My GM Merit Badges

Thanks to Sean Holland of Sea of Stars, I came across Strange Magic, a blog which put up a bunch of interesting GM Badges that help identify certain elements of a given GM’s gaming style.  These are a very neat idea, and I’m more than willing to spread the word about them.  That said,  here are the badges that apply to me:

I prefer to roll dice out in the open, this preserves the feeling of risk and there’s no room for me to fudge things in anyone’s favor.

My games often contain disturbing content for horror games, and tend to force players to make very difficult choices.

The player characters are destined to be movers and shakers in the setting.  I never run games where the characters are but just another cog in the great machine.

Improvisation is part and parcel of all my campaigns, I tend to have notes, but don’t stick to them too closely, if I realize that a given plot twist is awesome, I go with it even when it’s not in the plan.

I like to mirror ideas that players come up with or like.  If they have something interesting, I put it into play as it contributes to the group’s fun as a whole.

All my games are mysteries in some way, shape or form.  Players should always be on the lookout for little clues, either from descriptions and NPC dialogue that might shed some light to the situation.

Non-combat solutions are encouraged in my games, as they tend to bring results without a lot of the nasty consequences or extensive cleaning-up that violence requires.

My games can occasionally be scary, and once or twice I’ve had players report having nightmares about imagery used in my game.

Story is a major factor in my gaming, and I try to make sure that all the characters have some plots that relate directly to them so they can get involved and have the spotlight.



I have to say that these badges are pretty neat, and do a great job communicating how a certain GM works.  I’m curious to inflict this on my other GM friends now and see what they come up with.

3 thoughts on “My GM Merit Badges

  1. I like these; however, I don’t see a GM as having just one of these characteristics. I’m a mixture of:
    Dice + Improvisation + Mirror + Story

    I really like the images on the badges… but how do you use them?

    1. Hey there!

      As far as I can tell the badges are meant to be mixed and matched, I don’t think there’s any GM that actually just has one badge to describe his style.

      They’re a neat little device that might come in useful in facilitating online recruitment, gamers who might not like the aspects you tagged as part of your style will know better than to end up playing under you where both of you will be miserable, while other gamers with similar interests can find GMs that cater to their style of fun

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