Alex Mayo brought this up today on Google+, about the GM as Storyteller and how the more of a Narrator/Storyteller the less effective he believes the GM is. I agree with this and have found that a GM has a role to play just like PCs but his role is not just narrator, the role of Narrator or Storyteller belongs to each player, PC and GM, at the table. Some are better at it then others and typically the GM has some idea of plot direction as the story unfolds and this is the were most people make their mistakes.
“Since the GM has the most Plot control , therefore his primary role is that of narrator.”
This is where the real issues come up. The GM has more Plot direction then most PCs but the PCs can do whay they want with the plot from dealing with it or ignoring it. The basic fact is that everyone works together to tell the story with the GM really directing focus from each plot point being thrown at him by his players or that he is throwing back.
A brief background on me.
I have been GMing for more then 25 years, started way back with Marvel Super Hero’s and 2nd Edition. I’ve run Storyteller system, BRP, 3rd, 3.5, 4th, Star Wars (d6, d20, saga) Paranoia, SotC, PrimeTime Adventures, Bare Bones Fantasy, the list goes on. I’m not the end all be all of GM knowledge but I’ve seen a thing or two in my career. I’ve put a lot of thought into what makes a good GM, and I learned a lot from my failures as a GM. I’ve learned from both good and great GMs that I’ve had the pleasure to sit at their table. Also I’ve learned much from my life and “real” world experience. I hate calling it that, because GMing is Real World experience for many careers.
Where am I going with this?
There are 6 Primary areas of Individual and dare I say it Corporate career paths, and frankly many more areas, that GMing prepares you for and GMs can learn a lot from. Today I am going to List those 6 areas and touch briefly on them, I will delve deeper later but this is getting long winded as it is.
The list goes like this
- Public Speaking
- Stress Management
Some of these you are probably saying, “well duh!” and I am sure a couple are flat out confusing as to why I would include them. I will break these down over the next few posts to explain my thoughts and reasons.
Until then, thoughts and wild speculation may abound. Please feel free and comment.
One thought on “GM more then Storytellers…”
A Game Master, although still awaiting sincere definition in a dictionary -Webster or otherwise, is a multi-faceted position which no one can easily define for what elements compose a GM is too varied and numerous to settle on any strict definition. Whereas players are defined by the “role” they encompass within a game the same cannot be said for a GM. In some respects a GM can be considered an arbitrator, a referee, an opponent, a moderator, a narrator, etc. Yet, how can a GM be defined as a narrator when in earnest the flow of the game is completely in control of the players who are experiencing it?Well, imagine a game where the players are inexperienced or naive (children fit this description perfectly, so do those rare adults attempting RPGs for the first time). Now, being that the players are unaware of the power and force that they wield within their hands, like young gods of an ancient world, over the narrative, the GM has to take upon himself/herself the mantle of guardian and guide them, teaching them of their capabilities. Thus in this respect does the GM become more of a narrator. Of course once the players are comforted in their new surroundings then the training wheels are removed and thus become more prolific in the outcome of narration than the GM.