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(Game-specific terms for GM: +Turn)
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A '''GM''' (also known by other terms, [[#Terminology|see below]]) is a participant in a multi-player [[role-playing game]] whose role is to describe the [[imaginary world]] that the [[player character]]s inhabit, including by controlling [[NPC]]s. A GM is sometimes considered to be a [[player]], but that term is also often used to describe game participants other than the GM.
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A '''GM''' (also known by other terms, [[#Terminology|see below]]) is a participant in a multi-player [[role-playing game]] whose role is to describe the [[game world]] that the [[player character]]s inhabit, including by controlling [[NPC]]s. A GM is sometimes considered to be a [[player]], but that term is also often used to describe game participants other than the GM.
   
 
GMs are so common in multi-player role-playing games that a game without a GM role is usually called [[GMless]].
 
GMs are so common in multi-player role-playing games that a game without a GM role is usually called [[GMless]].
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*Portray the [[non-player character]]s.
 
*Portray the [[non-player character]]s.
 
*Set the [[scene]] for the [[player character]]s.
 
*Set the [[scene]] for the [[player character]]s.
*[[Narration|Narrate]] what is happening in the world (see also [[authorial privilege]]).
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*[[Narration|Narrate]] what is happening in the [[game world]] (see also [[authorial privilege]]).
 
*Allow or encourage players to make [[meaningful choice]]s for their characters.
 
*Allow or encourage players to make [[meaningful choice]]s for their characters.
 
*Respond to player character actions and [[resolution|resolve]] moments of uncertainty (either through [[fiat]] or other [[game mechanics]]).
 
*Respond to player character actions and [[resolution|resolve]] moments of uncertainty (either through [[fiat]] or other [[game mechanics]]).
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*'''Lead Narrator''' - e.g. in ''[[Valiant Universe]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Lead Narrator''' - e.g. in ''[[Valiant Universe]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Leader''' - e.g. in ''[[Shadows of Esteren]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Leader''' - e.g. in ''[[Shadows of Esteren]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
*'''Master of Ceremonies (MC)''' - e.g. in ''[[Apocalypse World]]'' and other games [[Powered by the Apocalypse]]
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*'''Master of Ceremonies''' (MC) - e.g. in ''[[Apocalypse World]]'' and other games [[Powered by the Apocalypse]]
  +
*'''Mistress of Ceremonies''' (MC) - e.g. in ''[[The Watch]]''<ref>[[Brandes Stoddard]] (2017-03-16). [https://www.tribality.com/2017/03/16/the-watch/ "The Watch" (review)]. ''[[Tribality]]''. Retrieved 2020-02-25.</ref>
 
*'''Moderator''' - e.g. in ''[[Blue Planet]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Moderator''' - e.g. in ''[[Blue Planet]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Narrator''' - e.g. in ''[[Seven Leagues]]''<ref>Iain Fyffe (2006-08-25). [https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12417.phtml "Review of ''Seven Leagues''"]. [[RPG.net]]. Retrieved 2020-01-05.</ref>, ''[[Houses of the Blooded]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Narrator''' - e.g. in ''[[Seven Leagues]]''<ref>Iain Fyffe (2006-08-25). [https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12417.phtml "Review of ''Seven Leagues''"]. [[RPG.net]]. Retrieved 2020-01-05.</ref>, ''[[Houses of the Blooded]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
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*'''Al-Rawi''' - in ''[[Capharnaüm]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Al-Rawi''' - in ''[[Capharnaüm]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Animator''' - in ''[[Toon]]''<ref name="vocabulary">[[Phil Masters]]. [http://www.philm.demon.co.uk/Miscellaneous/Vocabulary.html "On The Vocabulary of Role-Playing"].</ref><ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Animator''' - in ''[[Toon]]''<ref name="vocabulary">[[Phil Masters]]. [http://www.philm.demon.co.uk/Miscellaneous/Vocabulary.html "On The Vocabulary of Role-Playing"].</ref><ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
*'''Antagonist''' - in ''[[Agon]]''<ref>Christopher W. Richeson (2007-07-23). [https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13154.phtml "Review of ''AGON''"]. [[RPG.net]]. Retrieved 2020-01-05.</ref><ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
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*'''Antagonist''' - in [[Agon First Edition|''Agon'' First Edition]]<ref>Christopher W. Richeson (2007-07-23). [https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13154.phtml "Review of ''AGON''"]. [[RPG.net]]. Retrieved 2020-01-05.</ref><ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Ape Master''' - in ''[[Terra Primate]]''
 
*'''Ape Master''' - in ''[[Terra Primate]]''
 
*'''Bartender''' - in ''[[Tales from the Floating Vagabond]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Bartender''' - in ''[[Tales from the Floating Vagabond]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
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*'''Mayor''' - in ''[[Kobolds Ate My Baby]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Mayor''' - in ''[[Kobolds Ate My Baby]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Meister''' - in ''[[Das Schwarze Auge]]'' (German language)<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Meister''' - in ''[[Das Schwarze Auge]]'' (German language)<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
  +
*'''Minister of Revels''' - in ''[[Under Hollow Hills]]''<ref>[[Meguey Baker|Meguey]] and [[Vincent Baker]]. [https://lumpley.games/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Under-Hollow-Hills-Preview-The-Playbill.pdf "A Playbill" for ''Under Hollow Hills'']. ''lumpley games''. Retrieved 2020-02-25.</ref>
 
*'''Mission Director''' - in ''[[Recon]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Mission Director''' - in ''[[Recon]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Mutant Lord''' - in ''[[Mutant Future]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Mutant Lord''' - in ''[[Mutant Future]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
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*'''Space Master''' - in ''[[Impulse Drive]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Space Master''' - in ''[[Impulse Drive]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''StarMaster''' - in ''[[Space Opera]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''StarMaster''' - in ''[[Space Opera]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
  +
*'''Strife Player''' - in [[Agon Second Edition|''Agon'' Second Edition]]
 
*'''Superintendent''' - in ''[[Panty Exposion]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Superintendent''' - in ''[[Panty Exposion]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Superuser''' - in ''[[Freemarket]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Superuser''' - in ''[[Freemarket]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Talespinner''' - in ''[[Crazy 8s]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Talespinner''' - in ''[[Crazy 8s]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
  +
*'''Town Manager''' - in ''[[Turn (game)|Turn]]''<ref>Jared Rascher (2019-10-08). [https://gnomestew.com/turn-review/ "Turn Review"]. [[Gnome Stew]]. Retrieved 2020-04-05.</ref>
 
*'''Troublemaker''' - in ''[[Flatpack]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''Troublemaker''' - in ''[[Flatpack]]''<ref name="ageofravens2019"/>
 
*'''TWERPSMaster''' - in ''[[TWERPS]]''<ref name="forum3"/>
 
*'''TWERPSMaster''' - in ''[[TWERPS]]''<ref name="forum3"/>

Revision as of 07:02, April 5, 2020

A GM (also known by other terms, see below) is a participant in a multi-player role-playing game whose role is to describe the game world that the player characters inhabit, including by controlling NPCs. A GM is sometimes considered to be a player, but that term is also often used to describe game participants other than the GM.

GMs are so common in multi-player role-playing games that a game without a GM role is usually called GMless.

GMing tasks (responsibilities and expectations)

The GM role is associated with certain tasks. Depending on the system, a specific task may be a GM's responsibility, an expectation that falls on them, or (less often) a player's responsibility. Even when the task falls on the GM, the system may give them sufficient authority to delegate it to one or more other players.

GMing tasks include:

Terminology

The term GM was originally an acronym for game master, but is now a widely understood term in its own right.

The term game master existed in tabletop gaming before the creation of modern role-playing games with Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. For example, it appeared in the 1973 rules of the miniatures wargame Ironclad by Guidon Games. However, the first term used in original Dungeons & Dragons was referee (also used in wargaming)[1], before a new term was created specifically for Dungeons & Dragons in 1975's Blackmoor supplement by Dave Arneson: Dungeon Master (or DM). The term Dungeon Master was trademarked by TSR, and related specifically to the fantasy dungeon crawling style of play in D&D, so other early role-playing games (such as Tunnels & Trolls, Bunnies & Burrows in 1976, and Chivalry & Sorcery in 1977) reverted to the pre-existing term game master (or gamemaster, game-master, or GM).

The early terms game master and Dungeon Master have faced criticism, both because they imply a high level of control over the story by the GM (as opposed to the players) and because the gendered term master implies that GMs are male.

Many other terms for the GM have appeared in discourse or specific role-playing games. These other terms may have been used to address the criticism mentioned above, or to more closely align to the tone or setting of the specific games, or the role of the GM in those games. Some examples are included in the lists below.

Alternative generic terms for GM

Game-specific terms for GM

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Other terms for Gamemaster (page 3) at the RPG.net Forums
  2. 2.000 2.001 2.002 2.003 2.004 2.005 2.006 2.007 2.008 2.009 2.010 2.011 2.012 2.013 2.014 2.015 2.016 2.017 2.018 2.019 2.020 2.021 2.022 2.023 2.024 2.025 2.026 2.027 2.028 2.029 2.030 2.031 2.032 2.033 2.034 2.035 2.036 2.037 2.038 2.039 2.040 2.041 2.042 2.043 2.044 2.045 2.046 2.047 2.048 2.049 2.050 2.051 2.052 2.053 2.054 2.055 2.056 2.057 2.058 2.059 2.060 2.061 2.062 2.063 2.064 2.065 2.066 2.067 2.068 2.069 2.070 2.071 2.072 2.073 2.074 2.075 2.076 2.077 2.078 2.079 2.080 2.081 2.082 2.083 2.084 2.085 2.086 2.087 2.088 2.089 2.090 2.091 2.092 2.093 2.094 2.095 2.096 2.097 2.098 2.099 2.100 2.101 2.102 2.103 2.104 2.105 2.106 2.107 2.108 2.109 2.110 2.111 2.112 2.113 2.114 2.115 2.116 2.117 2.118 2.119 2.120 2.121 2.122 2.123 2.124 2.125 2.126 2.127 2.128 2.129 2.130 2.131 2.132 2.133 2.134 2.135 2.136 2.137 2.138 2.139 2.140 2.141 2.142 2.143 2.144 2.145 2.146 2.147 2.148 Lowell Francis (2019-07-24). "Age of Ravens: The Many Names of Gamemasters (2019 Update)". The Gauntlet. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  3. Other terms for Gamemaster (page 5) at the RPG.net Forums
  4. Conan McKegg (2006-02-24). "Review of Armageddon: The End Times". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Other terms for Gamemaster at the RPG.net Forums
  6. Clemens Meier (2003-12-15). "Review of Pandemonium! Adventures in Tabloid World". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  7. Chris Timmins (2018-09-10). "I'd score it four fingers... maybe a thumb...". RPGGeek. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Other terms for Gamemaster (page 2) at the RPG.net Forums
  9. Joe Walsh (2017-08-28). "Review of The Legend of Yore". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  10. Andrew Girdwood (2009-08-21). "Haven: City of Violence". Geek Native. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  11. Brandes Stoddard (2017-03-16). "The Watch" (review). Tribality. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  12. Iain Fyffe (2006-08-25). "Review of Seven Leagues". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Phil Masters. "On The Vocabulary of Role-Playing".
  14. Christopher W. Richeson (2007-07-23). "Review of AGON". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  15. Conan McKegg (2002-02-15). "Review of Agone". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  16. Darren MacLennan (2001-08-03). "Review of The World of Synnibarr". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  17. SirPhoebos. "WWE Roleplaying Game". FATAL & Friends. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  18. Meguey and Vincent Baker. "A Playbill" for Under Hollow Hills. lumpley games. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  19. Perdustin (2016-01-10). "The High School Role-Playing Game". Thoul's Paradise. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  20. Chris Safruik (2003-04-28). "Review of The Riddle of Steel". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  21. Jared Rascher (2019-10-08). "Turn Review". Gnome Stew. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  22. Jye Nicolson (2005-08-22). "Review of Weapons of the Gods". RPG.net. Retrieved 2020-01-05.

External links

  • GM at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
  • Dungeon Master at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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