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Happy GMs Run Good Games

A happy GM or Game Master makes for a happy game all around. The GM is the facilitator of the RPG game and the fun at the table. If a GM is not happy with the situation, the players, or the overall game at hand, the games they run may not be very good. It’s hard for a GM to be driven and inspired to run a good game if they have issues with the players. Here are few tips that are sure to help make a happy GM. Do this and you are sure to have an awesome RPG game.

Appreciation Makes a Happy GM

Being a GM is harder than being a player. Depending on the type of game they are running or the type of players they are dealing with depends on the amount of work they have to put in. Be sure to appreciate what the GM does for you. They spend time outside of the game to make your game night fun. This is time they could spend playing video games, hanging out with their family, or otherwise relaxing. Make sure to show your appreciation for what they do. Here are a few ideas on how you can do that.

  • Say thanks for the game.
  • Cover their portion of the pizza.
  • Bring them some of their favorite drink.
  • Surprise them with their favorite snack.
  • Be respectful to the GM.

A little bit of appreciation goes a long ways. Make sure your GM is appreciated!

Happy GMs Have Clean Gaming Areas

Often times GMs also host the games that they are running. This means that everyone comes over to their place to play the game. Often times players make a mess around the game table during play. This is ok as we tend to not worry about straightening things up in the middle of being killed by a demon lord. However, when the game is done, do your part to keep the gaming area clean.

  • Toss out trash and recycling.
  • Rinse off any dishes that have been used.
  • Put the miniatures away in their proper place.
  • Clean off the battle board.
  • Put the books back where they belong.

Ideally the game area should start off nice and clean and that is how it should be after the game. This way the GM doesn’t have to do anymore extra work cleaning up after the players. Even if the GM is not running the game at their house make sure to clean up. It’s the nice thing to do. Happy hosts and happy GMs go hand in hand.

Happy GMs Have Help

Another great way to make a happy GM is to help them run the game whenever you get the chance. Any work you can do for the game is work the GM doesn’t have to do. The GM runs the game but that doesn’t mean they have to do everything for the game. A collaborative group all helping the GM with the maintenance of the game makes for a smoother, faster, and more fun for everyone.

  • Track monster damage and effects for the GM. Whoever does first damage can track it.
  • Get sheets, books, or other game materials they may need for them.
  • Add spell effects, traps, or other things to the battle mat if possible.
  • Know your order in the group and be ready to go on your turn.
  • Grab drinks or snacks for the GM when it’s not your turn.
  • Look up and rules and know where to find them during contested rulings.
  • Accept the GM’s final decision on a ruling.
  • Keep in-depth or rule change discussions to outside of the game.

These are all great ways that you as a player can help the GM facilitate the game. If everyone pitches in to run the game it will be easier, faster, and more fun for everyone. And isn’t that the point of the game?

Happy GMs Never Retaliate

I’m not arguing for retribution. In fact I think malicious GM retribution is as bad thing. It can do a lot of damage to an RPG group. All gamers should have respect for each other. Gamers need to be adult enough to talk to each other about issues in a civil and polite manner. This is really the key to a fun and successful gaming group.

I recently had a few discussions with other GMs about what they do to punish bad players. Punitive in game measures for out of game behavior is unacceptable. The two need to be separated.

Even though I think ingame punitive measures for out of game actions is wrong, I couldn’t help but think of this monster below. So I created it. It is so easy to make characters in the Atomic RPG System, how could I not? This is a super nasty high level beasty that a GM could use to punish players for their messy and disrespectful ways. Please keep in mind this is supposed to be a funny creation. This is not a serious monster a GM should pull out and use against their players if they are mad at them.

Rubbish Retribution Reaper
26th Level NPC Boss 10×10 Horde , View CharacterFocused Aggressor Combatant
Image of Health Defense Attack Bonuses D H Power Disciplines
HP 41,118 Body 52 Body 54 Combatant 133 P Offensive Combatant
Res 25 Mind 37 Mind 39 Mystic 92 92
Rec 0 Spirit 44 Spirit 46 Generalist 99
Combat Preference Rubbish Retribution Reaper prefers to battle targets at any distance.
This beast of horror and nightmare appears anytime players do not clean up after the previous gaming session. Make sure you have a happy GM to avoid this terrible fate!

The Atomic RPG System is so flexible and easy to use I can’t help but create the wacky monsters or other characters that come to mind.

Seriously though, everyone pitching in, cleaning up after themselves, and showing appreciation for what the GM does will go a long way. It will make for a happy GM and they will run better games. Happy GM means happy players. It will make your games faster. It will make your games more fun. Best of all, it will help to demonstrate how fun and rewarding GMing can be. This will encourage other players at the table to GM. This further helps to spread the “work” around. Also your gaming group will now be able to enjoy more types of games, different GM styles, and have a much better experience all around.

What do you think of the Rubbish Retribution Reaper creature? How do you handle disruptive or disrespectful players? What makes you a happy GM?Post your thoughts below. I am very curious as to how other GMs handle players.

2 Responses

  1. I think this is fabulous. I am blessed with a gaming group of really close friends who all work hard together to help when and where they can. That being said, only two (now three) of us have ever GMed, and so there was less understanding of the time and work involved in preparing a good game. The newest GM at our table is finishing part 3 of his one-shot adventure on Saturday and commented to me after the first session that he gravely underestimated the amount of work I put in on our last campaign. So yeah, appreciate your GM! And buying him pizza sounds like a great plan to me. I like pizza. It may grant you Inspiration in a 5th Edition game…

    1. Thanks! All of my players that have GMed have come to me with the exact same thing. “Wow man I never realized what it takes to put together a decent game. Thanks for GMing all those years!” Regardless of the system you are using GMs always spend more time than players getting the game together and deserve appreciation for it.

      I also have a great group of players that appreciate the GMs of the games. I have heard so many horror stories of groups that don’t. That is what inspired me to put this out. Because if you don’t appreciate the GM, they will eventually stop. Then where will your game be?

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