RPG a Day 22: Substitute

Ear. Wormed, damnit. (CW1This song contains a coded understanding that white is better than black. It’s not, despite what The Who sang back when they still had a drummer.)

OK, so after listening to that… I’ve got a question. Substitute WHAT? And I’m going to talk about substitute GMs.

I play in a game with one main GM and several other people who take turns. I mostly like it, although there have been some spectacular failures. The really spectacular failure was when a sub2Write that out in full, you fool! unknowingly broke my understanding of the world we were playing in, so I had to reject what he’d written so I could keep believing in the world in general. I enjoyed the game, but had to ICly wake up and not remember it so I could continue to enjoy the campaign. These things happen, and it’s important to take them in stride – it’s all about matching up expectations and play. (See the Foundation prompt for a proper rant on the subject.)

A substitute GM is a great way for people to get practice in. My first writing for Chaosium began as an attempt to give the regular GM some time off. I had a sneaky wish to write it up more than that, but mostly it was because the usual GM works really hard and wanted to have a character too. Subbing in helps a GM to rest, and lets people try out GMing. We sub in3Hardly better, but at least it’s not just the bare verb there for play-testing as well. Much that Beer With Teeth write has been playtested with the regular group, one way or another.

It does require the GM letting go of full control, which can be scary, but it’s a very valuable thing to do, and if you haven’t tried it, do consider it.

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