It is well known that not everyone has the same GMing style. So, for your perusal and entertainment, here are several styles I’ve run into over time. Most people are a mix of these styles, but some... well, read for yourself. The Novelist The novelist is concerned with quality and entertainment, but often has unrealistic standards. His roleplays are art first, fun second. People enjoy them, but it is because of the effort he puts into them and his own inherent sense of style. Everything else falls into place. The Good: The novelist is concerned that everything balances, which leads him to be concerned about plot, pacing, and characters equally. He rarely overlooks important things. The Bad: The novelist often agonizes when small problems come up or something important DOES slip by him. His high standards often scare away new players. The Ugly: If the novelist is having a bad day, he becomes a vitriolic critic of himself and others. The World Builder The world builder is setting obsessed and will give you a veritable encyclopedia to work from. If you aren’t ready to practically learn a new roleplaying system, playing with the world builder isn’t advised, but if you love setting craft and intricacies, they can be the perfect GM for you. The Good: You know where you sit and what you can and can’t do for the most part. You have a great deal of supplemental material to draw from. The Bad: You have a great deal of supplemental material to SLOG through. It can be overwhelming and you may feel lost in a world if it isn’t narrowed down some. The Ugly: Fiercely prideful of their world, they sometimes react strongly to criticism. The Poet The poet creates beautiful and elegant posts, blending setting and characters well. They use a great deal of multisyllabic words and evoke great imagery. They do, however, usually have a lot going on in their minds. The Good: Beautiful, succinct plots with just the right ratio of information to imagery. The Bad: Tend to overdo things, stretch themselves too thin, and never actually get the game going. The Ugly: Getting people’s hopes up and then letting them down if they overstretch. The Jump In Cheerleader The Jump In Cheerleader makes a quick setting and guides people along, cheering their ideas and largely letting the game run of it’s own accord. This is great for driven players but if you want a plot heavy game, you might want to turn elsewhere. The Good: Absolutely great at fast paced, player driven games. The Bad: They sometimes don’t know what to do when the game isn’t moving by itself. The Ugly: Apt to get depressed if things stall or someone disrupts the feel of the game. The Torture Master The Torture Master exists to provide character growth through adversity. He runs grimdark games and will actively attempt to kill or maim characters. Your survival as a character is up to you, so don’t do anything stupid. The good: Challenging, fun, and you are almost guaranteed character growth. The bad: High mortality and maiming rate. The ugly: May take the fact that you survived that particular encounter as a challenge to his ability to kill you. The Fashion Designer The fashion designer is another setting crafter, but instead of being interested in the minutia of the world itself, they are interested in the fun culture aspects such as clothing and architecture. They are more likely to point at a picture and say “just do it sorta like that and you’re good”. The Good: Great visuals and a very textured setting. This RP is about style! The Bad: They aren’t always the best at describing new things that they can’t easily reference, and when they do, they are usually larger than life and hard to grasp. The Ugly: There’s going to be glitter. Just accept that fact and your life will be much easier. The Quartermaster The Quartermaster wants to give you presents. Lots of them. You may have to work for them, but the reward is above and beyond what any other GM will give you. He loves boxes, barrels, and crates, gems, precious metals, and art and will shower them on you like you’re a hooker with a heart of gold. The Good: Enough treasure that you won’t be able to carry it all. The Bad: Enough treasure that you’re going to be encumbered or have to spend all your money on bags of holding to carry your objets d’art. The Ugly: Lots of random encounters. Story may be a bit hard to find. The Rules Lawyer The rules lawyer wants to make sure everyone plays fair from start to finish. They have a ton of rules and you can bet your ass they enforce them. You can be guaranteed a balanced game that you have a good chance of progressing in, but there won’t be much in the way of spotlight for anyone. The Good: Gameplay is fair and generally fun. The Bad: There WILL be a lot of time spent referencing the rules list or rulebook. The Ugly: The rules lawyer will may get angry or irritable if people even inadvertently disrespect the rules. The Co-Conspirator The Co-Conspirator does best co-gming. They may have secondary characteristics of any of the other types, but the fact is, they work best with someone to be their other half. They often think of things the other GM might miss and lend balance to an RP. The Good: They make for a more balanced RP when at their best. The Bad: Their ideas may spontaneously diverge from what the other GM has planned, leading to conflict and poor plot resolution. The Ugly: They may be using being a Co-GM as a way to escape responsibility. You may end up having to do the hard social work yourself as a GM. The Tyrant The tyrant combines the worst qualities of World builder and Rules Lawyer into one. There are often hidden rules that must be stumbled upon, books worth of supplemental material, and the tyrant will harangue and insult you should you make an honest mistake. Many people will want to avoid this type. The Good: Well... they ARE creative. The Bad: It’s the tyrant’s world, you just live in it. The Ugly: Sometimes they don’t honestly realize they are being tyrannical. But there is always a chance you are just dealing with a sociopath. So! Did I miss a major one? Which one (or two or three) do you think reflect your GMing style? Which sort of GM do you like to play with?