The Players Who Made Me

I had a conversation with my wife last night over the topic of GMing and how I’ve learned and improved in it thanks to the experience of running for so many remarkable players over the course of several years.

It felt like a good topic to bring up on the blog, and so I’m making it public. I’m a pretty good GM, and I attribute much of my ability to the following people whose playing style has been instrumental to my current skill.

And so I’d like to thank the following players:

Christine – My wife, whose playing style of long-term planning and strategizing, paired with cunning in-character social skills has taught me to look at everything from both long-term and short-term lenses. She’s disabled an evening’s worth of planning with a clever trick more than once, and I’m a more flexible GM in terms of plans and improvisation because of it.

Ken – Gambler and fast-talker, Ken is the tactical genius who can pull the rug from under you if you so much as blink. He’ll take the path that you discounted because nobody in their sane mind would try it, and he’ll make it look like he planned every step of the way. He’s also a skillful liar who can keep a story straight despite having to tell it to six different parties with different agendas while skewing each one to get the to do exactly what he wants them to do.

Paulo – An idealist with a focus on mechanics, Paulo plays his character to the hilt, and has the chops necessary to lay down the hurt if you actually call him on it. He’s capable of keeping the game on point, and will follow a plot with the kind of trust that only writers can dream of.

Alfonse – Mechanical savant paired with the single-minded obsession of a detective on a case, Alphonse is the last person you want to find the smoking gun. He’ll smash through obstacles and go so deep down the rabbit hole to find the clues he needs, and have the mechanical ability to fight his way back up against anything you can throw at him.

Miguel – More reliable than the Sun. When Miguel says he’ll do something, he’ll do it. And while that leads to some very interesting situations, he can be trusted to hold his own in any situation. He’s a great force multiplier and works great with other team members.

Gino – Gino is a player who can, if left alone, get himself into support position and disable any prep that the villains have with ease. His social skills are smooth as silk, and his unique positioning as a “Support Main” makes him a force multiplier in terms of mechanical advantage that any group would benefit greatly from having him around.

Ricky – Lateral thinking personified. Trying to keep up with his planning is to court madness. But like the saying goes, there’s a method to the madness and before you know it he’ll spring his plan on you and you’re completely left defenseless from this scheme.

On any other day, these players (if properly motivated) could wreak havok on a table. I’ve seen them reduce a carefully plotted adventure into a smouldering wreck and I would heartily recommend any GM I know to try running for these guys one time to see if they can hack it.

Every player I’ve run for brings something unique to the table, but these guys have earned their place in my mind as being instrumental for making me the GM that I am (nervous tick and all) today.

If anyone’s up to it, let me know. I’ll see if I can’t round up the gang and play a game. After all, I’d like to see what kind of player I’d be once I’m on the other side of the screen.


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