Reporting GMs, both Good and Bad


Pathfinder Society

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5/5

is sad that Kyle won't get to judge this year ... i mean after the special and all ;)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Doug Miles wrote:
Damn, it's going to be harder to fly under the radar without those worse GMs running interference for me.

How do you know you aren't one of the 18? ;-)

Silver Crusade 5/5

Michael Brock wrote:
Doug Miles wrote:
Damn, it's going to be harder to fly under the radar without those worse GMs running interference for me.
How do you know you aren't one of the 18? ;-)

He IS Massacre Miles...

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento

Doug Miles wrote:
Damn, it's going to be harder to fly under the radar without those worse GMs running interference for me. I'll have to fake an injury if anyone gets too disgruntled. I got lots more uses in my lame GM's bag of excuses ;)

Does this mean we are getting a Mr. Miles appearance at either GenCon or PaizoCon this year?

5/5

Michael Brock wrote:

I reached out to all 18 of these GMs and they either choose not to reply back or their explanations were not satisfactory to look past their actions.

I was totally going to reply, honest, I was!

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento

Kyle Baird wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

I reached out to all 18 of these GMs and they either choose not to reply back or their explanations were not satisfactory to look past their actions.

I was totally going to reply, honest, I was!

Kyle, just tell him I made you do it, that should cover you. ;)

Silver Crusade 5/5

Dragnmoon wrote:
Doug Miles wrote:
Damn, it's going to be harder to fly under the radar without those worse GMs running interference for me. I'll have to fake an injury if anyone gets too disgruntled. I got lots more uses in my lame GM's bag of excuses ;)
Does this mean we are getting a Mr. Miles appearance at either GenCon or PaizoCon this year?

Doug has decided that he's not telling ANYONE that he's doing anything and just shows up and you drop your jaw since you haven't seen him since he "died" of PFS overload. At least that's what happened to a lot of us at Winter Fantasy.

The Exchange 5/5

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Dragnmoon wrote:
Doug Miles wrote:
Damn, it's going to be harder to fly under the radar without those worse GMs running interference for me. I'll have to fake an injury if anyone gets too disgruntled. I got lots more uses in my lame GM's bag of excuses ;)
Does this mean we are getting a Mr. Miles appearance at either GenCon or PaizoCon this year?

PaizoCon's not even in the running, but I have been given leave to GM at GenCon if I'm not on Mike's naughty list.

I remember Josh asking me if I could assist a GM volunteer at GenCon 2009 who showed up with no maps, no minis. Apparently this guy thought that stuff was provided by Paizo. You never know what you are going to get when you are asking for that many volunteers. You can only learn from experience. I bet Dave Christ has a very long naughty list.

Lantern Lodge 2/5

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another thing that people may not consider is how many hours that day has the GM been gm'ing? I know that there have been some events that i have gm'd a total of 13 1/2 hours with only one 1/2 hour break.

5/5 *

Stargypsyd wrote:
another thing that people may not consider is how many hours that day has the GM been gm'ing? I know that there have been some events that i have gm'd a total of 13 1/2 hours with only one 1/2 hour break.

Well, that should fall on the GM and not the player though. I'd hope you know your own limits and take care of your own body. Sign up to GM only as many as you think you can do reasonably.

For example, I learned this year that at Dragoncon, if I do the midnight PFS slots I should really skip the 8 AM slots...

5/5

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10 slots at Gen Con plus 3 slots at Scotty's! It's the only way to do it!

5/5 *

Kyle Baird wrote:
10 slots at Gen Con plus 3 slots at Scotty's! It's the only way to do it!

A++, would do again. (that scotty's rats was my first scenario with master Kyle's gracious GMing)

I'll raise you a scotty's slot though ;) (rats 1+2, midnight mauler, immortal connundrum)

Sovereign Court 4/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Yay my report on how Kyle killed my character did not fall on deaf ears! It took me two whole seasons of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to stop from spontaneously bursting into tears!

I do actually want to say thanks to Mike. There was nothing forcing him to handle this in the open way he has, other than respect for the player and GM base. It would have been very tempting for most to just quietly not use those people in future without giving them a chance to respond. I am very impressed once again with his leadership.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

The ShadowShackleton wrote:

Yay my report on how Kyle killed my character did not fall on deaf ears! It took me two whole seasons of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to stop from spontaneously bursting into tears!

I do actually want to say thanks to Mike. There was nothing forcing him to handle this in the open way he has, other than respect for the player and GM base. It would have been very tempting for most to just quietly not use those people in future without giving them a chance to respond. I am very impressed once again with his leadership.

Hey I be the first to have been killed by Kyle at last years GenCon. And was deserved, complacent I became.

Here, here, good leadership we do have.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Jiggy wrote:
Wow, 18? That sounds like a lot. Of course, I've never made it to that big of a convention, so maybe that's a small percentage, I dunno.

We sat between 70 and 84 tables of PFS every slot at Gen Con last year, and I think the Sunday morning slot was the only one that had less than 75. Most GMs didn't run every slot (although some did) so I'd guesstimate we had upwards of 120 GMs. Since only 12 of those 18 are from last year and those 12 are split between PaizoCon and GenCon, we're talking about probably less than 10% of our volunteer GMs last year.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

10% is a pretty high number. 5% isn't so bad (assuming an even split between the two conventions).

I would hope that, if the GMs in question get in touch at some point and do provide a reasonable explanation, they would be "reinstated." I'm not so sure I'm on board with public beheadings, myself. I have been the target of a player tirade, before, and I'm pretty sure I'm relatively good at this task. The only reason I found out it was me that everyone was talking about was because I pulled the coordinator aside to ask.

Spoiler:
The players in question were upset with me running 10 minutes over the time slot; they mentioned that they had a lot of fun playing, but due to having to pay their babysitter 10 minutes of overtime, they wanted to make sure the coordinator knew how terribly inconvenienced I had made them feel.

Sovereign Court 4/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I can't imagine that is the kind of situation that would inspire action on Mikes part. Let's give the benefit of the doubt that these complaints were serious and valid or he would not have pursued them.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

We actually had 149 different GMs for Gen Con in 2012.

As for Drogon's concerns, anytime I receive a report of a bad experience, I reach out to each and every GM. As I mentioned, some choose not to reply to my emails. The few that did reply with something akin to, "I didnt feel like reading the scenario ahead of time so I just winged it," doesn't cut it when I sent the scenario a month ahead of time and it was one of the earliest scenarios to be released on the schedule.

As for public beheadings and the like, the list will never be published. As the VCs and VLs can attest to my philosophy, I praise in public and punish in private.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

The ShadowShackleton wrote:
I can't imagine that is the kind of situation that would inspire action on Mikes part. Let's give the benefit of the doubt that these complaints were serious and valid or he would not have pursued them.

Agreed. I can't ever see him punting me on that one, should he hear my side. But if I had left after that con and not gotten to talk to the coordinator, my name may have been pretty thoroughly tarnished (it's not like those players actually explained their babysitter problem to the coordinator). I've never seen a situation where Mike wouldn't chase down the facts, but sometimes I like to take the devil's advocate side of things.

Edit: And, Mike, I know you're good at your job and would never ding someone unnecessarily. Don't think I, of all people, would hold punting bad GMs against you. Just remember what "benefit of the doubt" means, when it comes to your volunteers. (-;

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Michael Brock wrote:
punish in private.

TMI, Mr. Dralneen.

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:

I think it's important that we not think of topics like this in terms of "good GMs" and "bad GMs". I'd wager most bad experiences are the result of a good GM getting something important wrong. One good GM has a bad habit of metagaming based on knowledge of the PCs' respective armor classes; another good GM is pretty shaky on rules for Topic X; yet another good GM is uncomfortable as a storyteller and reduces scenarios to strings of combat; another good GM tends to underprepare and spends a lot of time looking things up; and still another good GM fails to rein in his distaste for certain builds and guns for them.

I'm going to go out on a limb and posit the following:
There are no bad GMs, just good GMs with flaws and varying degrees of willingness to acknowledge and overcome them.

Here here! a GM who makes mistakes but keeps trying to improve is in fact a good GM or at least will be in time.

5/5

Michael Brock wrote:
anytime I receive a report of a bad experience, I reach out

Now I understand the police hold..

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Michael Brock wrote:
Just FYI for everyone who experienced bad GMs at either PaizoCon or Gen Con last year, I wanted to assure you (and everyone who sent me similar emails and PMs), that I still have your letters of concern and some of these GMs will not be invited back for either PaizoCon and Gen Con.

Its always good to know that concerns are heard by leadership. Thanks, Mike.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Kyle Baird wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
anytime I receive a report of a bad experience, I reach out
Now I understand the police hold..

That was hilarious.

Sczarni 2/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Kyle Baird wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:
anytime I receive a report of a bad experience, I reach out
Now I understand the police hold..

It only took three of them.

Grand Lodge

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If I fail a scenario because the GM ran it poorly can I have it expunged from my records?

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston

BTGuntz wrote:
If I fail a scenario because the GM ran it poorly can I have it expunged from my records?

No. However, I must admit, I am curious. Could you tell us what happened? Please use spoiler tags around it, but...there are several tough scenarios that can result in mission failure if the party is not careful. The Blakros Matrimony comes to mind.


Netopalis wrote:
BTGuntz wrote:
If I fail a scenario because the GM ran it poorly can I have it expunged from my records?
No. However, I must admit, I am curious. Could you tell us what happened?

Nothing good will come of this.

Guntz, email your VC or VL with your concerns.

Sovereign Court 4/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I have to agree with Chalk Microbe on this one.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

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BTGuntz wrote:
If I fail a scenario because the GM ran it poorly can I have it expunged from my records?

No, but you may email me or your local VC/VL.

Also, if the GMs in your area are running games poorly, I encourage you to step up and GM games better so you can lead by example.

Dark Archive 4/5

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Netopalis wrote:
BTGuntz wrote:
If I fail a scenario because the GM ran it poorly can I have it expunged from my records?
No. However, I must admit, I am curious. Could you tell us what happened? Please use spoiler tags around it, but...there are several tough scenarios that can result in mission failure if the party is not careful. The Blakros Matrimony comes to mind.

This isn't a good forum for calling people out. That should be relegated to places with less memory than the internet.

5/5

sneaks in and splashes glitter to make everyone happy again

spies Mike ... and makes sure he's glitter-free {decemvirate is all forboding, black and emptyish looking .. not sparkly and glittery and happy} ....

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston

Sorry if I was misunderstood. I wasn't intending for him to call anybody out, and I didn't expect a GM's name. I was more curious about the scenario itself and the situation, because I felt that it was likely something that just seemed unfair, but which was correct. There are several scenarios that can end in mission failure due to reasons that, if not properly explained, could result in a reaction like his - usually investigative scenarios where something important is missed.

4/5

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:

sneaks in and splashes glitter to make everyone happy again

spies Mike ... and makes sure he's glitter-free {decemvirate is all forboding, black and emptyish looking .. not sparkly and glittery and happy} ....

No, this is foreboding, black, and emptyish looking

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 **

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I love that this thread is still going, and no one's thought of "calling out bad players." I get it from a con perspective where the GMs are volunteering to avoid paying for badges and rooms, so the customer service is then on the players that paid for the experience. I wonder who the bigger customer is outside of cons, the player with thier books and 3 minis who just showed up, or the GM with his books, hundreds of minis, flip mats, GM screen, initiative tracker, printed chronicle sheets and faction missions that will get lost and time invested in prepping? I may have over estimated the investment of books on some of the players too.

Everyone has a different play style, and sometimes you're not going to get the ideal person that is going to give you everything you want. I think first, before anyone criticizes a GM, they need to be a GM. This generally makes them a better player, and a more understanding human being. People make mistakes, and some people make a lot of mitakes and should probably work on improving their skills, and not all of those folks are GMs.

5/5

The Decemvirate wrote:
Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:

sneaks in and splashes glitter to make everyone happy again

spies Mike ... and makes sure he's glitter-free {decemvirate is all forboding, black and emptyish looking .. not sparkly and glittery and happy} ....

No, this is foreboding, black, and emptyish looking

oooo quite right ... my apologies oh dark and emptyish looking one

bows as only a catbunnygnome can and backs away

Liberty's Edge

brent bowser wrote:

I love that this thread is still going, and no one's thought of "calling out bad players." I get it from a con perspective where the GMs are volunteering to avoid paying for badges and rooms, so the customer service is then on the players that paid for the experience. I wonder who the bigger customer is outside of cons, the player with thier books and 3 minis who just showed up, or the GM with his books, hundreds of minis, flip mats, GM screen, initiative tracker, printed chronicle sheets and faction missions that will get lost and time invested in prepping? I may have over estimated the investment of books on some of the players too.

Everyone has a different play style, and sometimes you're not going to get the ideal person that is going to give you everything you want. I think first, before anyone criticizes a GM, they need to be a GM. This generally makes them a better player, and a more understanding human being. People make mistakes, and some people make a lot of mitakes and should probably work on improving their skills, and not all of those folks are GMs.

I suppose that the "bad players" threads are likely more abundant in the PFS GM discussion forum ;-)

Also bad players will have a far lesser impact on PFS growth than bad GMs IMO. Doubly so if the bad GMs were left to run unchecked because saying a GM is a bad one would be taboo.

Finally, I am not sure that the amount of money spent by a GM or a player should be taken into consideration in PFS.

The Exchange 5/5

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brent bowser wrote:

I love that this thread is still going, and no one's thought of "calling out bad players." I get it from a con perspective where the GMs are volunteering to avoid paying for badges and rooms, so the customer service is then on the players that paid for the experience. I wonder who the bigger customer is outside of cons, the player with thier books and 3 minis who just showed up, or the GM with his books, hundreds of minis, flip mats, GM screen, initiative tracker, printed chronicle sheets and faction missions that will get lost and time invested in prepping? I may have over estimated the investment of books on some of the players too.

Everyone has a different play style, and sometimes you're not going to get the ideal person that is going to give you everything you want. I think first, before anyone criticizes a GM, they need to be a GM. This generally makes them a better player, and a more understanding human being. People make mistakes, and some people make a lot of mitakes and should probably work on improving their skills, and not all of those folks are GMs.

wow... talk about odd. And it hit a nerve with me, so this is going to be a bit of a rant. Sorry. Skip it if you want.

Most of the posters on here have stars by their name, so I'm guessing that the people discussing judges on this thread are (have been) judges. Not that your statement isn't true, just that ... it felt odd. Yeah, most of us on here are (at some point) judges. Some of us are even organizers. You know what? many of us are both players and judges - in fact, I think I can go so far as to say most of the people here are both.

I'm a judge sometimes. If I'm doing a good job or a bad job of it, I need to hear about it. I am honest enough (I think) to know that sometimes I screw up, and sometimes (I like to think) I do a great job. I would very much like to know when I'm doing either - or even when I'm doing a so-so job. Even if the guy telling me never judges - in fact, if he's a total newbie, I want to know from him even more.

When you sit at my table, feel free to tell me when I do something good, and please tell me when I do something bad. Maybe I'll be able to increase one and decrease the other.

(on the subject of "stuff" - I like my toys. I buy stuff in the shops where I play both to support them, to support my hobby and because I like the stuff. I have been doing this longer than many judges I play for have been alive. You could say I have lots of toys. If I were just a player (which I have been for some games) I often own more stuff than the rest of the players combined. That does not make me more (or less) of a gamer than the kid who borrows a CRB from his brother, dice from me and uses a Lego figure for his mini. (because he has no disposable income). It doesn't make him any less of a gamer. Give him time, in 30 years maybe he'll be just like me - with a basement full of minis and storage crates of game books.)

Rants over.

The Exchange 4/5

brent bowser wrote:

I love that this thread is still going, and no one's thought of "calling out bad players." I get it from a con perspective where the GMs are volunteering to avoid paying for badges and rooms, so the customer service is then on the players that paid for the experience. I wonder who the bigger customer is outside of cons, the player with thier books and 3 minis who just showed up, or the GM with his books, hundreds of minis, flip mats, GM screen, initiative tracker, printed chronicle sheets and faction missions that will get lost and time invested in prepping? I may have over estimated the investment of books on some of the players too.

Everyone has a different play style, and sometimes you're not going to get the ideal person that is going to give you everything you want. I think first, before anyone criticizes a GM, they need to be a GM. This generally makes them a better player, and a more understanding human being. People make mistakes, and some people make a lot of mitakes and should probably work on improving their skills, and not all of those folks are GMs.

I'm sorry if this comes off as hostile, but this hits a nerve with me. I own a Game Store, I organize 5-6 PFS events a month, I try to play whenever possible and I approach GMs who run games at my store to discuss things I think they could do better, and encourage them to do the same to me.

"Who buys more stuff" Isn't really tangible, nor is it mutually exclusive. 1 Bad GM can remove 5-6 players from your play group (potentially more because if you don't have tables firing then it makes it harder to grow)

Real Talk - RPG material. It's finite, there is only so much stuff you need. The ONLY WAY for it to be profitable is to increase the number of people playing. In home games, sure usually the GM buys some books and tells players that they can only use stuff from those books, other players MAYBE buy a core rulebook. (I have 3-4 RPG groups every week in the store with this dynamic)

Organized play pushes PLAYERs to buy books, because additional sources could make their character better and MOST PEOPLE are honest, and will buy the sources they use. At least that's my experience.

If I have 10 people playing every week, and a GM pushes people away from one of the tables by obviously cheating or something else that creates a negative play experience (NPE) That hurts the store, it hurts Paizo, and it hurts the community as a whole. A player that creates the same problem gets asked to shape up or stop showing up.

A GM who creates a NPE for his players gets an explanation of what happened and what he needs to work on, if they don't show improvement I won't ask them to GM anymore, I'd rather say "sorry we don't have a GM for this table" then have players get a negative experience for PFS in general.

TLDR: a Bad GM might buy more stuff then an average player, but they can cost you players which creates is negative for the hobby and definitely loses money in the long run. I'm sure many coordinators that have watched PFS grow and Fall in their areas can attest to the fact that bad GMs cost them players. Bad players can do the same, but it's much easier to ignore and then remove a bad player.

Grand Lodge

Netopalis wrote:
BTGuntz wrote:
If I fail a scenario because the GM ran it poorly can I have it expunged from my records?
No. However, I must admit, I am curious. Could you tell us what happened? Please use spoiler tags around it, but...there are several tough scenarios that can result in mission failure if the party is not careful. The Blakros Matrimony comes to mind.

I think I have avoided real spoilers for the game.

We were running the Disappeared. The GM has a noticeable lack of knowledge regarding both the rules and the Pathfinder world (he doesn't know who Aroden is). I made my self look like a Hell Knight in a Cherish embassy and random servants would get in my way and demand to know what I was doing. To me this seems like a Jew getting in the face of a member of the SS in Nazi Germany, highly unlikely if not suicidal. The GM also described what was going on in certain rooms incredibly poorly. It was so bad that a short way in to the game it was obvious it didn't matter what we did it was either roll 20s or fail.

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