Not this, but that.

Randy and I were talking last night, and I mentioned Capes — parenthetically commenting that it and games like it (which is to say, games with more player authorial input like Amber, Nobilis, Sorcerer, Mortal Coil, TSoY, Galactic, Primetime Adventures, Shab all-Hiri Roach and even FATE, depending on how you run it) appealed to me was because it meant I got to use players’ creativity more in the game or (with the full-on no-GM games like Capes or SaHRoach) I got to flat out be-a-player more.
His reply was “well, you don’t like being a player anyway.”
And… okay, yeah, I do GM a lot, and I’m bad at being a player, but neither of those things are because I don’t LIKE being a player.
1. I like contributing bits of ‘scene’ at a director/author level to stuff that’s going on. In most traditional games (with the exception of Amber/Nobilis and the like, and those are HARDly traditional RPGs, just old) that level of input ability is solely under the control of the GM. If I want to DO that, I have to GM. Period. I can look at Fate or Mortal Coil and say “hey, there are concrete mechanics in place in this otherwise pretty traditional game that give me the ability to do that kind of stuff EVEN WHEN I’M A PLAYER,” and I get tingley in my naughty places.
1a. Giving players this ability scares the shit out of potential GMs that I could be playing with, and it shouldn’t — Amber players have been doing this for years.* Nobilis players have been doing it for (fewer years, but still) years. *I* have been GMing games where the players steer and/or change the story for well over a decade, with progressively more and more freedom to do this and overt acknowledgement that they’re doing it, AND been successful at this, and I am NOT THAT FUCKING SMART. Other people than me can do it. Other people do it all the time.
1b. GMless gaming is such a bogeyman in RPG circles. Why? MOST GAMES in the world do NOT have a “Player Who Does Not Play, But Just Runs Stuff” — games where all the players involved are responsible for understanding the basic rules of the game they’re all playing and, through that understanding a strong social agreement, keeping everyone basically all playing within the same Shared Imaginary Space. It’s not new. It’s not even HARD.
2. I’m a bad player because I don’t get much practice. See 1, above.
Now, I *have* played in some games where (a) i did a good job being a simple player (b) I (mostly) didn’t do any scene imagery contributions (at least not official ones) and (c) I had a good time, consistently, and for long periods. Those are rare.
So… yeah. Partly, i want to run these dirty-hippie-indie games so that someone picks one up and says “hey, I wanna run this.” That’s not the only reason, because I *do* like GMing, but thats part of it. 🙂


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