We have already finished the Dresden Files Podcast RPG, which I am definitely not sad about considering how well it ended. Now I am technically involved in 3 games: 2 casuals that I run for friends whenever they have time to come over (maybe once a month), and of course the new Star Trek podcast RPG that you will be able to listen to soon.
So a while back I made a post where I stated that FATE is not for everyone and it is not for every situation. I stand by that still. But I was surprised to find out just how many people disagree with me on this issue. A number of Kickstarter projects have had people demand FATE versions of their rules in exchange for support. Gamers have refused to participate in events unless someone runs a FATE game. And of course people that try to design their own FATE settings are being told that their rules are not “good enough” for FATE.
That last one really hits home since both Taylor and I have been designing our own systems based on TV shows we love. I mean, isn’t one of the big advantages of a system like FATE supposed to be that we can play in a Star Trek, Air Bender, or Firefly setting?
I know it probably seems odd to talk about playing a roleplaying game without a Game Master right after we talked about the importance of supporting GMs, but hear me out. Sometimes it can help to play a game without a GM to get a feel for the rules of a game together. More often you have an opportunity where the GM can’t make it (or wants a chance to play) and no one else is prepared/willing to run a game. And sometimes you just want to try something new.
Is It Really an RPG?
Clearly having a game without a GM is never ideal. Having a human that can respond to challenges and player requests is one of the biggest advantages that tabletop RPGs have over electronic games. And more than likely trying a GM-less game is going to help everyone appreciate a human GM immensely more.
There will probably always be more players than Game Masters (GMs) in our hobby. I’m ok with that. But you know, it would be great if more players and even non-players were willing to run some games. It is a lot of fun, and really it seems like everyone has a hard time finding people to run games. Unfortunately there is a very good reason for this: fear.
Anyone getting into running a game for the first time will have some fears to face, and unfortunately a lot of those fears are justified. If you run a bad game, players will NOT want to play with you again. If you mess up the rules, you get called out on it at some point. If a player messes up on something, they will hold it against you on some level. And how your first session goes will also affect how you see yourself as a gamer and a game master.