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Blue Dog

Do many of you take turns as GM?

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I see this come up relatively often in the forums, but I'm wondering how many of you have swapped out GM roles to play a PC while someone took over for a bit.

 

My group has been playing for over a year now and we just finished an epic 4 part jailbreak/heist on an imperial facility, so I thought it might be a good time to see if one of my more active PC's wanted to GM. My wife bought me the Beyond the Rim book for christmas so I recommended he run that, as it sounds like a fun adventure and would be helpful for getting his GM legs under him.

 

Meanwhile, I've decided to just take over running one of our ongoing NPC's, as he is a bombastic, over the top pilot/scoundrel (which works well as we're short on pilots and liars in the group). It was either that or my Ewok who loves heavy weapons (ala Rocket Raccoon).

 

Anyone else have success swapping out as GM?

Edited by Blue Dog

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Our table has been doing round-robin GM duty for many years through numerous systems. Though only a couple of us do the bulk of the heavy lifting (probably 80% between us). The rest jump in and run a little something here and there when the bug hits them or when us regulars want a break (or both want to play at the same time, since we're usually running for the other one).

 

Its worked well for us over the years.

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Things to keep an eye on:

 

Be careful of income and equipment turning up which would prove difficult (ie: lots of cash)

Avoid becoming too detailed with each other's plots, just do a simple handover suitable for the GM to take over, preferably with a bit of warning that one episode is finishing and they can pick up the next.

Keep track of NPC's of note running around and whatever motivations and relationship they have with the group

 

Its not always easy taking over, so be prepared to compromise and take into account different styles of running the game and its long term goals.

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Not with Edge of the Empire and haven't run Age of Rebellion yet so I'm referring to running the WEG Star Wars game.

 

Back then I wasn't the sort to keep a close eye on the shenanigans played by the two other players who took turns running games but have to say be careful since I was apparently the only one who didn't use their access to empower their PC's abilities or turn them into a GM NPC.

 

The worst thing I had done was note that our game started under the original WEG rules and added the skills listed in that setting assuming our characters would have retained access, something in retrospect I shouldn't have worried about.

 

Now looking back after experiencing this new game I'd should have had serious questions about the brash pilot PC starting off with access to an X-Wing and would have argued when that player took over the GM role and stole my character's R2 unit instead of just pointing out his character could have just picked up his own!

 

Serves me right for giving my R2 unit some character in play I suppose, but when people say they thought the WEG version is better all I can say is that I like both but prefer FFG's way of downplaying the Jedi.

 

Sorry wandered off the question a bit there... be sure to ask your players for any do's and don't's and that its clear to any player whose about to assume gm duties that the role doesn't give them the right to alter anyone's character nor ruin the fun for everyone else when they don't remember since they're running the game their character shouldn't become more important than anyone else or even be involved if that becomes a problem. 

 

Anyone else had that problem?

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We have four GMs in our game.  We started off with the idea that one GM would control the campaign, and everyone else would just do little filler missions to break it up...BUT, everyone started doing little series games and it's sort of become convoluted and hard to follow.  Once we finish this campaign and start AoR though, we are going to try a different method.  We've decided to just do "hand offs" and see what happens.  The first GM will start the story arc, then the next one will put his spin on it, and so on.  We figure maybe it'll make for an interesting unknown journey.

 

The biggest thing is that if you have multiple GMs within a game, you really need to sit down at the start and establish how you are going to do it so no one gets their story stepped on.  If you are doing a campaign, it'll be tougher, but if you just do it 'sandbox' style, where everyone just sort of does what they want, and the GM's just 'go with it', you might have an easier time.  Like if you watch our video series for this campaign, you'll see it starts out fairly cohesive and simple, but eventually it starts tangle up a bit.  We just plan to finish as best we can and move on to AoR though =P

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I like to introduce NPCs in different campaigns that I plan on using as a PC after we change hands. The players feel like they know the character already and it makes it easy for me when I can't decide which character to use.

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I am in a group of seven, four of us GM but we all run our own games and several diffrent systems. Timing for the change over is random as it depends on the story, some are short runs(weeks), other times its months.  Its good to get a rest from running, but I also find I want to get back in the saddle after a while, I do have a story to tell after all and lots of nasty...erm interestings situations to throw at the players.

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I don't switch up the GM'ing duties in my group. My players are happy in their role as PCs and one explicitly drew a sigh of relief that he did not ever have to GM when I said I was going to handle that part.

 

I have a complex story and a direction that can handle some bit of going off the rails but I am not sure that my Players would be able to GM the story without ruining it.

 

I might be tempted someday to let them GM a session worth if they wanted to try it, but it would not be part of the same campaign.

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I'd love to swtich out every once in a while. It's a lot of fun to actually play now and again, especially when I have some great ideas for characters just wasting away on paper for the time being.

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I'm a "Forever GM," but the very few times a player has offered to run a session (they want to see how the game plays from the other side of the screen, they have an idea, they want practice, etc), I normally end the current "episode"/"chapter" and have a relatively open slate for the new GM to run their blurb.

 

Sadly, I tend to have to hop in during that blurb and salvage it because the new GM always forgets Murphy's Law of Gaming: no matter how well you have the adventure planned out, the PCs will always screw it up.

The sad part is, I'm not usually the PC that goes into left field because I'm being nice to the new guy >_>

 

I haven't done a GM swap in....three years? Five years? Somewhere in that ballpark (and this doesn't include being the rulebook for the GM because he's too lazy to read the book of the game he's running).

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We mix GM duties, but we also mix systems and stories so no GM is picking up where another left off.    We'll take turns with systems too, with most stories not running long term.  This way we get to play a lot of games, but the downside is that the zealots for a system end up running it rather than playing it - for example, I am the Star Wars GM, and I always GM it and never play (sadly!)  

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Yeah, we take turns as GM in my group. My turn started in 1980.

LOL.

I feel your pain... though I do get breaks (usually when I decide I'm not running for a year and we don;t play anything, though occasionally someone else will run something for a few months... like twice in the last decade).

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Oh, I don't mind so much.  In fact, I love GMing.  I like the storycrafting aspect of it. I enjoy working my PCs' abilities, strengths, and weaknesses into the scenario and engaging their background stories.  I like creating unique NPCs, especially the hated villains. I love knowing all the secrets.

 

If someone else in my group wanted to run something, I'd probably feel like a fish out of water.

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For my Sunday group I'm the lone GM doing WEG Star Wars for years and now EotE.

 

Our Friday group rotates GM's and games. So when person X is up he may run D&D; when person Y is up he may run Pathfinder, etc. You get a chance to play a variety of characters and it keeps most folks from reaching GM burnout.

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