|Leadership Council||World Builders||Realm Watch|
Our retired staff are always welcome to continue playing in Dragons Gate, and will always have our appreciation for the work they've done. Returning to a staff position is not guaranteed and will depend on the needs of Dragons Gate and our community at that time.
Interested In Becoming a GM?Edit
So you're interested in GMing within Dragons Gate? That's awesome. We're gonna need all the help we can get in order to support the player base we hope to grow to. GMing in Dragons Gate, however, is a bit different then GMing your own home game so we want to make sure you understand what your getting into.
In a home game the GM is the creative end all be all. This is a pretty cool thing to be and a huge reason why a lot of GMs GM. It also works really well when there is only one person GMing. In a collaborative model like DG however, it simply can't work like that. Our GMs are telling stories in, and creating, a world built through a lot of hours from a lot of people. So first and foremost, a GM MUST actively try to understand whats in place and work within that framework. Here are a collection of some of the things to consider:
Low Fantasy Populace Has Become High Fantasy
At this point in the world, or at least on the continent of Eramar, there haven't been large scale open displays of magic. This is changing, but still the populace isn't used to high fantasy elements. What does this mean? It means that you as a GM need to have folks react appropriately. If someone is shooting magic fireworks into the sky, it's probably going to send everyone running for cover and will likely bring a very unhappy guard. Depending how the character reacts, they don't necessarily need to detain him, but if the character is an ass they probably will. If a character is opening using magic to charm folks, and its seen by the guard, they're going to have problems unless its on behalf of the guard/city.
Also, it means that if you as the GM introduce high fantasy elements, you need to consider how a medieval metropolis would respond. Dragon in Rook? Yes you can do it, but HOLY SHIT! That would probably mobilize a significant portion of the Rook military (which is in the neighborhood of 30,000 strong, mostly capable, soldiers).
Note: This low fantasy element will most likely change. We have plans to expose the continent to a lot of magic, which will acclimate the populace over time. I say most likely, because we have to allow for player agency.
Shared World & Plot Arcs
You'll be running games in a shared world that other GMs need to run games in. We want the world to be a living world so if something happens in your game that effects other GMs they need to know and need to keep those elements alive in their game. This is one of the coolest parts of Dragons Gate but it also creates some problems. To limit those problems, we ask that our GMs think in terms of how much effect on the world around them is their game going to cause and how much headache is that going to cause other GMs (in extreme cases it could make games other GMs have prepared impossible to play).
Basically the games you run should fall roughly within one of three categories: World Plots/Events, GM Plot Arcs, and one shots. One shots are just games thrown together and should have negligible effect on the world. GM Plot Arcs are the 'adventures/campaigns' that you're running and generally would have negligible to moderate impact on the world around you. These arcs can be any number of sessions, even one, but their something you've put more thought into and have communicated with other GMs about what you're doing. World plots/events are arcs that can have huge impact on the world or a part of it. Wars between nations, mega baddies, unlocking new content, etc... These are always coordinated by a member of the leadership council or someone whom we've agreed can act in our stead.
Representing Something Greater
You the GM become the face of Dragons Gate. You represent this thing we've built. I'm not the type to speak in terms of expectations but here I must. You are expected to act professionally. You are expected to communicate in a positive, compassionate yet firm, and considerate manner. You are expected to derail negative conversations and turn them to a more positive spin.
There will always be those players who's nature it is to whine. "This rule doesn't make sense! Why can't I have x?" They're difficult to deal with. Sometimes they're wrong and sometimes they're right, but all the time they have a negative impact on Dragons Gate. We expect that our GMs will NEVER participate in these negative conversations and will derail them whenever they can.
Don't Let a GM App Turn You Away
Let's be frank. We will turn down some GM applications. It's going to happen. Please don't take that to mean you're not welcome here in the community. It'll be very rare that we outright deny anyone, typically preferring to keep the app open and work with the aspiring GM to build their skills (or move them in line with Dragons Gate). Either way, stay, enjoy playing in the world we've built for you.
Many new GMs don't have a sense for how much work is involved in GMing. Seasoned GMs may have a change in their schedule or life style that means they have less time to give to DG. We understand this. In these cases, don't just vanish. Let us know what's going on. We get it and would love to have you stay within the community as a player (even if you only pop in for the occassional game).
Quick note on timing: We're regular people just like you. We have jobs, school, families, friends, etc... We'll do our best to get back to you in a timely manner but don't get anxious if things don't happen quickly. We're gonna be around for a long time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some games :)
- You make your GM application
- If there are any questions we will reply to your thread.
- Once we're satisfied with the application someone on the leadership council, or someone acting on our behalf, will reach out to you to set up a GM game.
- Your GM game will be for existing GMs. If there are not enough GMs available we will pull in players but there MUST be at least two GMs present. If there is nobody from the leadership council in the game, the required two GMs can't be someone with whom you are friends outside of DG. You should plan for an arc that spans 2-3 sessions. Sometimes we'll have a decision after those games but more commonly we'll have comments and suggestions and ask for another session or two. Part of this may be for real improvement we want to see, but part of it also is to see how you work with others and take feedback. Getting defensive about these comments and suggestions will likely be the largest cause for closed applications.
- If approved, you'll be given appropriate permissions with the forum and some of our backend docs.
If something above turns you off and you no longer want to GM here, that's too bad but ultimately its better that you know that now. If this is the case, we hope you'll enjoy playing in the Dragon's Gate Campaign. If after reading all this you are still interested, we look look forward to reading your application.
Advice for Running your GM App Game
We've run quite a few of these games now and have found a few common issues and challenges that people face. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Balance - Balance is harder to come by in Dragonsgate because you cant really build around a specific group most of the time. You also can't count on getting a balanced group and will likely have to content with 'missing' skills, all melee, or perhaps no frontline. In combat, we suggest be ready to adjust on the fly. Keep a few extra baddies on the GM layer or tucked away in a dark corner, be ready to 'ignore' certain monster abilities, or use strong/weak tactics to even things out. Out of combat, its important that you both allow for multiple paths to success, and be able to improv responses to creative player ideas.
- Game Style - Non-linear, non-combat based sessions can be a ton of fun. Unfortunately, they're really hard to run in Dragons Gate for a few reasons.
- First, as mentioned above you often have to contend with missing skills since you can't be sure of who you're going to get as a player.
- Second, you're limited to a single session. The plot can span multiple sessions but you can't be sure that you'll get the same players for the next one. Plus, it might be three days later, which is twelve days later game time. This makes session continuity difficult.
- Third, we play on a voice system. You don't have the visual cues that tell you that someone else is trying to talk. Most players are concious of this and leave enough gaps for others to jump in, but there is often 'that guy' who wants to be involved in every last thing and almost never leaves space for others to talk. Since these sessions don't usually have use initiative orders, these 'dominant' players tend to be a huge issue and can make the session less fun for everyone else.
- Note* This doesn't mean don't run these types of sessions. Many of us love them and would like to see more. It just means that it may not be the best format for your GM app and if you do run them, figure out how you're going to address the three above points. Also, we find that these types of sessions are better suited for smaller groups unless somehow you know each player beforehand and know that they're not the type to hog the spotlight.
- Keeping Control of your Players - RPGs are social games. Most folks like to talk, and many like to argue. There will always be OOC talk and for the most part its fine. But there is a line that often gets crossed, after which the game grinds to a halt and is no longer fun. Most players know this. If they cross this line, call them on it. I haven't met a DG player yet who won't acknowledge that they're out of line, apologize, and get back into the game. Yes your players are mostly leads, existing GMs, and other staff. But you know what? We're just as guilty of this as anyone else. Don't be afraid to call us out on it. We're not going to get pissed and not approve you. On the contrary, we're going to be happy that you can keep control of your table.