done. Again, he may have had a series of real life issues that stopped him from being able to commit as much time as he/she wanted. You should do the opposite, in fact. You should be understanding when something seems off.

3. Always provide leeway. If the GM doesn’t seem to have prepared as much as in previous sessions, you should provide some leeway. Understand that he/she can’t always be on their “A” game. Maybe they got sick or they had a deadline at work, you never know.

I try to provide those three things to GMs that I play under and I hope that they hold me to the same standard. They do seem similar but in reality they are different, and should be viewed through a proper lens. What things do you think helps players understand the GMs role? What do you do to give your GM some slack when they seem off?


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