GM Advice: 6 Great Reasons to Give GMing a Go

Heroes of the gaming world, GM are worldbuilders and story sharers. Being a GM is an incredibly positive, rewarding experience. If you’ve ever thought about GMing, here are six great reasons why you should give it a go.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)
By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


For most of my gaming career, I’ve been the GM. To begin with, I was the GM because I was the only one with the books. That’s not the greatest reason in the world to spend countless hours pouring over adventures and campaign worlds. In my mind, there are six (much better) basic reason to give GMing a go. In no particular order, they are:

  1. To Give Back: It’s great to just turn up and play. As a player, you only need to make a character and you are good to go. Most GM’s would love to play more. I myself fall into this category. (I mention this just in case any of my players are reading). Giving your GM a break and letting him play for a while is a tremendous way of saying thank you for all the great adventures he’s run you through. It’s also a great way to forestall GM burn out and the death spiral of a once fun campaign.
  2. To Create: A GM’s lot is a creative one. Sure, as a player you design your character. As the GM, you can design the entire world! If you’ve got the creative itch, taking a turn at GMing it is a great way to scratch it.
  3. To Shape a Story: A GM leads his group through his world. A GM doesn’t tell a story – unless he railroads his players – but he does shape the campaign story. If you’ve got a story to share, GMing is a great way to share it with your friends.
  4. To Enjoy It: GMing is tremendously enjoyable, but I grant you it can be a daunting proposition. I’ve talked before about tips for beginning GMs, but remember that doing anything for the first time can be daunting. Relax and have a go. Your friends will thank you for it.
  5. To Develop Skills: GMing requires many skills. You’ve got to proactive and organised among many other skills and characteristics. If you want to work on one or more of these skills, GMing is a great way of doing it while having fun.
  6. To Make New Friends: GMs are welcome in any gaming club or community. If you are moving to a new area, offering to run a game is a great way to meet new people and get invited to other games. The same is true if you aren’t moving; offer to run a game and they will come.

Remember, without GMs we wouldn’t have a hobby. Personally, for me now, if I wasn’t a GM I wouldn’t have been able to introduce my sons to gaming. We’ve had tremendous fun thus far, and I hope it’s an activity we do together for many years to come. That’s so worth the time invested!

Help Your Fellow Gamers

Can you think of any other reasons to give GMing a go? If you can why not lets know what they are in the comments and help other players take the plunge today!

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

4 thoughts on “GM Advice: 6 Great Reasons to Give GMing a Go”

  1. Fully agree.

    In my opinion #1 is becoming the most important because GMing is becoming harder and the Pathfinder game is much more geared towards providing player enjoyment rather than GM enjoyment. I find that a lot of the Pathfinder literature addresses GMs as if they’re employees with a job to do, not only placing the majority of the responsibility for the success of the game on their shoulders but also suggesting to the players that they have the right to demand a quality of service from their GM almost as if the GM has been paid to be there.

    This cannot be right. The future of the game has to lie with the premise that all participants in the game are equally deserving of enjoyment. If all the hard work involved with running a game is to be performed by the GM, then all players should expect to take a turn at GMing. If some players don’t want to GM, then they should look towards helping out in whatever other ways they can in order to even out the workload.

    Given that the rules now are available for everyone to read, rules issues should be much more consensual. GMs should not be rules “policemen” as this sets up an unpleasant Player(s) vs GM confrontation. Nothing spoils GMing more than having players blaming you for spoiling their fun.

    Inevitably GMs will have to accept more responsibility for the successful running of the game but players should be there in support rather than sitting back and expecting the GM to deliver the perfect game and then complaining if he doesn’t.

    Unfortunately more often than not you get two sorts of players around the table – those who will only play because they want all the fun and none of the hassle, and those who will play come what may because they love the game too much. Inevitably the latter GM, but in my opinion with the way the game has gone the former will have to man (or woman) up a bit and take some of the work and responsibility on.

    Like you said, without GMs, we wouldn’t have a hobby.

    All the best


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