Well, that was a long layover for us! We didn’t intend to have a three week layoff, but we did have a holiday, a couple of finals and some other work to do. That being said, we are back on the horse. This week, types of GMs. I know that I may be oversimplifying but these are the three types I see:
1. Railroading GM: This GM spends most of his time telling a story and you are just along for the ride. They don’t care what your actions are, you are going to this town, damnit! You get little, if any, choice in your actions, as everything is predetermined. The lich is going to be at the end of this rainbow, and you are going to face him. While there is nothing wrong with having a story in mind, you should never force your players to play out your novel for you.
2. Sandboxer: The GM does everything by the seat of his pants. He responds to the actions of the players and never plans out anything. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, but it can be a rough ride. You don’t always have a story, and it shows. When you don’t have an ending, you really don’t have a great game.
3. Mix and match: This GM does a little of both of the above. He railroads when HE HAS TO and he reacts when it is needed. He has a story in mind but he lets the players decide how it plays out. That lich from above, if the players want to ignore him then he takes over the world. Too bad for the characters, huh? This seems to be the sweet spot. Again, this has failings as well, mostly that you can find yourself slipping into one of the above two types too easily.
Do you agree with the three types above? Did I miss something? As always guys, we welcome your comments, but don’t be a dick!
EDIT: For anyone who is dumb enough to think that the author doesn’t know that there are more than three types of GMs, guess what he does! He is putting things into a simple matrix for the sake of making the article read faster. He could have gone out and made a 2000 word article on every type of GM he has sat under, and it would have been more complete, but it also would have been time consuming for both the author and the reader. Stop telling the author how dumb he is for simplifying things.