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No funny story today, folks, instead, a little bit of mourning. One of my games has been canceled abruptly, and the whole fiasco that caused this could have been avoided.

There’s always been a sort of tension around the table at this game, for multiple reasons:

  1. The GM has highly altered the rules in some places.
  2. The GM is of the sort that really likes to tell a story (whereas some of the players are more hack ‘n’ slash. Personally? I love the story).
  3. There have been clashes over rules that HAVEN’T been changed by the GM because he’s using a dungeon set up for an older version of the system we’re playing in, and a LOT of stuff is different between then and now.

Now, you may be saying “This is an odd post to be calling GM Appreciation, it sounds an awful lot like you’re just complaining about the way the guy ran the game,” but that’s kinda my point. I had a great deal of fun with this game. I let the GM know it. Not, probably, as frequently as I could, but I did.

We had another player who, for lack of a better term, has a serious lapse in the “tact” department. He gave the GM a hard time about running the game more frequently (which the GM did, he upped it from every two weeks to every week). People haven’t been the greatest at letting the GM know that they would be away, and this player sent a snippy e-mail assuming there would be no game this week (because of the 4th of July), adding “I think it’s safe to say the others have plans, too.” Then, when this attitude sufficiently upset the GM and caused him to canceled the game indefinitely, this same player dismissed the GM’s arguments about it being HARD to run a game by saying “You’re just running from a book, how hard could that be?”

That’s when the game died forever.

I don’t care if you’re running from a book. Running a game is hard. Books can plan for a lot, but players are, by and large, insane, and they can break a game in five seconds, even a well-crafted one. I have been known to throw an adventure pamphlet against the wall and say “OK people, we’re so far off the beaten path that none of this is relevant anymore.” Even if everything the players can think of is covered in the book (which means you have pretty unimaginative players) a GM has to wrangle those players and their schedules. S/he has to bring life to the world and the NPCs. S/he has to integrate every PC’s convoluted backstory into the game s/he is running. S/he has to run the entire NPC side of combat. GMs have to be the sandbox which you PCs are using as your playground, and that isn’t easy.

Yes, in this game there were clashes about the rules, probably more than there should have been. Yes, EVERYONE was involved in those; nobody is blameless in this situation. However, I was having FUN. I don’t think I told the GM that as much as he deserved to be told. Contrary to what was said by that other player is isn’t enough just to show up to the next session to make a GM feel like s/he’s appreciated. They should be told if they’s doing a good job, and if you have a real problem with something in the game, you should approach them about it, recognizing that they’re usually working their a$$es off to entertain you.

In conclusion, for all you players out there, whether you’ve been a GM and understand all of this or you’re always a PC, let your GM know how much you appreciate them they’re doing.

They deserve it.