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SubtleCadaver

GMing and playing; possible in RT?

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Hey all. Our group is starting up Rogue Trader soon but nobody else wants to GM, so I guess I will be.

The problem is, I also want to play. Now, we've had no problems with the GM playing a character (with not such a big role, such as an Arbites) in Deathwatch/Dark Heresy, but I was wondering if the sandbox element of Rogue Trader would make this hard - if not impossible - to do, and what kind of character I should play.

I was thinking possibly a Seneschal or Navigator... Maybe a Void-master. Definitely not an Arch-militant (I'll probably steal the light in combat) or a Rogue Trader (being the leader and knowing what happens is ridiculous).

What do you think? :)

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You should avoid from playing and GMing at the same time. All it makes your "PC" is a glorified "NPC". Run a character as a NPC that you like, never refer to them as "YOUR" character and if another player eventualy decides to run, either make up a new character or ****** a pre-existing NPC to play.

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 It is definitely possible to be GM and to play at the same time, but I wouldn't recommend it. It will never be satisfying and always "feel" a little bit strange, for you and for your gaming group. 

 

I think the best solutions for your problem are:

 

1) Try to get another GM from outside your group. Write some "RT-group searching for gamemaster"-posts on the boards and hang out some letters in your local game store. It's not easy to get a full-time-gamemaster, but sometimes it works. It will be probably the best solution for you if you can acquire a GM – and it will be worth a try.

 

2) Ask your group for a circling GM. At least one other player should be willing to alternate with you. After every session, give the same amount of XP to the hero-character the game master plays as to the player characters – so there will never be an XP slope for the one who is the GM.

However, you shouldn't ever push someone to be a GM if he doesn't wants to. The results for your sessions will be poor, believe me.  

 

3) Just be the GM without playing a hero-character. Put your creativity and your character-play in some NPCs you're really interested in (team members and allies, neutral connections or even a nemesis that will emerge again and again) and get sure that those "first-class-NPCs" will be participating in every session.

This will be less strange than having a GM-played hero-character and your group will get some really remarkable NPCs that get a lot of narration-time. To be true, I think every GM has some favorite NPCs that will get more attention from him than others.

However, if you do so, get sure that your favorite NPCs don't get glorified and stay mortal. I once played with a gamemaster who used to play out the roles of his dreams – characters with incredible powers. (this is what is called a "Mary Sue": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue )

The result was: The player characters were pushed in the offside, the powerful NPC solved all adventures and the players were bored to death and became very sarcastic in regards of their gamemaster and his allmighty NPC. 

So always get sure that your favorite NPCs don't displace the players.

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Generally No, one of you preferably has to be the GM, but taking it in turns doesnt have to be a pain and can bring fresh ideas and narratives into play. Im my case its usually me but not always doing the GM. But in a way I see it also as aextention of playing the Rogue Trader, but I view my character as the guy that watches from afar and gets frustrated at the bumblings of his minions. I even break out humorous comm links from the RT in orbit. "You still not finished yet?

"Idiots! I should have hires some real proffessionals!"

"Is that gunfire still going on? Bolter shells cost thrones yaknow..."

"Dont make me come down there and sort it out myself"

Ive also created the  RT character as being a bit obessive bookworm and adventurer, who does missing at awkward times 

"look im in the Librarium decoding this ancient map, i don't care about the Ork Krooser, just deal with it ok?" when he's not around to actually deal with any space battles.

This way you can still feel slightly involved without feeling left out. However you are going to have to allow a certain amout of experience points for free as a reward for GM or else your PC will become quickly underpowered.

There have been some occasions where we have all played toghether using an RPG supplement called "Mythic Games Master Emulator", which works quite well withg rogue trader, as long as you are honest and realistic about the dfficulties the PC's are facing and you are willing to improvise without thinking too much, you can roll on a set of charts that will give you narrative ideas on how the adventure is unfolding. With Rogue Trader being based around a set of objectives Mythic works quite well because its based on a certain amount of set scenes, a long as you dont allow to many side adventures or distractions you should be ok.
 

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RT is a game where you as GM have control over 20000 potential NPC's that are with the team. As for the senior officers it is up to you to flesh them out. A thing that can be as much rewarding as playing a single one of them would be.

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SubtleCadaver said:

 

The problem is, I also want to play. Now, we've had no problems with the GM playing a character (with not such a big role, such as an Arbites) in Deathwatch/Dark Heresy, but I was wondering if the sandbox element of Rogue Trader would make this hard - if not impossible - to do, and what kind of character I should play.

 

 

Like everyone else in this thread, I'm generally opposed to the idea of DMPCs.  I understand why some people like them, but it ultimately splits your attention and may lead to accusations of favouritism (depending on how mature your other players are.)

At the very least it forces you to pay attention to everything your players say when they're scheming what to do next (since your character is there, too, after all.)  As a fairly regular DM I've found that those extended "what should we do next?" conversations are the perfect time for me to drop out and make sure everything's in order behind my DM screen, then come back and ask for a summary of what they're planning to do once they're finished.

HOWEVER, that said, I think it would perfectly possible to run a DMPC if you really want to.  As far as the sandbox elements go, you just have to establish a firm policy of not making suggestions about which way would be best to go next (since you obviously know the answer and if everyone just follows where you lead it will defeat the entire purpose of exploration.)  I think a combat oriented character would actually be the best option for such a DMPC, since you're less likely to be expected to do anything useful outside of combat (when most of the decisions that your foreknowledge can answer would be made.)  In combat you can just go with the flow.  Your absolute knowledge of the enemy stats doesn't matter too much.

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Steve-O said:

I think a combat oriented character would actually be the best option for such a DMPC, since you're less likely to be expected to do anything useful outside of combat (when most of the decisions that your foreknowledge can answer would be made.)  In combat you can just go with the flow.  Your absolute knowledge of the enemy stats doesn't matter too much.

This made me think...how about adopting a Xeno Character such as an Ork or a Kroot. All the mayhem bashing you want with minimal roleplaying, Orks being ...well straightfoward and Kroots acting mostly as bodyguards (reactive) or trackers (relaying information to the PC's)

 

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Rotating GMing is what I planned to do, but no one wanted to ever GM. I had asked if anyone even wants to GM short adventures, but they all seem intimidated by the scope of Rogue Trader. Oh well, we're having fun, so it's all good.

However, I did make a character that I run as an NPC that I told everyone I would play when other people GM'd. He's the Astropath, and all the players thought of him as the "mouthpiece of the GM." That I didn't want, and I expect a GM PC in the party would have that problem.

To fix this first I made him a comical party animal, and they stopped taking him seriously.

Then I slowly revealed (hints here and there) that he had a hidden agenda. He was a Throne Agent of Inquisitor Silas Marr. So now they see him as Marr's mouthpiece and spy (who can read their minds! :) and he's solidly in the NPC camp. Problem solved.

For my "I want to play" fix, I found a player who will GM Deathwatch one-shots between our big endeavors. I can't wait to sit on the other side of the GM screen.

 

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                      The Closest thing I have ever done to what you are asking about is in DH playing the Inquisitor on one of the acolytes Missions. I have never played RT I generally use the books just for referrance for DH/DW, but it occurs to me that you could possibly play the RT and just send your crew members on missions simular to the relationship between inquisitor and acolyte.

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In addition to agreeing with everyone else, and additional point to consider:

You will never really get any satisfaction form playing while GMing. There is no sense of exploration, intrigue, or true challenge. You can see behind the curtain and always know what is really going on. It is really no different than playing an NPC. Heck, it is worse than playing an NPC, because you can't meaningfully interact with the story or the group. It also limits your choices as a GM. You can't fudge encounters or use smoke and mirrors for the benefit of the story, or you will be robbing yourself of any tactical challenge you could have had.

Instead just focus on being a good GM. I feel your pain (been perma GM for nearly 8 years now), but GMing can be just as rewarding, if not moreso, than playing. Just focus on what your doing and have fun.

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Thanks for all the responses, guys. You've convinced me to bite the bullet and just GM Rogue Trader, putting a lot of effort into the missions and NPCs happy.gif

As a compromise, the guy who GMs our Dark Heresy group is letting me play a Kroot in it.

Now, to work on balancing that...

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