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Ever feel Appreciated as a DM?

Gamer Talk

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I was reading this thread and feeling the pain.

Then I thought it would be nice to have a collection of positive stories.

We get a lot of cool in-game stories in the forums, try to focus your answers on events that happened in real life (using in-game events to facilitate if necessary).

I'll start.

I was just playing with my kids. They met a drow and I spent 45 min role playing the drow recounting general drow life, culture, and society as it connected with her back story. They were spell-bound. Before they went to bed they were both saying things like, "Dad, that was the best game ever," and "Man, I want to dream about this tonight!" Days later when their cousins came for a visit I overheard them recounting the game with great drama to them. It was all very rewarding.

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Sincere thanks for great games, the look of excitement in the players eyes, laughter and happiness, stories and praise recounted year after year.

Game on today!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

My kids are still very little, so I'm hoping to have a similar story like that in the years to come.

That being said, my players usually thank me after a session, especially if its Society at our local gaming store.

But one story I can tell for sure, I was running a homebrew a couple of years ago and the situation had the PC's guarding a caravan. They came upon what appeared to be a group of merchants that were having some trouble with one of their wagons. In reality it was a group of bandits that were trying to ambush the players.

The part that made it great was that me and another of the players acted out the interactions between his character and the bandits which also resulted in a blow by blow recount of the combat. We got a standing ovation from the rest of the party.

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My group of players is pretty great at making me feel appreciated:

They thank me before they head home, they keep coming back even when I sometimes cancel a session with them at the table, they tell me which campaign of the many going on is their current favorite (I run 5 a week - and they show up for all of them, that's some pretty serious appreciation being shown)...

And no matter what, when I say "I'm starting up a new campaign soon," their eyes light up with excitement and they start making characters.

I feel a bit silly for almost forgetting it, but they also get me gifts from time to time... mostly food, but also buying up the occasional gaming materials: One player happened to see a decent condition set of AD&D 2nd edition core books while he was visiting a friend out of state and he just bought them and gave them to me saying "Thought I remembered you saying you liked AD&D, so I grabbed these when I saw them."

He then coordinated with the friend he was visiting and my girlfriend to buy up the rest of the 2nd edition books that I used when running that edition and present them to me on my birthday, which most of my players refuse to allow me not to celebrate (which is endearing, while annoying that they don't let me do as I like and treat the day as just another day).

1 person marked this as a favorite.

When players come up with fresh ideas, usually some little things.

For example: I'm currently GMing a game with two fresh meats - the other has played some years ago, the other has never played a tabletop RPG. Both are new to PF.

The party leveled before last session. The other newbie put max ranks to Profession (Baker). "Why?", I asked. "Well, he's fat so there's got to be some explanation why's that happened. Besides, I like pie. And so does my character", answered the player.

So they're having fun simply by playing their characters and not thinking the best build, the best feats etc. And in the mean time, they also entertain me. What more could I ask?

Silver Crusade

I can think of a few instances where players have appreciated their GMs. A few months ago a close friend of mine caught me oggling the Distant Worlds Campaign Setting on the Paizo store (currently running a campaign that will eventually lead to another planet, with themes of the Starstone and Aboleths). But a few weeks later, she hands it to me as a gift.

Likewise, my wife is currently running a Land of the Linnorm Kings campaign with Chromatic, Linnorm, and Metallic dragons being featured. She was also caught looking through a book that she wanted. This story ends the same way.

It's those acts of kindness that I like best: the type that are not only wonderful to receive, but help you in creating a better campaign for the people that truly appreciate it.

I felt appreciated just a couple of weeks ago, when some of my players told me I had to GM something for them, because "it doesn't matter what you run--we always know we'll enjoy it", and there are already two other campaigns being run in our group.

A few months ago I started up a Shackled City campaign for a new batch of players - the hardcover having been purchased with a gift certificate one of the players from my core group got me.

We've only played 3 times so far (4th session is next week) and one of these guys is just so excited each week that he shows up HOURS early. I mean, we're supposed to meet at 7pm on a Friday night and he's parked in front of my place before I even get home from work at 5:30. His enthusiasm is encouragement enough but my birthday was just the other day and I got home from work to find a box on my steps.

I open it up and this same player got me a Pathfinder GM screen to replace the old 3.0 screen I was still using as well as the critical hit and fumble decks!

It was really heart warming.

And similar to Jerry Wright's group - my core group of friends and I get together once a year for a camping trip where we play DnD/Pathfinder for the whole of the trip. The first 5 times we went I ran the campaign and they still talk about those characters as their all-time favorites. We've played A LOT of this game over the last decade and for them to still be so riveted by those characters and that particular story is incredibly humbling and awesome all at the same time.

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The whole reason for the Call of Cthulhu "Horror on the Orient Express" campaign I'm the Keeper for is an act of GM appreciation. The player in question ponied up a not-inconsiderable sum to win the auction for it and ship it from the UK.

In the second session of this campaaign the red herring that they followed turned into a bloodbath. The majority of the players shook my hand after the session, expressing that they had a blast despite the betrayal of their dice and the horrifically low-rolling streak my trusty Cthulhu dice were on that fateful Saturday.


Grand Lodge

My first time DMing was for a group of people who met online. I think two people already knew each other but the rest of us met on the first day. We played to level 20 over 2 yearsand because the Big Bad was an ancient black dragon the PCs surprised me the boxed mini to say thank you for DMing!

Shadow Lodge

To this day I still get requests from my first group of players to restart my first campaign... which despite my constant belief that it was a railroaded, knot-plotted, directionless catastrophe, the players all absolutely adored.

The rapidity with which they all responded to my latest request - which consisted of nothing more than the line "'Ware the Red. Are you in? (link to PbP forum)" - also speaks volumes. I miss being able to game with these people in person.

One of my players also bought me a gift certificate here at the Paizo store recently. I ended up picking up a bunch of the Loot4Less line with it. All things are circular, huh?

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I normally GM in the local hobby store that I have been going to for over 30 years. I started because the owners asked me to. They told me they couldn't think of anyone else they would rather have do this.
This has lead to me not turning anyone away and surely increasing the sales of Pathfinder books in the process. Due to being in a military town, many of my players don't get to stick around, but they do stay in touch and tell me they can't wait to get back to Bragg. Sometimes they even pay my cover donation for me (for months at a time). One has even bought me a gamers shirt to show his appreciation. My group even stays after to help the shop clean up afterwards (no other group here does that). I have to say I have a wonderful group (though they don't always play as a cohesive group) and it isn't because of the gifts. It is the thoughtfulness.

Silver Crusade

Just once.

When the regular GM's wife, after I ran a session of CotCT, turned to me and said, "That was AWESOME! week, can we find my character's sister?"

Appreciation moment.

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Over the years my group has surprised me with rule books, sometimes for a birthday, when I was recovering from an auto accident, and sometimes "just because". I moved away for a year and when I came back they had pitched in and bought a table with collapsible wings just for my DMing space. And it wasn't cheap! And for my 40th birthday (sigh, 8 years ago) they surprised me with an all expense paid trip to GenCon. I also got a standing ovation once for a very detailed and "lifelike" description of an encounter with a catoblepas.

I love my group.

Party didn't all turn up last night, one cancelled, one came early, one came late but brought so many snacks, so much agrum, creamy soda, chocolate. We had a great time.

Despite my own failings, the simple thank you I got from my players when running a game made me feel happy. I really wish I had time to game with them again.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For me, the greatest joy of being a DM is all those stories that, after 15 years playing together with my group, we still share, remember and laugh about as clearly as if we had actually travelled to fantastic castles and fought beholders.

Knowing that fourty years from now, when we are all old and wrinkled, they will still recall their travels on flying carpets and the riddles of a sphynx, storming a Spanish fortress in the Caribbean and wearing top hats in the XIX century, makes me feel like I had the chance to make their lives more colourful and make sure they never forget to be kids.


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:

For me, the greatest joy of being a DM is all those stories that, after 15 years playing together with my group, we still share, remember and laugh about as clearly as if we had actually travelled to fantastic castles and fought beholders.

Knowing that fourty years from now, when we are all old and wrinkled, they will still recall their travels on flying carpets and the riddles of a sphynx, storming a Spanish fortress in the Caribbean and wearing top hats in the XIX century, makes me feel like I had the chance to make their lives more colourful and make sure they never forget to be kids.

This. A thousand times, this.

I've only DMed for my current group a few times, but I'm already loving the direction in which it's going. I already have some stories from their sessions, and I'm sure more will come...

During the session I ran to introduce them to combat, I used Skippy the Fighter as their guide and teacher. They still bring him up every now and then in-game.

One of my players is a half-elf monk, and the NPC I ran to fill out the party was a 7', ridiculously strong half-orc barbarian. In the first fight, that player asked me if his nimble half-elf could run up the barbarian's back and jump off his shoulders to attack the enemy. And it worked.

Another player is a dragonborn sorcerer. The first adventure pitted the party against kobolds. What was their plan to take down the BBEG? Have the dragonborn claim to be the kobolds' god. In this case, a god who asked if he could eat the kobolds' bodies whenever combat ended.

The whole party decided the best way to deal with my venomous water snakes was to throw rocks at them. Took a few minutes of die-rolls, but the end result was 400 XP with no loss of resources.

However, the human cleric of Cayden Cailean is shaping up to be the most hilarious PC. He started out the adventure by demanding that 1 gp of his 150 gp payment go to the church. Later on, when the party found a couple NPCs I made with a magic cask that never ran dry, his first instinct was to get slammed. And his combat tactic of choice is to use Hand of the Acolyte to throw a weapon at his enemies... that weapon being his "bible."

Two recent examples if this stand out.

Our group tends to be very laid back. We often get side tracked by out of character comments, jokes, or puns. This can make it difficult to keep the group on focus for plot points, but will never change because this is part of the fun we have getting together.

During the last session, the group was approaching a major plot development, but I was worried they would miss it. The as the NPC went on with his tale, the group grew quiet, and the realization spread over their faces. Suddenly they had a sense of urgency (in character) and began speaking frantically amongst themselves trying to make plans. It was really cool to see my homebrewed campaign create that type of reaction.

Following that session, one of the players called me. He said that he is wrapped up in the story, and can't wait to see what is going to happen next!

This is why I love to play RPGs. The chance to hang out with friends and collaboratively tell a compelling story. That is pretty great, and makes me feel appreciated.

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Every summer my players drive 6+ hours for a long weekend live session or our normally VTT game.

Every year they foot the bill for booze, groceries, and more.

Every year they leave me and my girlfriend with more money than we started with.

That has a way of making you feel appreciated.

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