Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Game Master is Crom: Your Fun is Your Problem, Not the GM's

A few years ago I sat on a panel about running tabletop RPGs. I got asked what I do I do to ensure that players at my table are entertained. I said "I am Crom. I don't care." This got everyone's attention. "I don't care because that's not my problem. Players are solely responsible for their entertainment. All I do is run the game."

This is wholly antithetical to the Fake Gamers pushing Storygames, who have that Participation Trophy mindset where Big Daddy has to make sure that everyone gets their thing and no one is allowed to feel bad about it. No, motherfuckers, the Game Master is not at all responsible for entertaining anyone. Players are responsible for themselves, wholly and utterly.

The counter-argument, especially in tabletop circles, for years has been one of local availability. "But this is the only game in town." is sometimes literally floated. Too fucking bad. Then, and now, you're still solely responsible for your entertainment, and it does not matter how many of your friends (or "friends") are there. Dealing with dissatisfaction and boredom is your problem, not the Game Master and not the game itself (or, by extension, the publisher or the designer). If you're not entertained, walk away. NO gaming is better than bad gaming.

If you're unwilling to do that, then don't be surprised when others reflect your lack of self-respect by wiping their feet on you like the doormat you are.


  1. As Noisms said, "You are responsible for your own orgasm" -

    BTW he's a British Oakeshotte type Conservative, not a million miles from the Alt Lite* - worth reading. :)

    *Sorry if this term causes offence, it's the only umbrella term I know for us lot, other than Libertarian Nationalist maybe.

  2. Yep, and as the GM *my* fun is *MY* issue, but boy do I have fun when my players have fun.

    I followed your prescriptions for gaming that you posted over the last few months when I went to Origins this year! Rapid-fire game action, easy-to-follow-but-firm game mechanic -- stayed out of the players' way and just kept asking "what do you do now?" Rolled and resolved the events, just let the players state normal actions and accomplish them. The FUN just rolled off those games!