Game Masters and Leadership Skills: Part 3

By this time, having read Part 1 and Part 2, you should have some idea of what your style is and where at least a few of your weaknesses are. If you’re like me, at one time or another you’ve looked around and wondered if you should even being doing this job or not. Sometimes it feels like my faults far, far outweigh my blessings.

If you’ve felt like this, a quiz like this one can help you decide whether or not to continue trying to do the job. Designed to measure the motivation of business leaders, alot of the questions certainly apply to those of us who try to herd kittens by running role-playing games.

And motivation is the real key here. How motivated are you? Because if you’re motivated enough, you can work miracles but without this key asset, few people feel any reason to improve – let alone take the time and energy to put real work into it.

And make no mistake, running a campaign is work. I’ve told friends I often feel like I have an unpaid part-time job as I easily put 10-15 hours a week into the work of developing Valiant, writing for the actual games and then publishing this blog as well can sometimes run the tally up to 20 hours. You’re mileage will vary as I’m running 2 games every week but it’s still going to be a significant chunk of your time.

A game of Twilight Imperium with Shattered Emp...

Image via Wikipedia

So if you’re not motivated, think about why you’re doing it at all. Is it because your friends don’t want to? Don’t know how? No one cares? Perhaps you’d all have more fun setting up a weekly LAN party or playing a board game like Settlers of Catan or Twilight Imperium. Because that’s the real kicker – fun.

The object of any gaming session is for all involved, including the game master, to have a good time and if you’re not motivated it’s going to feel like an unpaid job instead of a hobby you love and you’re quickly going to learn to resent the investment in time and energy.

If you are motivated, then you’re going to enjoy the entire process even if half of it never sees the gaming table. In my case, I really enjoy writing for Project Valiant and sharing the material with my peers (that’s you, dufus) even if the players never choose to use any of what I provide.

For me, the process is almost more enjoyable than running the game which is why I have a problem remembering to include player goals in my story goals. I’m so focused on the campaign and love developing it so much that in many ways, I have a bad tendency to see my gaming group as mere playtesters for my ideas instead of players who want to develop the characters in their own right.

So learning about your motivations can help you understand why you use the game mastering style you’ve chosen (or fallen into) and help you understand even more about why you run that type of game at the table.

Stay Tuned for Part 4!

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