Sharing the burden

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 68: Multiple-GM Games

Have you ever played in or GMed a game with more than one GM? What was your experience with it? What were the strengths and weaknesses of having multiple GMs? Was it positive or negative? Would you do it again? If you?ve never tried it as a GM or player, would you like to? Why or why not?


Since I don’t LARP or PBEM, the chances of becoming involved in a multi-GM game are relatively small for me. My rare experience with tables run by multiple GMs has been with “Living” events at local conventions, where several GM’s decide to ‘team run’ a table. The set up goes something like this:
RPG Coordinator: Guys, we’re short a judge for the players we have for [event]. Who can run it.
Judge 1: I don’t mind running stuff cold, but this is a long module.
Judge 2: Well, I don’t need much prep, but I need some, and I haven’t read this.
Judge 3: Same here.
Judge 1: Heh. Okay, I’ll run the Intro and the first encounter, you take the second encounter, you take the third, I’ll take the fourth and we’ll just rotate until we’re done.
Everyone: Cool…
This worked because people were willing to have fun with it, but mostly because they were working from a pre-written module, so keeping the judges in agreement on the (short) scenario was fairly simple.
With longer or home-grown campaigns, I’m not sure how well this situation would work. The best situation I could imagine is a sort of ‘shared world’ situation, where the GM’s are using the same setting and PC-base, but not actually GMing at the same time, which, if they interweave their storylines, is sort of a low-grade version of co-GMing.
Personally, I doubt I’ll ever do something like this as anything but a one-shot — I don’t particularly like working at someone else’s pace, and the best reason I’ve heard for simultaneous GMing is that it allows handling a larger group of players — THAT means that, as a GM, stuff’s going on that I don’t know about and which I’ll hear about only secondhand (at best). I don’t like that, pure and simple.


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