Brag About Your Awesome GMing Habits

edited September 2012 in Play Advice
Over here we are beating ourselves up about our bad GMing habits, and it made me feel a lot better to read that people that I respect have the same troubles I have when I sit down to play games.

So as long as we're doing that, let's talk about our awesome GMing habits! I'll start, duh:

- I get really excited about people's ideas. I dance around the table and everyone gets into it and I love it.
- I'm really good at keeping the table focused. We laugh and get side-tracked like anyone else, but it never derails us.

Okay go! :-)

Comments

  • edited September 2012
    Once upon a time I took great pride in my ability to time a con game so that it ended on the very minute it was scheduled.

    These days I don't mind being early, and just chatting with the players about the game we just played, or gaming in general afterwards.
  • I like doing accents, gestures and body language for significant, recurring NPCs: even a bad accent still acts as a sort of mnemonic for the character, making it easier to distinguish who's who and what they want. I have been known to get up and walk around the table in the manner I imagine the character would, which was great fun when portraying an uplifted gorilla bodyguard.
  • I have a knack for horror games. The pacing of them, unsettling descriptions of NPCs and the scenery, keeping the players engaged. Some of that I can do in other genres but it is the horror games I have been envied for. Even at cons and in bright daylight I got players (and myself a little bit) scared.
    I'm also good at improvisation and having working and often the right ideas on the spot. Helps to keep my notes very anemic.
    If there is a lot of background to know either from the setting or historical I usually know lots about it. Because it is fun for me to research things like that and I have a good memory for it.
  • I talk in a flat monotone for all my NPCs. It makes the players sound so much better.

    I'm good at taking a whole mess of disparate leads the players have created and molding them into one railroadable story arc.
  • edited September 2012
    I'm good at making players feel at ease, that I'm there with them and not just a 'faceless', disembodied GM. I'm very sensitive to changes in mood, knowing when to slow down or pick up the pace, and recognising when a player seems uncomfortable with what's going on etc. In fact, I'm an all-round megafantastic GM. Oh, and I'm extremely modest.
  • Everything is an NPC. Merchants, ogres, bandits, sub-human mutants; they all have a voice and an agenda, and would prefer not to be killed by the murder machines that are the PCs. If the PCs resort to violence, it was a CHOICE, and often a bad (but awesome) one.

    I ham the hell out of my NPCs. They coerce, lie, wheedle, bribe and intimidate to get what they want.

    I make sure actions have consequences.
  • edited September 2012
    I convince players I'm the GM and then run the game as if it was GMless (GMfull) and I'm the facilitator and often they don't notice! This is about 80% true but close enough!
  • I'm awesome att giving up control, even if it super scary.
  • I'm good at embracing randomness and contingency, although this sometimes grates against pre-made modules.

    I'm also pretty good at getting sessions going quickly, keeping them on track, and not letting things get derailed until we're finished, which allows us to cover a lot of material in 4 hours.
  • I think I am pretty good at making weird, unpredictable plot digressions feel like they were part of a coherent story in retrospect. (And that is why they should have hired me to help write the last season of LOST.)
  • I'm pretty good at emotional butt hurt.

    Sometimes that backfires.
  • When I'm able and inspired to do prep I can create magical moments for the PCs. When I'm not I love to embrace on whatever the players come up with and take it even further. I'm also really good at giving campaings a hell of a bang to start things. And since I started GMing I've becoming better at hacking every game that came into my attention.
  • Setting difficulty levels causes me to lose no sleep whatsoever.
  • Tony Dowler once called a writeup I did of one of his microdungeons "a nest of hard choices and crazy hooks". It's... pretty much my favorite compliments ever received. Right up there with a coworker who told me once "I knew you were a genius, but I didn't know you were conniving."

    So, yes. I am awesome at hard choices and crazy hooks. And being conniving.
  • I think I'm good at not railroading players and letting them do what they want, but still keeping the action going in a certain direction or towards a goal.

    But I think I'm also too nice to players. I can't remember the last time I actually had a player's character die.
  • I'm very good at saying Yes! Let the players dig their holes as deep as they like, but also don't get too upset when some precious set piece, fight, or plot point I'd created gets run over in the process.
  • edited September 2012
    Consequences.... Hands down best part of running a game for a bunch of munchkins. My players had a fight in a tavern and the wizard casts fireball at a baddie in the tavern... with patrons... eating dinner.... with their children.... Everyone fled the village and they found themselves the newly hired prefects of a ghost town.
  • I'm good at cheerleading the table, giving them the oohs and ahhs for their awesome tactics and emotive statements. I create NPCs who function as a kind of Greek-style chorus, a way to reflect back their awesome and make sure they are important in the story.
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