Monday, April 5, 2010

How do YOU rate as a GM? (Only your players know for sure.)

This little test was inspired by DeAnn Iwan's article in 81st issue of Dragon Magazine of the same title. Well, replace the GM for DM and then it's exactly the same. She wrote a 43 questionnaire for players to rate their GMs. This is a variation of her test. Circle which number best describes the way your GM plays. So all you players out there grab your favorite writing utensil and know that your GM is not permitted to peak at your answers. You information and identity protection is my highest priority unless you write a comment then the gig is up. Remember, there are no bad GMs only ones that suck before they get good.

Does the GM challenge you?
1. Not so much. Everything is too easy. There is no penalty for being stupid.
2. Everything is impossible. Everytime I return home the GM makes me roll a lockpick challenge. I have the fricking key!
3. The challenges are balanced and fair. Just don't touch his slice of pizza or demon lords happen to appear.

How often do your characters die?
1. Die? I've waded through an army of titans and came away unscathed. I am immortal.
2. I've got sores on my hands from rolling up new characters.
3. Frequent enough that I run away when I see an army of angry titans.

How much treasure do you get?
1. I own at least one of everything in the treasure section. If Vecna had any more body parts lopped off I would have them.
2. I'm a 7th level fighter and I have holes in my shoes and wield a dull scythe I got from a farmer.
3. The party members and I have a pretty good stash of loot to help us take on what is thrown our way, but man I would love to get my hands a Girdle of Giant Strength.

How quick is the level progression?
1. I have attained godhood in three different classes. I am a god among gods. I'm very bored.
2. Forty-three sessions in the campaign and I've finally reached 3rd level. Never laugh at a GM's haircut or touch his pizza.
3. I'm progressing well. I got a nice bump of experience points after the last adventure.

Is your GM creative?
1. Ahh, he developed his own language for sentient bovine that have fled their native plane. I won't even go into culture of vegetables he gave us a handout on last session. Hint, don't eat the turnips.
2. My shoe has more ideas. I swear he bases each session off the most recent episode of Heroes.
3. Yeah. Keeps me guessing. Never assume a magic item or monster is going to react like its written.

How does the GM run NPCs?
1. All of them are nice and helpful. Even the mean ones apologize.
2. All of them are dicks. Even the nice ones would rather die than give us directions to a tavern.
3. Lots of variety. Although he tends to favor old characters of his, but if you know that ahead of time your good to go.

Does the GM favor any one class?
1. He likes non-adventuring classes. Last session we got a twenty-three page hand out on the particulars of a cobbler.
2. Any class his current NPC is.
3. I don't see any favoritism. Certain situations make one class shine over the others, but we all seem to get into the spotlight.

How does your GM handle critical successes?
1. Any hit is a critical. I've lopped off more heads than a lawnmower in a field of dandelions.
2. I wouldn't know.
3. He has a homemade chart with some cool effects. Although my group seems to favor the pelvis shot.

How does your GM handle critical failures?
1. I wouldn't know.
2. I've lopped off my own head and another player's leg while just eating dinner. I failed my challenge roll for cutting a piece of ham.
3. He has a homemade chart with some cool effects. Okay, it is pretty funny when someone hits themselves in the pelvis.

How realistic is your game?
1. If I want it I get it. So not very realistic.
2. I caught a cold walking in the rain then had to hunt a cow and nearly died because I couldn't track it down in a fenced in field. (Yes Rob, that one is for you!)
3. Enough to make simple things a little more exciting, but not get bogged down with details for the more mundane aspects of the game.

Does your GM go strictly by the rules as written?
1. We don't have any rules. We make it up as we go.
2. We aren't allowed to have a copy of the rule books. We had to hand them over before we began. He didn't want to be bother by people arguing with him.
3. He goes with the flow. There is a definite framework in place, but a lot of home rules built in. And if we as a party don't like a particular rule the GM with change it.

What is the best part of the game for your GM?
1. To see his player happy and successful. There is no failure as long as we try.
2. Collecting all the characters he's killed over the years. Sick son-of-a-bitch makes you hand over your character sheet so he can add it to a folder that reads 'character graveyard".
3. Watching us struggle with one of his puzzles or watching us cheer on a fellow player to get a good roll so the party can survive.

If your score is very low you must have a GM from California who does yoga. If your score is in the middle then you have GM from Texas who works in a prison. If you have a very high score you must live in Pennsylvania with a GM named Rob (I've got a game tonight so I figure I can get some extra xp for blatant flattery). So concludes this test. There are many other questions that could be asked, but I don't want to ask them. So please feel free to add you own.


  1. It wasn't in a fenced in Field :P Otherwise how could be tracking it.

  2. The test isn't quite ... well. Let's just say that you could easily have a few questions answered low and the rest high, and end up with an average score of 2.

    It should be re-arranged with 1 = lax, 2 = average, 3 = harsh.

    It would also be nice to see scoring that resulted in a pair of "DM alignments" described by axes of "difficulty * reward" and "DM creativity * DM restrictiveness".

    But it was an interesting read ;P

  3. @1d30: Yeah that would have been interesting an GM alignment evaluation at the end, but that would have required way too much brainpower on my part. Glad you found it a fun read.

    @Rob: Yes it was. Don't try to defend yourself now. That trail was held you have been found guilty by a jury of your peers. Well, at least me and Dwayne.

  4. I wonder if it's the same questionnaire she authored in Issue 43 of the Dragon.

  5. @Paladin...yeah it was from issue #43(not issue 81 as I stated), but much different. I got the inspiration from it.

  6. The scoring is odd...why not convert to -1,0,1 where the idea is to be as close to 0 as possible.