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For the Gms


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Qadira ****

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Drogon wrote:


Regarding the "service" discussion that is just starting up: Yep. We, as GMs, are in the service industry. You are rendering a service for which people are often paying (be it with time or money or both), and they see our performance as directly responsible for their fun. Thus, we're much like a waiter at a restaurant. This is the psychology of it, and is not something to be upset about. Instead, accept it, use it, and get better at what you do because of it.

In a lot of cases GMs are also paying the same monies and expenses with additional ... We volunteer our time; while that may mean that we are "servicing" the players, that does not mean that we deserve to be treated with disrespect or like servents to their fun.

I don't consider myself a waitress at a resturant. I consider myself a gamer and as such able to circulate in gamer circles. Waiters don't circulate in the same circles as their patrons (generally)

Actually, I have been most of the jobs in a resturant (it was the family business), and I would circulate in many of the same circles as the wait staff. When I sit at a gaming table, I am apt to be seated between a McD "burger-flipper" and a Office Manager. One took the bus to get there, the other drove a BMW. When I judge - I try to make sure the players enjoy themselves. Just like when I provide any other service. And just like any other service - I can run into a Jerk. and I try to ignore him and get back to the fun part.

(Sorry if I seem to be disagreeing with you a lot today P.F.CBG, mostly I agree - and I wouldn't be here if I didn't enjoy your company and insights.)

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Drogon wrote:


Regarding the "service" discussion that is just starting up: Yep. We, as GMs, are in the service industry. You are rendering a service for which people are often paying (be it with time or money or both), and they see our performance as directly responsible for their fun. Thus, we're much like a waiter at a restaurant. This is the psychology of it, and is not something to be upset about. Instead, accept it, use it, and get better at what you do because of it.

In a lot of cases GMs are also paying the same monies and expenses with additional ... We volunteer our time; while that may mean that we are "servicing" the players, that does not mean that we deserve to be treated with disrespect or like servents to their fun.

I don't disagree with that, at all. I'm merely pointing out the way the players feel (which is largely not a conscious decision - merely a state of mind that happens).

By the way: we in the service industry spend a ton of money on stuff we use in our jobs. In fact, I'd say my best barista has far outstripped me, in terms of expenses, on his purchases of coffee-related gear versus my purchases of game-related gear. And his customers love him (and, by extension, my store).

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
I don't consider myself a waitress at a resturant. I consider myself a gamer and as such able to circulate in gamer circles. Waiters don't circulate in the same circles as their patrons (generally)

Why not? You're awesome at it. You can use this attitude to your advantage better than most.

And, speaking as someone who runs a service industry establishment: yes, we do circulate with our patrons. All of us in this store have a huge circle of friends due to our customers. We go to movies with them, have them over for dinner, invite them into our games, even date them (regularly) and marry them (occasionally).

Again, stop being upset by this viewpoint. Use it, instead.

However, having said that, I'll say this as well: never let someone feel they "deserve" what they get from you, service-wise. That's the entitlement that people are speaking of, which I see as a complete lack of respect. That belongs nowhere.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Drogon wrote:
Regarding the "service" discussion that is just starting up: Yep. We, as GMs, are in the service industry. You are rendering a service for which people are often paying (be it with time or money or both), and they see our performance as directly responsible for their fun. Thus, we're much like a waiter at a restaurant. This is the psychology of it, and is not something to be upset about. Instead, accept it, use it, and get better at what you do because of it.

I'm going to politely and respectfully, but vehemently disagree with your point of view, Drogon. I am not in any kind of industry, because I don't get paid for it. In fact, I don't really get any kind of reward for GMing other than the satisfaction of a job well done. (Not anything that I couldn't get as a player, anyway.)

For the record, I do recognize that as a store owner, you're in something of a unique position, because your GMing directly impacts your business, so your point of view is largely coloured by that experience.

Thea's point from earlier, which dovetails with my point above, is that GMs often lay out more money, time, resources, etc. to GM for the players than they have to sit down and play. "I paid to have fun, and you need to make this fun for me!" is not an argument that holds a lot of water for me.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think I would enjoy GMing far less if I was getting paid to do it, actually.

*****

Drogon wrote:

By the way: we in the service industry spend a ton of money on stuff we use in our jobs. In fact, I'd say my best barista has far outstripped me, in terms of expenses, on his purchases of coffee-related gear versus my purchases of game-related gear. And his customers love him (and, by extension, my store).

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
I don't consider myself a waitress at a resturant. I consider myself a gamer and as such able to circulate in gamer circles. Waiters don't circulate in the same circles as their patrons (generally)

Why not? You're awesome at it. You can use this attitude to your advantage better than most.

And, speaking as someone who runs a service industry establishment: yes, we do circulate with our patrons. All of us in this store have a huge circle of friends due to our customers. We go to movies with them, have them over for dinner, invite them into our games, even date them (regularly) and marry them (occasionally).

Again, stop being upset by this viewpoint. Use it, instead.

I'm not necessairly upset by the viewpoint ... I'm more annoyed by the viewpoint. I don't want to go to a convention and be seen as a GM waitress; there to push out the latest special for a table of people. I'm also not saying that I need to have praises heaped on me either.

Merely, I want player to recognized the effort and work that goes into being a GM and to stop making comments that GMs should be penalized for a player death, or that GMs shouldn't get rewards as well. At the end of all of this is the fact that GMs are players as well

*****

Jeff Mahood wrote:

Thea's point from earlier, which dovetails with my point above, is that GMs often lay out more money, time, resources, etc. to GM for the players than they have to sit down and play. "I paid to have fun, and you need to make this fun for me!" is not an argument that holds a lot of water for me.

Jeff, thanks for the words I couldn't find --

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

I agree with Thea on one hand. I get as much, if not more, enjoyment out of GM’ing as I do playing. I love seeing players leave my table with smiles because I helped provide a fun experience for them. As such, the entitlement issues and the us vs. them issues are really horrible. It’s actually worse on the message boards now that I have the nifty V-L title.

Game days are largely free for players, so the comment that they have to pay to play so I am a service rep is ludicrous.

Out of state conventions is the only time I might consider Thea and Jeff wrong. If we are getting a free hotel room, paizo store credit, and free convention badge for GM’ing for Paizo, then we are getting paid to provide a service.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Andrew Christian wrote:
Out of state conventions is the only time I might consider Thea and Jeff wrong. If we are getting a free hotel room, paizo store credit, and free convention badge for GM’ing for Paizo, then we are getting paid to provide a service.

I'll concede this point; I haven't ever done that - first time upcoming at Gen Con this year - so it was off the radar when I was writing my diatribe. ;)

*****

Jeff Mahood wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
Out of state conventions is the only time I might consider Thea and Jeff wrong. If we are getting a free hotel room, paizo store credit, and free convention badge for GM’ing for Paizo, then we are getting paid to provide a service.
I'll concede this point; I haven't ever done that - first time upcoming at Gen Con this year - so it was off the radar when I was writing my diatribe. ;)

Andrew good point, but one that only seems to happen at larger conventions with any regularity.

**** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I've freely admitted I've gotten back into PFS both for personal therapy (seriously, there're several reasons my logo is the Hermit on my works) and because I wanted to get my niece and nephew exposed. I'll be finishing First Steps this weekend, then sitting with them to 'level up' (assuming Amnesia and Badab don't die horribly, mwahahahaha!)

I've also spent more money on getting stuff to run at events than I would if I was running a 'home game'. I got the flip map for Crypt of the Everflame, and am going to check to see if my FLGS(s) have the flip mats I need for pt III. (I've taken too long unfortunately to use Paizo as a backup). This doesn't count printing on my own printer the sheets, buying dice for the above mentioned munchkins, Beginner's box, etc etc. Now I'm not just running the game for my niece and nephew, I'm running it for whomever is at my table. (I'm GMing, it's MY table). I'll treat any (most) gamers with respect, but I expect it in return. So I'm investing time and money for people I don't know for my entertainment and the 'benefit' of building a character I won't play anytime soon.* So, expecting me to put up with attitude is a bit much. Heck, I'd much rather play Rey with my niece and nephew rather than GM, but I enjoy GMing too. (I get to make more funny voices)

Aside: I've commented elsewhere, but I've appriciated the restraint of my fellow gamers with the bawdy content. I do have a 12 year old at my table after all, and am trying to get other friends to bring themselves and their kids.

I think the "I paid to have fun, and you need to make this fun for me!" (thanks Jeff!) attitude runs into the fact that the GM paid to have fun too, and needs to have fun as well. OR he might just not be there.

It's akin to the complaints about not enough X content in Kobold Quarterly. If you want more X content, then submit some proposals yourself. If you think the GM isn't 'making it fun' then get behind the screen and run in his shoes.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Jeff Mahood wrote:
I'm going to politely and respectfully, but vehemently disagree with your point of view, Drogon. I am not in any kind of industry, because I don't get paid for it. In fact, I don't really get any kind of reward for GMing other than the satisfaction of a job well done. (Not anything that I couldn't get as a player, anyway.)

Okay.

Not to pick on anyone, but is the charity worker in an industry? Is she or he getting judged based on the job they do? Are they held to certain standards and expected to do certain things? Just checking...

Jeff Mahood wrote:
For the record, I do recognize that as a store owner, you're in something of a unique position, because your GMing directly impacts your business, so your point of view is largely coloured by that experience.

My view is skewed by a great many things; that's just one of them. (-:

In all seriousness, I view everything I do in a light that is colored by what kind of impact my actions will have on the people around me. It is a viewpoint that has made me very successful, I think. I try to share it with people as much as I can, to varying degrees of success, as this discussion is illustrating.

Jeff Mahood wrote:
Thea's point from earlier, which dovetails with my point above, is that GMs often lay out more money, time, resources, etc. to GM for the players than they have to sit down and play. "I paid to have fun, and you need to make this fun for me!" is not an argument that holds a lot of water for me.

True. Which is why I said what I said about entitlement.

Keep this in mind, though: often, people have no idea that what they are feeling or doing is out of line. If you learn to be aware of what they are doing, instead, and understand what is making them feel the way they are feeling (or act the way they are acting) and you'll have a much happier life.

I.E., be a little more Zen (-:

*****

Drogon wrote:


Keep this in mind, though: often, people have no idea that what they are feeling or doing is out of line. If you learn to be aware of what they are doing, instead, and understand what is making them feel the way they are feeling (or act the way they are acting) and you'll have a much happier life.

I.E., be a little more Zen (-:

Which is why I started this thread... I figure if there is one player that is reached and changes their behavor towards GMs then this was a success. It only takes a ripple to make the whole pond shiver (not the exact saying but close enough).

Drogon; as to the rest, From my side I'm going to agree to disagree on points with you and leave it at that to avoid this turning into a massive argument thread.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Ontario aka Feegle

Drogon wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
I'm going to politely and respectfully, but vehemently disagree with your point of view, Drogon. I am not in any kind of industry, because I don't get paid for it. In fact, I don't really get any kind of reward for GMing other than the satisfaction of a job well done. (Not anything that I couldn't get as a player, anyway.)

Okay.

Not to pick on anyone, but is the charity worker in an industry? Is she or he getting judged based on the job they do? Are they held to certain standards and expected to do certain things? Just checking...

They are fair questions. No, yes, and yes, in that order. But I don't know that your analogy is fair, because of who is responsible for holding them to those standards. Forgive me if I'm misreading it, but I think that you're coming at it from the point of view of that volunteer's supervisor.

If a volunteer at, say, a homeless shelter is making a good faith effort to follow the rules, regulations, and procedures of the institution, and one of the people he is serving takes issue with the way he hands out blankets and proceeds to berate him for it, is that out of line? (No need to answer, or perhaps better in PM, lest we lose sight of the reason Thea started this thread.)

Drogon wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
For the record, I do recognize that as a store owner, you're in something of a unique position, because your GMing directly impacts your business, so your point of view is largely coloured by that experience.

My view is skewed by a great many things; that's just one of them. (-:

In all seriousness, I view everything I do in a light that is colored by what kind of impact my actions will have on the people around me. It is a viewpoint that has made me very successful, I think. I try to share it with people as much as I can, to varying degrees of success, as this discussion is illustrating.

For what it's worth, I think you've done a good job at expressing your point of view, and I think it's a valid point of view - it's just not one that I agree with 100%. You've definitely made some very good points which have caused me to refine and temper my own opinions. :)

Drogon wrote:
Jeff Mahood wrote:
Thea's point from earlier, which dovetails with my point above, is that GMs often lay out more money, time, resources, etc. to GM for the players than they have to sit down and play. "I paid to have fun, and you need to make this fun for me!" is not an argument that holds a lot of water for me.

True. Which is why I said what I said about entitlement.

Keep this in mind, though: often, people have no idea that what they are feeling or doing is out of line. If you learn to be aware of what they are doing, instead, and understand what is making them feel the way they are feeling (or act the way they are acting) and you'll have a much happier life.

I.E., be a little more Zen (-:

Zen is fine - but if someone has no idea that what they're doing is out of line, wouldn't the community be better served for them to be told that it is?

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Drogon wrote:


Keep this in mind, though: often, people have no idea that what they are feeling or doing is out of line. If you learn to be aware of what they are doing, instead, and understand what is making them feel the way they are feeling (or act the way they are acting) and you'll have a much happier life.

I.E., be a little more Zen (-:

Which is why I started this thread... I figure if there is one player that is reached and changes their behavor towards GMs then this was a success. It only takes a ripple to make the whole pond shiver (not the exact saying but close enough).

Drogon; as to the rest, From my side I'm going to agree to disagree on points with you and leave it at that to avoid this turning into a massive argument thread.

For what it's worth, I do agree with everything you say. When I read your original post, I became just as incensed as you were, and vowed to not go into that thread to read it, even though the blog post that started it greatly interests me.

I also support your actions and viewpoints.

I just want to point out that maybe, possibly, you can turn that kind of idiocy on its ear and use it to your advantage.

Also: I'd never think to argue with you. Debate? Sure. But you're too rational to actually argue with. And fluffy. Fluffy stops arguments cold...

*****

Drogon wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Drogon wrote:


Keep this in mind, though: often, people have no idea that what they are feeling or doing is out of line. If you learn to be aware of what they are doing, instead, and understand what is making them feel the way they are feeling (or act the way they are acting) and you'll have a much happier life.

I.E., be a little more Zen (-:

Which is why I started this thread... I figure if there is one player that is reached and changes their behavor towards GMs then this was a success. It only takes a ripple to make the whole pond shiver (not the exact saying but close enough).

Drogon; as to the rest, From my side I'm going to agree to disagree on points with you and leave it at that to avoid this turning into a massive argument thread.

For what it's worth, I do agree with everything you say. When I read your original post, I became just as incensed as you were, and vowed to not go into that thread to read it, even though the blog post that started it greatly interests me.

I also support your actions and viewpoints.

I just want to point out that maybe, possibly, you can turn that kind of idiocy on its ear and use it to your advantage.

Also: I'd never think to argue with you. Debate? Sure. But you're too rational to actually argue with. And fluffy. Fluffy stops arguments cold...

LOL

fluffs herself at Drogon

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Jeff Mahood wrote:
Zen is fine - but if someone has no idea that what they're doing is out of line, wouldn't the community be better served for them to be told that it is?

Yes. Always.

But if you know *why* they are doing what they are doing, you will know better how to approach this confrontation in a way that will actually do good. If you don't, you will merely offend the offender in turn, which will lead to no good, at all.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

WARNING: WALL OF TEXT AHEAD

The thing that really makes this difficult is that all the good points made in this thread - about GMs spending more money, investing more time, and deserving respect - every bit of it, despite being true, has been recited most loudly by the few "bad apple" GMs who abuse their players.

In fact, I'd wager a guess that when a player legitimately confronts (or seeks advice about) a GM who really is doing something wrong, that tends to be the first time they hear the "respect the GM" speech.

Like most good things, it gets used by the stinkers as a shield against accountability. In fact, I think sometimes the good GMs (the majority) might even accidentally contribute to that shielding without knowing it.

Longwinded Example:

Assuming for a moment that the GM population contains at least some stinkers (surely no one would argue that?) and that the player population contains at least some mature players (surely no one would argue that either?), then it stands to reason that sooner or later, Matureguy and GM Stinkypants will be at a table together.

When they do, Stinkypants does some nasty stuff. He (for example) buffs some encounters, dismisses serious rules concerns from players (not the trivial stuff, but the "getting this wrong kills my PC" stuff) and chastises them for interrupting him, and wipes the party. Then laughs.

Matureguy, being the mature guy he is, calmly approaches GM Stinkypants after the game to address some concerns. He is polite and respectful, but even so, Stinkypants berates him and gives him an "I put more into this than you did and I deserve respect" speech.

Matureguy then comes to the messageboards to find out if something can be done.

And you know who reads his inquiry? All the good GMs who are used to Whineyguy and his 700,000 cousins coming onto the boards and griping about what GM Niceguy allegedly did wrong.

Going with experience/statistics, and having not been there themselves, the good GMs innocently mistake Matureguy for Whineyguy's half-brother and tell him... what? That the GM put a lot of work into the scenario and should be shown a lot more respect and he's not there to serve you.

Now if you were Matureguy, and your GM botched things royally and then defended himself with the GM respect speech, and everyone else defended him with the same speech, and this happened every single time you ran into a stinker GM, what impression would you have of GMs, and in particular of the GM respect speech?

Probably the same impression you'd have of the playerbase if you were subjected to thread after thread after thread of self-entitled player whining, don't you think?

In short, I think the few stinker GMs are taking away the credibility of the notion of "respect the GM". If all the good GMs want it back, we're going to have to visibly differentiate ourselves from the stinkers. We have to be seen calling each other out and correcting each other's behavior. We have to be seen accepting those corrections from each other. We have to be seen listening to Forumite Complainer #19,748 and taking them seriously until they prove they're the problem (innocent until proven guilty and all that) instead of guessing that they fit the statistics of internet whiners and brushing them off - you never know when this one might be Matureguy who just played under GM Stinkypants.

No, it's not fair for a slighted party to have to take further selfless actions. But you can never control what other people do, so if you ever want anything fixed, you have to start with your own behavior.

I can't say any of this with total certainty, of course. But I keep seeing this cycle over and over again, I keep seeing good people assuming the worst of each other, I keep seeing specific complaints dismissed with statements of general goodness, and I keep seeing it not make anything better. So the above is what I can offer to this topic.

Maybe it'll be helpful, maybe it won't, but there it is.

**** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Re: Charity workers.

This is more of an issue of the guy in the soup kitchen doing his job (enjoying it) and doling out soup when one of the people in the line comes up and says "I want a bigger bowl! And more meat in my soup! And why can't we have beef noodle instead of chicken!"

Re: Bad GMs, there *is* a method of dealing with GMs who abuse their authority, a few in fact.

1) Complain to the GM himself. To use Drogan's 'zen' example, it may not be the GM is bad, but that he doesn't see his actions as wrong.

2) Complain up the chain to the VL, VC, etc etc etc.

3) Play somewhere else, or put on the GM hat yourself. An adventure is what, $5.00? Offer to run a scenario or two. If the GM is really an issue, then human nature will correct the problem. "What? Bob and Matthew are GMing? Let's go to Bob's table, Matt sucks!"

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Jiggy...

Short response. mature player is supported by a RAW backing. If the GM is taking liberities that have been expressly forbidden he either A: doesn't know and needs to be educated or B: doesn't care and at that point needs to be beaten.

long response:

What happens when players post; is that they take a defensive stance towards their side and paint the other party in a horrible light -- that way they can get the responses they want. Personaly, I try to avoid those threads as I know I'm not getting the full story. The player also generally goes to the boards before going to the closest VC as he should -- despite being a game there is a chain of command somewhere around here. The boards should not be a place to publically "out" a GM, sorry if you feel differently but it shouldn't be used for that. All of that kind of thing should be handled privately. GMs don't come and "out" players (rare exceptions), they handle things.

The "respect the GM" speech is one that does need to be used for the appropriate setting, vs. an overall kind of thing. I think the majority of GMs (not all mindyou but the majority) are willing to take critisim. However, we know there there will always be those that don't and can't take critisism.

One point you made was listening. And I agree, there are often cases where someone reads one small sentense or partial sentense and then can't see the rest of the post for that little bit. I've seen one thread recently that is half of posts mis-understanding the original post and accusing the poster of essentially sexism... because they didn't take the time to read the post and understand the viewpoint (I will totally conceed that it was worded badly).

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Matthew Morris wrote:

Re: Bad GMs, there *is* a method of dealing with GMs who abuse their authority, a few in fact.

1) Complain to the GM himself. To use Drogan's 'zen' example, it may not be the GM is bad, but that he doesn't see his actions as wrong.

2) Complain up the chain to the VL, VC, etc etc etc.

3) Play somewhere else, or put on the GM hat yourself. An adventure is what, $5.00? Offer to run a scenario or two. If the GM is really an issue, then human nature will correct the problem. "What? Bob and Matthew are GMing? Let's go to Bob's table, Matt sucks!"

Show me a thread where any of those were the primary response given when a player posted a concern.

The point of my post was not that options for dealing with stinkers didn't exist; the point was that those options are not being communicated by fellow GMs, which I can't help suspecting fosters a perception of "Gee, I guess GMs protect each other no matter what".

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
What happens when players post; is that they take a defensive stance towards their side and paint the other party in a horrible light -- that way they can get the responses they want.

This is actually exactly what I'm talking about. Yes, the above happens a lot. But every so often there's going to be a player whose post sounds like it's painting the GM in a horrible light because that particular GM really did do a horrible job, and an honest recounting events will sound horrible.

And when 10 players post complaints on the boards, and the first 9 are defensive and slanted and everything else you said, then by the time we get to the 10th, anything he says - no matter how factual and unbiased - is going to sound like the generalization you described unless we adopt a stance of always assuming that they're being honest until they give evidence to the contrary. Even if 99 posters in a row turn out to be simple Whiners, we still can't afford to assume anything, because that 100th post might be legitimate and if it gets blown off, then we've just shown that player that GMs are a clique with no accountability.

Quote:
The player also generally goes to the boards before going to the closest VC as he should -- despite being a game there is a chain of command somewhere around here.

But do we tell posters that? I see a lot more "respect your GM and quit whining" than I see of "bring the matter to your VC".

Quote:
The boards should not be a place to publically "out" a GM, sorry if you feel differently but it shouldn't be used for that. All of that kind of thing should be handled privately. GMs don't come and "out" players (rare exceptions), they handle things.

(See above.)


Rather than respond directly to many of the things posted here, as I have never run a game at a convention, I am going to offer a bit of Devil's Advocate thought.

What disconnect happened for some GMs between home games and store/convention games? Where did the GM entitlement attitude start? Do the same GMs who ask for or demand rewards/compensation when running for the public require the same in their home games? Have these GMs been so soured by jerky players that the only way they can run in public is to get something for doing it? And if so, why do they even bother to run public games if the experience itself is not worth it? We do not want mercenary GMs who are only running for the rewards they receive. That leads to the "minimum effort for maximum reward" mentality and mediocre gaming experiences for everyone involved.

*****

Jiggy wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
What happens when players post; is that they take a defensive stance towards their side and paint the other party in a horrible light -- that way they can get the responses they want.

This is actually exactly what I'm talking about. Yes, the above happens a lot. But every so often there's going to be a player whose post sounds like it's painting the GM in a horrible light because that particular GM really did do a horrible job, and an honest recounting events will sound horrible.

And when 10 players post complaints on the boards, and the first 9 are defensive and slanted and everything else you said, then by the time we get to the 10th, anything he says - no matter how factual and unbiased - is going to sound like the generalization you described unless we adopt a stance of always assuming that they're being honest until they give evidence to the contrary. Even if 99 posters in a row turn out to be simple Whiners, we still can't afford to assume anything, because that 100th post might be legitimate and if it gets blown off, then we've just shown that player that GMs are a clique with no accountability.

Quote:
The player also generally goes to the boards before going to the closest VC as he should -- despite being a game there is a chain of command somewhere around here.

But do we tell posters that? I see a lot more "respect your GM and quit whining" than I see of "bring the matter to your VC".

Quote:
The boards should not be a place to publically "out" a GM, sorry if you feel differently but it shouldn't be used for that. All of that kind of thing should be handled privately. GMs don't come and "out" players (rare exceptions), they handle things.

(See above.)

Tell me how many times the suggest of "go to your VC" has actually been made, ignored and the player continues to complain.

I agree it's a 2 way street... as GMs we need to be better listeners and more cognizant of what is being said.. but the players also need to understand that there is only so much we can do and that they need to follow the proper steps -- none of which is to out the GM on the boards ... perhaps someone can write something up that can go in the FAQ in regards to dealing with problem GMs

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

Jiggy wrote:

WARNING: WALL OF TEXT AHEAD

The thing that really makes this difficult is that all the good points made in this thread - about GMs spending more money, investing more time, and deserving respect - every bit of it, despite being true, has been recited most loudly by the few "bad apple" GMs who abuse their players.

In fact, I'd wager a guess that when a player legitimately confronts (or seeks advice about) a GM who really is doing something wrong, that tends to be the first time they hear the "respect the GM" speech.

Like most good things, it gets used by the stinkers as a shield against accountability. In fact, I think sometimes the good GMs (the majority) might even accidentally contribute to that shielding without knowing it.

** spoiler omitted **...

This is a fair point, and one I was thinking of making myself.

There are a few GM's who let the "power" they hold go to their head, and they expect to be respected and they feel its ok to put down, berate, and generally be a jerk to players.

This is not ok.

That being said, I haven't run into any GM's who are outright jerks at the game table in PFS. I have run into a couple that take to many liberties, and should I find they do that, I will certainly call them on it. If they take umbrage with that, then that's their problem, not mine.

*****

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Rather than respond directly to many of the things posted here, as I have never run a game at a convention, I am going to offer a bit of Devil's Advocate thought.

What disconnect happened for some GMs between home games and store/convention games? Where did the GM entitlement attitude start? Do the same GMs who ask for or demand rewards/compensation when running for the public require the same in their home games? Have these GMs been so soured by jerky players that the only way they can run in public is to get something for doing it? And if so, why do they even bother to run public games if the experience itself is not worth it? We do not want mercenary GMs who are only running for the rewards they receive. That leads to the "minimum effort for maximum reward" mentality and mediocre gaming experiences for everyone involved.

What disconnect are you talking about?

What GM entitlement attitude? GMs -- for the most part are the selfless ones in giving of their time

The reward GMs get -- this is what I'm talking about. We get a chronicle to put towards a different character -- if we use it, that is one less chance we have to play. What other benefits and rewards are you talking about?

Most GMs run games because we love to do so, we are not mercenary GMs, however, dis-respect from players and posts from players stating that we should be penalized for character deaths tend to wear on a GMs sense of wanting to continue to run games.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
Tell me how many times the suggest of "go to your VC" has actually been made, ignored and the player continues to complain.

Yes, that happens too. But you can't control their behavior. You can only control yours. My old psychology professors would be so proud, now that I'm reciting their teachings almost a decade later...

Quote:
I agree it's a 2 way street... as GMs we need to be better listeners and more cognizant of what is being said.. but the players also need to...

Both groups have areas that need improving. Let's focus on the ones in our own control.

Quote:

they need to follow the proper steps -- none of which is to out the GM on the boards ... perhaps someone can write something up that can go in the FAQ in regards to dealing with problem GMs

I heartily recommend starting a new thread to bring attention to that idea.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

This is a fair point, and one I was thinking of making myself.

...

That being said, I haven't run into any GM's who are outright jerks at the game table in PFS.

Then let's scale back the example a bit:

Averageguy plays at GM Wellintentioned's table. GM Wellintentioned botches a ruling and costs a player an expensive scroll or some such thing. Averageguy wants to address the issue, but feels a bit timid about it because he already knows how much work the GM puts into running the game and he's worried about coming across as a complainer or hurting the GM's feelings. So he says nothing to the GM (neither at the table nor afterwards).

So instead (we'll assume he either doesn't know he can talk to a VC or thinks that's a disproportionate response) he comes to the boards to ask for advice. But instead of being told what his options are, a bunch of tired GMs who just finished being told how bad they are by Whiner #117 come in and tell him to show more respect to his GM - the GM that Averageguy was already too polite to even confront in the first place.

Sound a little more realistic that way? I hope so, because it's not hypothetical.

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

The comments you are making sound like a personal experience thing. If that is the case, I would suggest letting myself or Ryan Bolduan know your concerns. If there is proof that the GM is not following the rules of OP, then Ryan and I need to know so that we can talk with that GM.

That being said, it is a general policy (and a good one I think) that Ryan and I will not start questioning our GMs and their styles because of every little issue someone has with how they run a game. I think its bad policy, and can run GM's off, if we come down and start questioning every decision they make at the table.

*****

Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnndddddddddddddddddddd

back to our regular program of GM Lurve

*pulls on her dancing costume and starts fluffy booty dancing to Sean Pauls' Temperature*

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:

Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnndddddddddddddddddddd

back to our regular program of GM Lurve

*pulls on her dancing costume and starts fluffy booty dancing to Sean Pauls' Temperature*

Is this a suggested "GM reward"? Might get results, you know.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Jiggy wrote:
But do we tell posters that? I see a lot more "respect your GM and quit whining" than I see of "bring the matter to your VC".

Maybe I don't read as many posts as you, but I see a fair share of "contact your VC or VL regarding this" floating around. How useful that is to people without a local VC or VL is a whole other topic, though.

*****

Jiggy wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:

Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnndddddddddddddddddddd

back to our regular program of GM Lurve

*pulls on her dancing costume and starts fluffy booty dancing to Sean Pauls' Temperature*

Is this a suggested "GM reward"? Might get results, you know.

HEHEHEHEHE

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
WalterGM wrote:
Maybe I don't read as many posts as you, but I see a fair share of "contact your VC or VL regarding this" floating around. How useful that is to people without a local VC or VL is a whole other topic, though.

Contact your nearest or any... Or Bob, they will all be willing to help..

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

WalterGM wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
But do we tell posters that? I see a lot more "respect your GM and quit whining" than I see of "bring the matter to your VC".
Maybe I don't read as many posts as you, but I see a fair share of "contact your VC or VL regarding this" floating around. How useful that is to people without a local VC or VL is a whole other topic, though.

To clarify, sometimes I see a thread where a couple of people suggest contacting a VO, but it's lost in a sea of much more energized posts about GM respect. In such a case, the overall tone of the thread (and what the poster is going to walk away thinking about) is centered on GM respect.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Jiggy wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
But do we tell posters that? I see a lot more "respect your GM and quit whining" than I see of "bring the matter to your VC".
Maybe I don't read as many posts as you, but I see a fair share of "contact your VC or VL regarding this" floating around. How useful that is to people without a local VC or VL is a whole other topic, though.
To clarify, sometimes I see a thread where a couple of people suggest contacting a VO, but it's lost in a sea of much more energized posts about GM respect. In such a case, the overall tone of the thread (and what the poster is going to walk away thinking about) is centered on GM respect.

Ahh, so true. It's just the tragedy of the commons I suppose -- individuals expressing opinions, without regard for each other, decreasing overall credibility.

Silver Crusade **

Dragnmoon wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Maybe I don't read as many posts as you, but I see a fair share of "contact your VC or VL regarding this" floating around. How useful that is to people without a local VC or VL is a whole other topic, though.
Contact your nearest or any... Or Bob, they will all be willing to help..

Unless Dralneen is involved. Then you're doomed.

***** Venture-Captain aka Red-Assassin

GM's are cool. Go GM's!!!

Taking time to GM is awesome.

Players if you don't like a GM, don't play with them or offer to volunteer. Better yet open some dialogue with a GM, tell them what you like or don't like about there GMing. After the fact.

Definately tell them good job, thanks for taking the time to host, organize and prepare for the game. I personally do allot to prepare. Depending on the scenario or mod, 10 plus hours are not uncommon. Maps, miniatures rules and spells, creature type stats, history research forum feedback review feedback. Allot goes into my prep work. I like to answer players when they come up with history or similiar checks. I know some GM's that put less prep into a scenario and it still turns out fun.

The argument I mainly have is rule lawyers that second guess a scenario I run. Especially when it comes to abilitities a creature can or can't do, usually this is a unique creature or a creature that has unique abilities. I have also seen a 5ft step argument between a GM and a player that lasted over 5 minutes. Small things like this can really vampire suck the fun out of a game.

So for the player realize a GM is running a game from his perspective. Likely there will be time a player has a different perspective than a GM. At times both of these views can both be right but it is up to the GM not the player, to make a call, and move forward, even if later it is revealed not correct.

For the GM, I hope your table has fun!

Silver Crusade **

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Rather than respond directly to many of the things posted here, as I have never run a game at a convention, I am going to offer a bit of Devil's Advocate thought.

What disconnect happened for some GMs between home games and store/convention games? Where did the GM entitlement attitude start? Do the same GMs who ask for or demand rewards/compensation when running for the public require the same in their home games? Have these GMs been so soured by jerky players that the only way they can run in public is to get something for doing it? And if so, why do they even bother to run public games if the experience itself is not worth it? We do not want mercenary GMs who are only running for the rewards they receive. That leads to the "minimum effort for maximum reward" mentality and mediocre gaming experiences for everyone involved.

When I run a home campaign (running my second now), it is an agreed upon assumption that if I need a break from the GM seat, I can tap into the campaign with a character of the same level and wealth as the established party. This is pretty much exactly the same as the chronicle system.

And what rewards do GM's receive beyond what players receive?

Qadira ****

Aside from a few ... socially challanged individuals ... who I have not personally met at a table, and only on the boards, are we (as judges) seeing "dis-respect from players and posts from players stating that we should be penalized for character deaths"?

Aren't all Judges players too? Even if they never pull up a chair at another judges table and run a PC. Why do we continue to make this an "us vs. them" issue? Next thing you know we'll be eating at different tables in the Con food court - and whispering whenever "one of them" walk by. You know what? I'm a player. Sometimes I judge (not as often as I should maybe...).

I know there are "socially challanged individuals" on both sides of this issue. There are "Griefers" out to make sure everyone has a bad time. There are Power-Trippers who view all players as someone "trying to pull a fast one". But the vast majority of us are just trying to have fun. When someone helps you have fun, tell them. If it's a Judge who spent weeks prepping a mod, and has lots of "silly voices" - tell him. If it's the player with the PC you remember from last Con months ago - tell him, ask him how Max Damage is doing.

And always try to remember that what you find out here on the boards is only a bad reflection of what's going on around the tables. If the board shut down, I'd like to think we'd still be playing. If the tables shut down... I'm sure I wouldn't be here on the boards.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

2 people marked this as a favorite.
nosig wrote:
If the board shut down, I'd like to think we'd still be playing. If the tables shut down... I'm sure I wouldn't be here on the boards.

Not gonna lie: I'd be pretty okay with the internet not being the impossible to control influence it is, now.

[In my best old codger voice]:

I miss the days of yore, when the DM (yep, the DM) owned all the books and the players merely played. And when rules questions came up, the DM made a judgment and the game went on. Not that questions really came up, by the way. 'Cuz the players just played...

[/old codger voice]

An interesting excerpt from a letter written by Gygax in a fanzine called 'Alarums and Excursions' in 1975:

"Dave and I disagree on how to handle any number of things, and both of our campaigns differ from the "rules" found in DandD. If the time ever comes when all aspects of fantasy are covered and the vast majority of its players agree on how the game should be played, DandD will have become staid and boring indeed. Sorry, but I don't believe that there is anything desirable in having various campaigns playing similarly to one another. DandD is supposed to offer a challenge to the imagination and to do so in many ways. Perhaps the most important is in regard to what the probabilities of a given situation are. If players know what all of the monster parameters are, what can be expected in a given situation, exactly what will happen to them if they perform thus and so, most of the charm of the game is gone. Frankly, the reason I enjoy playing in Dave Arneson's campaign is that I do not know his treatments of monsters and suchlike, so I must keep thinking and reasoning in order to "survive". Now, for example, if I made a proclamation from on high which suited Mr. Johnstone, it would certainly be quite unacceptable to hundreds or even thousands of other players. My answer is, and has always been, if you don't like the way I do it, change the bloody rules to suit yourself and your players. DandD enthusiasts are far too individualistic and imaginative a bunch to be in agreement, and I certainly refuse to play god for them -- except as a referee in my own campaign where they jolly well better toe the mark."

*emphasis mine...not that we can do this in PFS, I suppose...

But the last bit we sure can agree with, right? (-:

Sczarni ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

WalterGM wrote:
Ahh, so true. It's just the tragedy of the commons I suppose -- individuals expressing opinions, without regard for each other, decreasing overall credibility.

WalterGM for VC of Eastern Washington 2012.

*smiles like the evil troll he is*

*****

Drogon wrote:
nosig wrote:
If the board shut down, I'd like to think we'd still be playing. If the tables shut down... I'm sure I wouldn't be here on the boards.

Not gonna lie: I'd be pretty okay with the internet not being the impossible to control influence it is, now.

[In my best old codger voice]:

I miss the days of yore, when the DM (yep, the DM) owned all the books and the players merely played. And when rules questions came up, the DM made a judgment and the game went on. Not that questions really came up, by the way. 'Cuz the players just played...

[/old codger voice]

An interesting excerpt from a letter written by Gygax in a fanzine called 'Alarums and Excursions' in 1975:

"Dave and I disagree on how to handle any number of things, and both of our campaigns differ from the "rules" found in DandD. If the time ever comes when all aspects of fantasy are covered and the vast majority of its players agree on how the game should be played, DandD will have become staid and boring indeed. Sorry, but I don't believe that there is anything desirable in having various campaigns playing similarly to one another. DandD is supposed to offer a challenge to the imagination and to do so in many ways. Perhaps the most important is in regard to what the probabilities of a given situation are. If players know what all of the monster parameters are, what can be expected in a given situation, exactly what will happen to them if they perform thus and so, most of the charm of the game is gone. Frankly, the reason I enjoy playing in Dave Arneson's campaign is that I do not know his treatments of monsters and suchlike, so I must keep thinking and reasoning in order to "survive". Now, for example, if I made a proclamation from on high which suited Mr. Johnstone, it would certainly be quite unacceptable to hundreds or even thousands of other players. My answer is, and has always been, if you don't like the way I do it, change the bloody rules to suit yourself and your players. DandD enthusiasts are far too...

very interesting point .. and truthful

I think the "us vs. them" aspect has been created due to the nature of individuals to argue their side... GMs argue the rules from behind the GM screen, players argue the rules from behind the character sheet and while some can easily interchange themselves between roles. It has truely developed into this kind of world we have immersed ourselves in.

In respect to Nosig's post. I used those as examples as they were made from a disgruntled player's viewpoint regarding a GM. In the instance I'm referencing (I can get the post link for you later tonight when I'm at home and on a faster computer lol), the player came on and made comments about how he died because of his choices (playing up and out of tier in a known deadly scenario), but yet it was the GMs fault that he died and the player felt that the GM should be punished.

It's comments and attitudes like those that prompted me to start this thread. Yes, GMs are players as well, but how often are we seen as players when we're on the boards? We have stars on our posting to denote that we spend out time judging, creating the very nature of "us vs. them" (this is not to say that they should be removed fyi I like my pretty stars and I worked hard for them).

I already eat seperate from players at cons .... because I like my private time lol...

Qadira ****

If I remember the post where "the player came on and made comments about how he died because of his choices (playing up and out of tier in a known deadly scenario), but yet it was the GMs fault that he died and the player felt that the GM should be punished" - there was a rather large response from the rest of us (players and judges) pointing out how this was a bad idea. In fact, it was one of the few times I can recall that there was no other posters supporting the view point (at least as I remember it - but I am getting older and the memory ...). The poster expressed an opinion that was almost uniformly rejected. Perhaps it was one of those creatures I do not understand ... I think they are call "Trolls". Posting silly opinions to get reactions.

Qadira ****

Oh! and I love to buy my DM lunch after a game... some of the best times are in-between games when we just talk.

so... "I already eat seperate from players at cons .... because I like my private time lol...". Alone time is good. I just hope it is not that you will eat at the "Judges only table", where the underclasses dare not sit. We'd enjoy having you sit with us and relax and enjoy your company too.

*****

exactly... it's post like that .. and others that paint all GMs in a bad light.. despite what people actually know of us.

But again.. happy fun thread... full of light ... and purple glitter.... so we all fluffy booty dance to Dynamite (Taio Cruz)

*booty bops across the floor humming ...

I came to dance dance dance
Give me some space for both my paws paws paws*

Andoran **

Not to sound too out of the loop and incredibly stupid here, also mildly off tangent, what is this GMs gaming the system said quotes were pulled from?

I did some digging and couldn't find anything. Admittedly I didn't do much digging since I'm at the library with a short time usage and currently don't have my own. Was there a newly proposed rewards system to GMs that I missed?

Back on point, I who heartedly agree. Before I moved there were about 6 of us the GMed out of 18 or so players. Admittedly 1/3 isn't all that bad. But after a while you'd like to see some fresh blood, so to speak, and have someone new step up and try the GM mantel on. Sometimes GMing is a very thankless job, but someone has to do it to keep the hobby going.

*****

I very intentionally did not mention the name of the person... and would appreciate if others didn't as well. The issue isn't with who said it but that it was said.

madclaw -- check your private messages

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Dragnmoon wrote:
Contact your nearest or any... Or Bob, they will all be willing to help..

Bob is happy to answer your questions, direct you to your local Venture-Officer, or assist you directly if there isn't one. Bob is nice like that.

*apparently, Bob likes to refer to himself in the third-person :-)

Game On!

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Coraith wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Ahh, so true. It's just the tragedy of the commons I suppose -- individuals expressing opinions, without regard for each other, decreasing overall credibility.

WalterGM for VC of Eastern Washington 2012.

*smiles like the evil troll he is*

Why you little...the next time Folnor or Salvanar sits down at one of my tables you'd better have the coin to get them raised!

*shakes fist and scowls*

**** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia

nosig wrote:
Oh! and I love to buy my DM lunch after a game... some of the best times are in-between games when we just talk.

That'd be cool if a player offered to buy me lunch. I've never had players do that.

Now as a player, and as a GM I've bought lunch for the other players and gamemasters. Usually I'll buy a tomato pie for the group if I got a ride to the gameday rather than having to take a bus.

I've also have paid for the group to have pizza or other foods delivered as a GM, and a few times as a player I've done the same.

This is for organized play where some of the people I didn't even know. I started doing it as a player for LFR to because I saw the idea posted on a forum and I figured it was a nice idea.

I've actually have had some bad experience with doing this though. I've had people complain because they didn't like the food I bought, I've had people who I didn't know, and wasn't involved in the game take food and not even offer a thank you. The no thank you thing bothered me the most, actually it still irks me.

I've had some good experiences though as well. I've had players offer to reimburse me for the food as a sign of gratitude or offer to pick up the food instead of having me pay to get it delivered. Some have offered to drive to the convenience store for me so that I didn't have to leave the store to get ready for the next slot.

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