Saturday, June 28, 2014

GM Notes: Multiple GMs, Same World

As an experiment for our Friday night SLA Industries game, we have decided to rotate out GMs.  Here are what I see as the Pros and Cons of this format.

The Pros:

  • People who normally only GM get a chance to play
  • Players who have mission ideas get a chance to run
  • Nobody has to make new characters
  • One rule set to rule them all

The Cons:

  • Different strokes for different folks, world ideas
  • The players that GM find out some of the secret stuff regarding characters
  • Different "House Rules" per GM can cause confusion

The Pros are pretty self-explanatory, and obviously beneficial, so this post is going to focus on the Cons and ways to get around them, for us at least.

Different Strokes for Different Folks
Especially in a game like SLA Industries, this can cause some unintentional issues.  For example, a character that is approved under one GM may not be appropriate for another GMs game for one reason or another.

In the current game, a player has a PC that has a package (class) that another GM does not allow, therefore, when I am running the player is welcome to play that PC, but when the other GM is running he is not.

This can make for some very interesting events in the PCs lives.  For example, I run my SLA Industries game a little more low-tech than (at least) two of the other GMs.  PC cellphones are closer to the early to mid 1980s style of cellphone, while the other two GMs allow the PCs to have smartphones.

In the last session I ran, one of the PCs went to pull out his cellphone to take a picture.  The PC pulled out the cellphone...and then confusingly put it back, not knowing why he pulled it out in the first place.  This works perfectly with my campaign style.  Now, I will admit, when it was my turn to play I took pictures of just about everything with my cellphone, including sending in a picture of a fingerprint to have it run against a database.

The Players that GM has Secret Knowledge
This just has to boil down to a trust mechanism.  Yes, because I GM, I know your character is working undercover, but my character does not, and I hope I have your trust that I will not use that knowledge in-game.

Different "House Rules" per GM
This is something that the four of us acknowledge openly.  We have actually created a FB group specifically for discussions of this nature to attempt to solidify a standardized set of house rules when possible.

So far, so good.

The biggest Con I really see:  I have about 50 mission ideas, and I only run once every four weeks!