|A better dressed GameMaster you will rarely find...|
Hmmmm... Earlier today I had one of those "GM-duh" moments where a piece of GM-ing advice I had read long ago and had even espoused to others at times, just struck home with me after 36 years of being behind a screen.
I forget the exact wording of said piece of advice, but it went something along the lines of...
"As a game master, your goal should not be to wow the players with your cool story/world. It should be giving the players a good framework for them to tell their own great stories."
36 Years? Yeah... I'm a real slow learner at times...
I know of at least one other game master who currently suffers from "my cool story/world", but I also know the reasons for it. Me? There are just times I latch onto a cool concept and forget that the players have an investment in the game as well.
The best campaigns I have ever run were the ones where I would go in with an outline of a story, knowing what the NPCs encountered were going to try to accomplish, and then winging it all when the player's got in the way. Along the trail, I would try to touch on one personal detail per player character per session to get them involved and keep them interested. I need to get back to this.
Being a GM means that, for the most part, you are the center of the attention at the table, but not really for any ego-inflating reasons that you might be thinking about. No, as a GM, you are the player's only real window into the world of the story they are in. All details come from you. The challenges they encounter... the reactions of other characters... the color of the sky in the setting... Those details come from your one mind, and they have to be conveyed to players as they need/desire in order to feel a part of what you are collectively doing.
So, be a window, and not a movie screen.