How do you feel about GMPCs?


Gamer Life General Discussion

51 to 100 of 1,134 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Mixed experience with them. Can be useful if done well. Especially appropriate when doing a round robin alternating DM method in a single campaign world.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The only time I've seen them done poorly was with a DM who was less than good in many ways. I suspect, like many things, that they aren't a bad thing, just used poorly.

Grand Lodge

I quit one campaign after the GMPC meta-gamed a boss encounter from an AP, which left me with a major bad taste in my mouth. The GM was bad in a lot of things: houseruling already strong builds into nigh-invulnerability while leaving others in ruin, adding new rules in the middle of sessions. There PC also happened to be a catfolk that constantly said "Nya!"

So I'm with Scythia on what they've said.

Then for a while I felt the need to have an NPC in accompaniment to the party because of regular no-shows (online campaign, S*** happens). A basic fortune/misfortune/evil-eye/cackle witch that accompanied them through a single dungeon until I brought in some new players. Biggest thing they did was paralyze a gecko-riding goblin with hold person, causing them to fall and drown in sewage, and pass a few knowledge checks. I mostly used fortune rather than Misfortune. His familiar had a lot of utility spells such as comprehend languages to reflect that he was a scholar studying Ancient Thassilon.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting discussion. It is important to note that "GMPC" feels a world apart from my grognard experience running games with a "NPC". The NPC was often a hireling or henchman of PCs in the game, and was never used to help with "railroad" issues, or felling a particularly gnarly villain or to move the plot along. They were more NPC than GMPC. I have occasionally played "GMPCs", but have always, ironically or not, been kept "in check" by the players if my "PC" seemd to skirt any line of power, plot or personality.

Currently I also see a lot of use of "GMPCs" in PbPs - these are characters that have well developed personalities, do not overshadow the PCs in combat or roleplay and are sometimes used in plothooks or themselves skirt the line between frenemies and villains - all adding to the game experience.

In fact GMPCs can be very important in homebrew campaigns as a kind of "voice" of the campaign, able to inform and convey a sense of what the GM wants the players to see, know or feel quite apart from the basic adventuresome experience. Sometimes they are just as useful as an aide-memoire for less obsessive/more casual Players.

I'm sure the stories of poorly run games that included poorly run GMPCs or thinly veiled vicarious superhero/ines are legion - the two go hand in hand.

These character options are not necessary for GMs to have, but as TOZ said, they are a useful tool. They can also be very fun for the GM, and the players.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
The Pale King wrote:
I've noticed that a lot of GMs (especially new ones) feel the need to include an 'NPC' that tags along with the party and levels up with them. I have rarely seen this done well and often the GM either plays favorites with their own character or tries to overcompensate and basically makes their character's life hell to the point that it feels like the game is a tragedy with the GMPC at the centre. I understand why people want to do this, I mean being a player can seem a lot more fun for some people (me included). I did once pretend to have an over leveled GMPC who was an obvious Mary Sue that my players hated, but was used as a plot device to show how dangerous the world was with his death. I don't think I would ever actually use one though, it seems much to unfair to the players.

There's about 6 GMPCs running with the party in my current campaign. Three Templar Knights, a Squire, and the two mothers of one of the PCs. The GMPCs actually outnumber the PCs right now. (o_o);

Also, while technically not GMPCs yet, there's another one or two characters who might be with the party at least temporarily for a while while the party goes to rain on a Vrock's parade.

On the plus side, it means the games play very much like Baldur's Gate insofar as even when the party is engaging in some dungeon crawling, exploring the wilds, or in hostile territory, there's virtually always someone there to interact with or to make comments on the situation.

We've had some scheduling issues recently (my brother's schooling and another friend's internet availability) so I offered to back up the game a little bit and re-arrange the party for continuity purposes and such, and the remaining PCs wanted the former PC Paladin & his NPC buddies to stick around, one of the PCs wanted another NPC to join, and one of the PCs has two NPCs hanging around.

A long time ago, there was another campaign that I was running that the PCs suggested I make a character for myself so "I could play too". So I did. After that, they suggested I do the same pretty much every time thereafter. Of course, I think part of the reason is I included the character as a character, not as Harry Potter in the Sorcerer's Stone. They were just another character, not the star, and bad things could and would happen to them just like anybody else. The characters might propose an idea or cast a vote on something based on what they would rightfully know or how their personality works.

Overall, I think a good GMPC is just a party NPC done well. A bad GMPC is bad for all the same reasons that some GMs just need to be writing fanfiction instead of GMing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Big Lemon wrote:

I think GMPCs are always bad, but then, I also hold a very specific distinction between GMPC and "Recurring NPC".

If the NPC doesn't take the spotlight from the PCs, isn't as (or gods forbid more) powerful than the PCs, and is in general letting the PCs steer the ship, it's just a recurring NPC.

It becomes a GMPC, in my definition, when they are made as important or more important than a PC, which is bad. There may be times when it has to be done (playing a published module that requires 4 players when there are only 3, for instance) but it's still worse than having a 4th player would have been. Then you have those times when the GM wants to be the hero of their own story, and... well, we all know how those games go.

So, sometimes they're really bad, sometimes they're only a little bad, but they're still bad.

That is you using the wrong definition of the word, not GMPC's always being bad.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe a posting on how to properly utilize a "DMPC", would be better than a discussion about our feelings and experiences....


GMPC or NPC it all seems the same to me. In a solo session I'm currently running I have control over literally everything besides my only player's character. He has had many party members that have come along on his adventures and he has helped them with a few of theirs.

I think finding the nice niche is that you really need to be an experienced DM. A true DM will have just as much fun running a campaign as his players are having in his.

Either way just make sure that if your running multiple "GMPC's" or a single one that the game is about the players and that you shouldn't be hogging the spotlight from them. If a GMPC is important because of a well devised plot hook then so be it but just find that line and don't cross it.

I also do my best to try and make the following NPC's something i don't have to plan things for. Like i never make a wizard so that way i don't have to worry about meta-gaming his spell choices.

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
You mean you don't do that for all the characters the PCs run into?

I do, that's why someone who is with the party at all times adds an extra burden that I don't want or need.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I use GMPC's a lot by which I mean NPC's with full character sheets, back stories, and motivations who adventure with the party for a quest or two. I have never had a problem with it and it helps drive the story and motivate players.

That said I make sure that the PC's are always the stars of the show and my GMPC's are always either support focused characters or filling a niche role that the party does not have. They are never the same class as a party member and are generally not combat optimized but have lots of thematic elements skill focus feats on a fighter, sorcerer who learned lots of utility type spells that are helpful in day to day life but less useful in combat (floating disc I'm looking at you).

Also they are normally a level or two below the party level which actually makes the PC's feel more bad ass as they can take care of enemies that the GMPC is struggling with.


I've done this a couple times, usually for when the group is smaller. You've got to remember to stay in the background most of the time. Don't make a flashy, need attention, character, although mild comic relief works. Most of mine tend to be multi-class of things less prevalent in the party, or of those most likely to be absent, e.g. cleric/rogue when there was no rogue and the cleric tended to miss a lot.

Oh - and give them a place in the world, so they can leave when not needed.


Ashiel wrote:

There's about 6 GMPCs running with the party in my current campaign. Three Templar Knights, a Squire, and the two mothers of one of the PCs. The GMPCs actually outnumber the PCs right now. (o_o);

I'd argue there's a big difference between a regular NPC and a GMPC. Mostly, it's a matter of GM favoritism.

My quick guide:
1: Is the NPC more central to the campaign's plot than any PC?
2: Will the GM fudge to keep the NPC from failing/dying in a way they wouldn't for a PC?

If either is 'yes', it's a GMPC and must be destroyed.


If we MUST have a GMPC, they should be neither seen nor heard for the most part, and parked with the horses in the stable when not required.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Shifty wrote:
If we MUST have a GMPC, they should be neither seen nor heard for the most part, and parked with the horses in the stable when not required.

I disagree on this. Before I stopped using them my GMPCs primarily existed to sidekick for the PCs and for them to RP off of. My players vocally complained when I told them I was not going to have GMPC party members anymore.

The trick is to not hijack the game with them, and to not have them overshadow the PCs. They should help bring your PCs to life by engaging them in conversation and through that get your players thinking in character. The GMPC is a great tool in helping your players reveal their characters to the party, and to help them explore aspects of their characters that they hadn't even thought of before.

And now I've almost convinced myself that I should bring one back into the game I'm running, but who am I kidding, I'm way too lazy to do that.

Liberty's Edge

I have run a GMPC for small groups. I will sometimes run short campaigns for my wife and daughter. I let them build their character, ask what party roles they want shored up, and build a character to fit that role. If they need a tank I build a straight up dumb as bricks tank. If they need a healer I build a simple and meek healer. I usually build the GMPC's death or departure into the campaign both for the drama and to help keep from getting to attached :)

Sovereign Court

I can't say that it absolutely can't be done well but it seems completely unnecessarily.

There are already so many options for the PC's to have followers, so many NPC's that could be played, guards hired, monsters charmed/bribed/converted/summoned and so forth that many of the reasons a GMPC might be there are entirely pointless.

I could see a mentor type or leader type being involved situationally. Leading a particular battle or encouraging the PC's. A trainer type being used to lead some kind of scene with the PC's really being the focus.

To run an extra PC because the group is small is a good use. Simply change the nature of the encounters and let the party make their own ends meet.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My favorite use of GMPC's is to provide graphic examples to encourage parties to rethink tactics.

Such as having a Night Elf Druid assume stormcrow form, fly over a Horde stronghold to spy on it, only to be torn to shreds by archery fire because the Orc commander is savvy enough to have his troops fire on every bird, cat, or bear that they detect.

Or basically show how powerful something they're thinking on taking when it oneshots the guide who's been leading them.

The best GMPCs are those created to die.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, listen to him, I had to learn the hard way...

Sovereign Court

Morgen wrote:
To run an extra PC because the group is small is a good use. Simply change the nature of the encounters and let the party make their own ends meet.

Blargh, fixing posts after the edit timer is done.

To run an extra PC because they group is small is NOT a good use. >.>


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I must do it right then as I've had a few characters over the years that might have blurred the lines between NPC and a gm pc but my players have repeatedly asked where they are when they are absent for sessions.

I suppose because they generally just support the pcs and assist with clues and dead ends.

I mean I have all my fun with the bad guys! ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Friends don't let friends GM and PC.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Your avatars are weirding me out...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's as easy as this.

If it works in your group great. If it doesn't then don't do it.

This is again a case of people telling other people how to play the game.

"You're wrong if you're not playing it my way!"

If the entire group is having fun then nothing is being done wrong.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
Your avatars are weirding me out...

***Cue scary music***

Wooooooo


2 people marked this as a favorite.

In Second Darkness and now Rise of the Runelords, we have the same two GMs. They are running their own characters in the game and having no problems like most of you guys are having. I am really mystified by all the problems people have with GMPCs.

Since the GMs can both run the game and run a PC they can enjoy the game and have a character that is up to date when it is there time to GM.

I'm sorry it doesn't work out for the majority of you.


I'm normally indifferent to these sort of things as long as they do not try and force me to play a specific way whether through builds/playstyle/in game decisions.

Now I'm not quite a fan because my GM was too into his GMPC that when I killed her for trying to force the party into things he killed me with the BBEG ignoring the game rules to prove a point.

Not to say that all GM's are like that but it is a very possible abuse when there is something they are likely to get attached to.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

GMPCs can be done well. So long as they are not used to invalidate or overshadow the party or let the GM show off how awesome this character is, they are fine. If they are used as a constant companion whose presence and personality and contributions to the group is enjoyed by all (which has been all GMPCs in my experience), they are fine.

Like paladin 'problems' or the idea that players' sense of entitlement should trump a GM's feelings on what goes into the game, the idea that GMPCs were bad was something I was blissfully unaware of until I started hanging out at GITP.


Two that come to mind from my gaming history:

An oldish man, walking with a cane, but oh so indescribably and utterly awesome in every kind of situation. The GM added this guy to the two newbie characters me and a friend made because "we would need the extra firepower". He proceeded to manipulate us, withhold vital information from us, upstage us in every encounter to completely overshadow us. One session in, we decided, simultaneously without talking about it, that he needed to die and attacked. I rolled a mega crit, but rather than the normal result of a very messy death, he fell unconscious. My friend decided to cut his throat... But was prevented from doing so by the CANE. That was the last of that game.

A TALKING SWORD. The utterly most awful and obnoxious, and SEDUCTIVE "intelligent" weapon you could find. It had a dozen different powers, but only used them for you if you kept on her good side. It did not, however, have the power of flight, and though the GM whined about how much power the sword had to give, I flung it as far out into a lake of toxic sludge I could.


In my games:
Quanarrion. The DM's PC, quite literally. He was created at the same time in the same way as all the other PCs, intended as a proper PC and not a power trip. He adventured with us until the game ended. We never once felt that the DM was favoring his own character or overshadowing the rest of us or any such thing. If anything, the character was a bit underdeveloped to avoid ruining things for the rest of us, but I don't think it ever occurred to us to drop him from the group to avoid any potential problems, because there weren't any actual problems.

Tilira, Lhara and Miriam. A trio of half/elven ladies who were somewhat between NPCs and GMPCs. They didn't always adventure with us but when they did they were treated as equals, not betters. Sometimes they had important information. Sometimes they had good advice. sometimes they gave bad advice. They were all fun to interact with and my PC romanced and married one of them, which was also fun.

Half the cast of my one-on-one OA/pseudo-L5R campaign. Most of the characters in question are one-time or occasional PCs and there is a lot of interaction between them. Sometimes a GMPC will overshadow or deus ex machina a current PC simply because it makes sense for the story (usually not). Sometimes an active PC will be put on hold or taken over by the GM while another character is activated or a character is shared somewhat equally between GM and player.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

~sigh~ GMPCs...

First lets ask why people hate GMPCs; they are often more powerful than the group, they get the best often tailor made treasures, they are the center of the GMs plot and story, and they always seem to know more than the PCs do about what is going on.

Some of these are easy to fix; ALWAYS give them last pick of any treasures, NEVER use them as part of the plot or story, NEVER give them ANY insider information on the game. To avoid the first issue though since the GM is biased toward his GMPC he may not be able to help himself when crafting his GMPC, have the players act as GM when he makes the character with FULL veto rights on any element in the build or background. One other thing we do when employing GMPCs is the GMPC never starts ANY interaction... They are there if the players want them to interact but if they don't then he doesn't. Also and perhaps very important: the GMPC ALWAYS follows the PCs orders.

NOTE: These are quite different from NPC rules, but then the GMPC is a permanent party member and special focus MUST be taken away.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, I just remembered one from long ago and far away in fabled hoosierville. This was an example of what I consider a GMPC done well.

Character was actually not intended to be a GMPC, just a short NPC. A warrior/rogue hired by the PC's for some odd profession, craft, and knowledge skills they needed for a mission, but capable enough to stay alive in dangerous situations. Much less powerful than the PC's. Feats were for survival. Gear was at the poor NPC level.

During the mission, just for the heck of it, the group was getting really bogged down in what to do next. So just to break up the arguments/deadlock, I had the guy suggest elaborate kool-sounding complex strategies. Twice the players thought I was railroading them (like a bad GMPC) but went along with it and followed the suggested strategy to nearly disastrous results. They finally figured out he was just an idiot and ignored his advice (much grumbling by the NPC).

The party decided to actually keep the guy and use his profession as their cover for moving through the nation. Every so often he would continue to provide bad advice which was always not followed.

A few times I was worried that the party would do something really stupid (past performance indications). So I used him to suggest that particular stupid plan. Just the fact that he suggested it instantly defined it as stupid, so they certainly wouldn't do it.
Eventually one of the players realized what I was doing, but didn't say anything to the others because he didn't like some of their less than brilliant tactics.

I consider this a well done GMPC:
-The PC's not the GM decided to keep him part of the group.
-Couldn't overshadow any of the PC's except in that profession/craft.
-Occasionally required a bit of effort on the part of the PC's to keep him alive. Sometimes they just sent him to hide, while they did the important stuff.
-Was not a major part of the plot. Nothing revolved around him.
-Influence on the story line was minimal and very subtle.
-I didn't write any of the story around him.
-I didn't provide any equipment or rewards specifically for him.
-I as GM had no investment in the character. If he died, I would have been a little bummed because I found it an amusing way to give them some negative advice. But I wouldn't have done anything fantastical to keep him alive.
.
.
So yes, they can be done well. But I feel they usually are not done well. Even by me. The first few times I used them, it was a crutch for me as GM that hurt more than helped. And at least twice, the players expected the obvious GMPC to cause problems to the point where I couldn't hardly use it for anything since it would just be interpreted as poor GMPC'ing.

Generally speaking, I now avoid them if possible. Unless like the above example, it creeps up on me unexpectedly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

DMPCs can be excellent contributions to a small game. As in, if there are not many players, then a really fleshed out and loyal teammate can be wonderful - even if they are dm controlled.

Now I say DMPCs, because it can be good for the dm to have more than a few ally characters that help the pcs. If there is just one, the dm may become too attached (but players may also become quite attached to them, so more friends and allies is a good thing, but the connection may be less) and go easy on them, or have them always shine over the other pcs. If there are multiple DMPCs and the dm doesn't have a favourite they are biased towards, it can improve the game.

Seen DMPCs done well, but it requires a pretty chill dm that isn't trying to "win" with their character.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Aranna wrote:

~sigh~ GMPCs...

First lets ask why people hate GMPCs; they are often more powerful than the group, they get the best often tailor made treasures, they are the center of the GMs plot and story, and they always seem to know more than the PCs do about what is going on.

Some of these are easy to fix; ALWAYS give them last pick of any treasures, NEVER use them as part of the plot or story, NEVER give them ANY insider information on the game. To avoid the first issue though since the GM is biased toward his GMPC he may not be able to help himself when crafting his GMPC, have the players act as GM when he makes the character with FULL veto rights on any element in the build or background. One other thing we do when employing GMPCs is the GMPC never starts ANY interaction... They are there if the players want them to interact but if they don't then he doesn't. Also and perhaps very important: the GMPC ALWAYS follows the PCs orders.

NOTE: These are quite different from NPC rules, but then the GMPC is a permanent party member and special focus MUST be taken away.

DMPCs don't have to be quite so severely neutered to work. As characters they should have character, personality, wants and aims, so they can be allowed to speak and follow lines of thought and discuss with npcs and players, just don't let them overshadow all others or talk too much. The game isn't mainly about them, but the players may rely and connect with them - if you allow it.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

I find the anti-DMPC crusade tiresome and silly, frankly, because it almost invariably features sweeping generalizations that are usually resentment-laden and downright vitriolic, as with some of the above posts.

Those who say they're always a bad idea, or that they must remain unimportant, are talking out of their ass.

I've seen it done horribly, by triumphalist DMs who wish to be worshiped ... competently, by good DMs looking to fill a party role no one else wants ... and brilliantly, by grandmaster DMs whose narrative touch both guided and inspired.

If your players bring it up as an issue, then you should probably reconsider the character's participation. (Note that I don't mean the noob twit control freaks who come into a game, see a GMPC and automatically, because of their prejudices, decide "it cannot work," sight unseen; those individuals should be ignored or expelled.) If the players never mention it and a good time is being had by all, don't give it a second thought.

I've run characters in games where the DMPC gravitated to party leadership and took a preeminent role in plot direction, because the players really did want to be led around by the nose and react to events rather than trail-blaze. I've run games in which my PCs were DMPCs when I ran the game, and PCs when someone else took a turn. Wonder of wonders, all it required on the part of the participants was maturity.

Fancy that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jaelithe wrote:

I find the anti-DMPC crusade tiresome and silly, frankly, because it almost invariably features sweeping generalizations that are usually resentment-laden and downright vitriolic, as with some of the above posts.

Those who say they're always a bad idea, or that they must remain unimportant, are talking out of their ass.

I've seen it done horribly, by triumphalist DMs who wish to be worshiped ... competently, by good DMs looking to fill a party role no one else wants ... and brilliantly, by grandmaster DMs whose narrative touch both guided and inspired.

If your players bring it up as an issue, then you should probably reconsider the character's participation. (Note that I don't mean the noob twit control freaks who come into a game, see a GMPC and automatically, because of their prejudices, decide "it cannot work," sight unseen; those individuals should be ignored or expelled.) If the players never mention it and a good time is being had by all, don't give it a second thought.

I've run characters in games where the DMPC gravitated to party leadership and took a preeminent role in plot direction, because the players really did want to be led around by the nose and react to events rather than trail-blaze. I've run games in which my PCs were DMPCs when I ran the game, and PCs when someone else took a turn. Wonder of wonders, all it required on the part of the participants was maturity.

Fancy that.

Couldn't have said it better myself


The only time I've ever GMPC'd was running a game for a group of 10-13 year old newbie gamers and none of them wanted to play a healer. So I had made a priest who just followed them around and kept them in the fight as they gleefully hacked their way through the adventure.

That might be my only exception. Kids don't care. As long as they do more damage than the GMPC all is good.

In my grown up games I never GMPC and instead focus my time and energy on the players and the story. Playing a PC while running a game might send my brain into overload.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Pretty much my only GMPC was also a healer. More specifically, the Miniatures Handbook Healer base class. She was part of the party monk's order, and he was escorting her as they traveled to the campaigns location.

It wasn't long before the monk player dropped out, and we ended up with only three players and the healer. She used the exalted vow of poverty and took none of the treasure. She never made suggestions, only answered questions. Really, the only time she ever came close to overshadowing the party was in combat with a dracolich where her cure spells were their strongest offense. But when they left her alone in an enemy stronghold, the bad guys happened upon her and took her out. They then proceeded to raise her from the dead.

I know some will call her a 'good NPC', but she went on to become my Life Oracle in PFS organized play.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jaelithe wrote:
I find the anti-DMPC crusade tiresome and silly,

So would I.... if there was one. What we had was a poster who asked for opinions and he got them, pro and con. Try to avoid the idea that just because more than one person disagrees with this aspect of home gming, that it's some sort of "crusade".

Like I and others have said, it's a tool that's easy to abuse unintentionally if you're not careful.

If you're adding a gmnpc because you're filling out a small group that's not viable, it's better to change the game to eliminate that need. If you're doing it to give the PC's a healer, give them self-healing instead.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

For me GMPCs fail on a concept level. I feel its up to the players to build a team that can handle the adventure. If they choose to become a party of all wizards, then its on them to figure out how to make it work with no meatshield or divne caster power. There are plenty of options within the game rules to shore up weaknesses. With that said, I wont as GM kick a group in the nutz to make a point if they do have a weak spot, but i'm not going out of the way to avoid it either. I am not going to prop them up with an empty shell that agrees on all decisions and dispenses whatever the party requires of it mechanically.

That brings up my second problem of breaching the screen. For me there is a divide between the GM and players and each has their own role. The GM creates a world in which the players get to adventure in with interesting places and people. The players create larger than life characters that are meant to own the story and solve problems in their own unique ways. I feel running a GMPC puts one foot on each side of the screen which breaches the divide. I dont want to be in a situation where I have inside knowledge of whats ahead and have to don a veil of ignorance to play a GMPC. Whats worse is being in a situation where I might have to role-play with myself when the GMPC interacts with the world. As a player I feel GMPCs have the potential to take away a piece of agency which PCs already have little of. The best games are those where the GM and PC divide remains firmly intact; IMO.

Now there are a few instances where a short lived GMPC can help get you over a bump in the road. For instance, if the group loses a player temporarily or permanently a GMPC can fill the gap until the party can be rebalanced. Another example of a GMPC being helpful is if a PC has recently died. I would most likely stat up the NPC on a character sheet and have the player with a recently killed PC take over until there is a reasonable place to meet a new PC. In either event I would work diligently towards rebalancing the party to remove the GMPC and restore the proper GM and player divide.

This is of course all my preference there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to GMPCs. Personally though I believe that there is an important divide between GM and player and do not like it to be breached. GMPCs do exactly that in a number of ways that make them an avoid at all costs addition to any game I am in. Of course, as always, YMMV.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
Try to avoid the idea that just because more than one person disagrees with this aspect of home gming, that it's some sort of "crusade".

Try to avoid assuming that this is the only thread in which this ridiculous attitude has seen the light, whether here or elsewhere.

Oh, and ... recognize hyperbole when you see it. That'll help, too.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Pan wrote:
For me there is a divide between the GM and players and each has their own role.

That probably explains it. I see no divide between GM and player. I am, after all, just a player running the game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
That probably explains it. I see no divide between GM and player. I am, after all, just a player running the game.

Interesting. I see a huge divide between DM and player, and do not see the DM as "a player running the game." That's a complete disregard of rightful authority and responsibility, IMO.

But yet I have no problem stepping from one role into the other, if someone else is running that day. In games where they're involved, when another person is DMing, I'm a player, and my characters are PCs. When I'm DMing, they're NPCs/GMPCs, with no special knowledge, powers, or insight.

It's really not that hard.

Then, again, the groups which did this were close-knit, with friends, significant others, et al. Often another DM would say, "Conference," and pull me into another room to make a ruling on something that had bled into his or her game. I on occasion did the same. Sometimes it required compartmentalized thinking, but ... such never bothered us.

Perhaps others are different.

Grand Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, I don't consider myself an 'authority' when I'm running.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Yeah, I don't consider myself an 'authority' when I'm running.

And to me it's self-evident that a DM is just that even if he or she chooses to downplay/refuses to acknowledge it.

Oh, well. I don't think either of us will show up at the other's game to shut it down for badwrongfun, so ...

Sovereign Court

Jaelithe wrote:

Interesting. I see a huge divide between DM and player, and do not see the DM as "a player running the game." That's a complete disregard of rightful authority and responsibility, IMO.

But yet I have no problem stepping from one role into the other, if someone else is running that day. In games where they're involved, when another person is DMing, I'm a player, and my characters are PCs. When I'm DMing, they're NPCs/GMPCs, with no special knowledge, powers, or insight.

It's really not that hard.

Probably not, but it is extra work I don't want to have to deal with. I am not saying its difficult or impossible but the pay off is never worth it; IMO.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jaelithe wrote:
And to me it's self-evident that a DM is just that even if he or she chooses to downplay/refuses to acknowledge it.

Yeah, such a concept is entirely incomprehensible to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pan wrote:
Probably not, but it is extra work I don't want to have to deal with. I am not saying its difficult or impossible but the pay off is never worth it; IMO.

And if it feels like extra work to you, then you're absolutely right to avoid it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
And to me it's self-evident that a DM is just that even if he or she chooses to downplay/refuses to acknowledge it.
Yeah, such a concept is entirely incomprehensible to me.

Let me ask you this: If there's dispute in the rules' interpretation, do you have the final say? Have you ever said, "OK, we're going to go with this, then"? If you have, well ... that's the exercise of authority.

Not sure how you could DM without it, even if it's mostly understood and rarely if ever invoked. Otherwise, you're just the impotent fantasy tour guide.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jaelithe wrote:
Let me ask you this: If there's dispute in the rules' interpretation, do you have the final say?

Not really, the rules do. I've been corrected plenty of times. And when situations come up, I ask the players if they want to take the time to look things up or just go with what we remember.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Let me ask you this: If there's dispute in the rules' interpretation, do you have the final say?
Not really, the rules do.

That's why I said, "the rules' interpretation": To avoid precisely the answer you gave. What if you look up a rule and are irrevocably divided on its interpretation? There has to be a point at which the buck stops with you.

Of course, that may never come up, but ...

I've always felt DM trumps rules, if he or she so chooses and deems it necessary or beneficial, so ... very different interpretations of the role.

51 to 100 of 1,134 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / How do you feel about GMPCs? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.