Time marches, and the season turns. The new month brings a new host to the RPG Blog Alliance Carnival.
Last month the host was V at the Leicester’s Ramble blog, and I wrote about how I write.
The new host is Mark, at Creative Mountain Games. The theme for this month is the Best GM Ever. Mark describes the theme at his blog as follows:
This month on the RPG Blog Carnival, there will be a lot of discussion about the “Best GM Ever.” Some folks will contend it is one particular person they met, either recently or back in their distant memory, who ran a game so enthralling the players speak of it every chance they get.
However, other folks will post that it is someone else, someone who has a particular set of skills, skills that they have seen in part here and there spread out among many GMs.
Always the GM
My gaming experiences over the last few years have centred on being the GM, which makes this article something of a challenge. Many of our sessions involve lots of Player collaboration, and I have participated in some of our interludes as a Player, but this is not the same as being a dedicated Player.
After such a long stint of being the GM, I really should find a way to play in some games. I am sure even a one-shot would be both fun and informative. However, the opportunity is not presenting itself, and I enjoy running HeroQuest so much I am in no hurry to pass the reins of GM-ing to anyone else.
Which brings me back to the problems of writing about the Best GM, when I have little recent experience of being a Player. Therefore, I shall turn to a pair of GMs I have known from my gaming history.
As with girlfriends, we always remember our first GM.
I cannot exactly recall how we began playing Basic D&D. This was shortly before the release of the classic Red Box, and the exact sequence of events is lost in the mists of time. My first character was an Elf, which was a class all to itself in Basic, and mine was a terribly derivative character.
However, this article is focused on my splintered memories of Gavin, my first GM. Sadly, I cannot recall too much about it. We played for at least several months, and explored assorted dungeons, in the style of D&D in the early ’80s.
Here I am, still in the hobby over 30 years later, which proves the experience was great. We had loads of fun, in that early rush of manic enthusiasm for an exciting world freshly discovered.
With all respect for Gavin, the chances are he was not a perfect GM. We were all learning in those days, and I am sure I made plenty of errors when I began. However, whatever Gavin may have lacked in experience, he made up for in enthusiasm. He set me on the path of a life-long hobby, and I shall be forever grateful to him.
The second GM who stands out for me is Lyndon, who I met when I joined an RPG club after I moved to a new town. Lyndon was running the epic Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign The Enemy Within.
As a Player, this amazing tale is easily the longest campaign I have ever played. Lyndon ran a grim and gritty game, truly in the style of Warhammer. I think my character, another elf, was the longest surviving character, which said a lot about the reckless choices of the other Players, and the sheer lethality of the system.
The campaign was full of character, and Lyndon took great pains to keep the large group of Players engaged and on-track with the sprawling plot. His hard work and dedication provided us with an epic campaign.
Having been the GM for our group for at least two years, I can appreciate the effort Lyndon put in, and the infectious enthusiasm of Gavin. I am reminded again how I need to play a lot more games, but my schedule does not give me the time. However, I am grateful for the gaming pleasure Gavin and Lyndon gave me.
Read all the current entries to the March Carnival at Creative Mountain Games.
Which GMs have influenced you? Whose game do you remember with fond memories? Share your thoughts with your fellow GMs in the comments below.
Follow this link to learn more about the RPG Blog Alliance.
Something for the Weekend next week: Trollbabe and Relationships in RPGs