Saturday, February 20, 2010

There can be only one!

When running a game the GM or moderator has to perform numerous functions. (S)he has to recruit players, review their character submissions (unless they are playing canon characters, a subject I will touch on in a later post), possibly read sample posts to determine eligibility. (S)he will have to maintain the web site or at
least the information found on the message board or whatever medium is providing the players with information. (S)he will need to generate plots, settle player disputes, elminate players they feel are a detriment to the game. It seems like it can be a lot of work, especially if the game in question has quite a few players.

So is it all right to have more than one GM/moderator?

Good question.

There have been times when I felt it would have been nice to have some help in running my games; players can be a handful and sometimes you can experience a severe case of writer's block when it comes to posts. And some days you simply do not want to do the research necessary to provide players with the requisite
information for the next adventure. So a little help would be welcome.

However, if there is more than one moderator involved, then there must be clear lines of communication between them, and a clear assignment of responsibility. Who is recruiting? Who is responsible for communicating with prospective players? Are you co-plotting? Are you on the same page? Are you running tandem plots and if so do the two of you have at least some idea what the other is doing?

Years ago I attempted to run an X-Men game and through an utterly stupid miscommunication the two moderators running the game thought the other was supposed to be the one reviewing my character for approval. So I spent a week waiting to hear back from these idiots. It told me plenty about the half assed nature of the game they were running and I bowed out. Uncertainty killed my interest in that game quickly.

If there are multiple moderators there must be a single voice of authority at the top, someone players can turn to with the assurance they will be heard, things will get done. Games run by moderator committee are invitations to chaos. There must be a clear chain of command. Period.

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