Role Playing Games: Game Master Skills

What makes for a good game master?

The type of cultivated skill that elevates the game from a linear experience, to that of one that is open and compelling?

The responsibilities of the game master can be a bit overwhelming- they are part rules lawyer, storyteller, actor, and author.

While the players are there to each mange a character, the game master has to mange all of those iterations in the story *and* run the game.

That said, there are two fundamental role playing game rules that apply to the game master:

The first is that they can never make a mistake or mess something up.

The second is that they are also a player in the game.


The GM has full knowledge of the story and adventure, they have the notes, maps, and action points. But much of this is hidden for the players to discover and interact with. If you make a mistake or forget something, that OK, keep going and adapt the adventure- your player’s won’t know.

The GM is also a stakeholder in the game- adding to the narrative and playing the “other” side of the story in a challenge to the players- take charge and throw up some solid challenges for the players to resolve.

The aim of the game master is to find the vision and the voice of their player personality.

To be free from worrying about mistakes or doing something wrong in running the game, so the creativity of the personality can emerge and encourage the players in the game.