I plan on updating my blog more frequently in the upcoming year. I thought it might be useful, to anyone who stops in and reads, to know what I do and how I do it. My intention is to offer a sketch of how I come into each game I run, and then a reflection about how the game actually plays out—a sort of “Before/After” snapshot. I thought my reflections might be useful, or at least distracting, for some of you who know me. This here will be the longest entry that I will make. (I promise!) But I feel like I need to provide some context before I move forward.
So I am a GM, first and foremost. I aspire to other things—mostly to do with game design—but at the moment, GMing is mostly where it’s at. By almost any standard, I GM in high volume, which is to say I average two games a week, but sometimes end up doing up to five games, and these games run the gamut from storytelling games like, say, Dialect, (which, I know, is GMless, but come on…) to traditional RPGs like everyone’s favorite (haha sort of) Mörk Borg. I have run Bluebeard’s Bride, Hypertellurians, Dread, Better Angels, the Everything of Cthulhu, and, of course, The World’s Most Cough Cough Speak Not Its Name…
I have run a lot personal games at my house, in which the players and I have gone all over the place, doing all sorts of things, and that overall experience has been amazing. I’ve also run a lot of public/gig-type games and learned to appreciate the shotgun wedding nature of a good, random one-shot. I like to think that the time I’ve put in has granted me a certain amount of patience and, maybe, insight—not so much because I’m the brightest bulb in the box. More to the point, if you practice as much as I have—eventually something useful takes hold.
I also like to think that all of this GMing hasn’t dulled my passion for the whole experience—even if, at times, it’s led me to become a little more pragmatic. TTRPGs are awesome, to my way of thinking. They can be a frontier of consciousness, where you are whatever you want to be and/or catch glimpses of who or what you could be. They are also a habit that can lead to aberrant and antisocial behavior—oh yeah, and they’re a bankable, if somewhat picayune, industry.
I’m a cog in this wheel, but who cares? I’m looking forward to the games I currently have lined up for 2023. If nothing else, my friends and I enjoy them, so I thought it might be worth telling you about them, from the GM’s perspective. So next time around, I’ll describe my upcoming mini-campaign of the super-hero game Masks, which will kick off the year for my public group. I’m really looking forward to it. I am mostly a guileless person, and I’ll tell you upfront that I’m amped about this game, because it is about being young and figuring things out. It seems like a great place to start a new year. I’ll let you know what my setup is sometime soon. Then, if you’re still reading, I’ll tell you how things go, somewhere down the line.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year!