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Do You Ever Act As Both Player And GM?

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Angelone

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« Reply #15 on: <03-22-11/0121:19> »
Like most people I run one when needed. It is hard for me to though, not in a bookkeeping or show stealing sense, but my players will always defer to the npc because I'm controlling it. In my group I'm the one who gets the ball rolling. Usually into trouble or pink mohawkishness.
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WareWolf

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« Reply #16 on: <03-22-11/0735:58> »
I guess I am in the minority here. I usually run one or more GMPC's in most of my games. I got into GMing because I wanted an reliable opportunity to play. GMPC's allow me to experience the story as well as maintain a voice in the party. I got into SR to play GMing is just one more way I make that happen.

I have however seen a lot of new GM's "Mary Sue" things all to hell if given the chance. To guard against this I select co-GM's carefully. My co-GM and I often collaborate on plot and story to ensure we are not dominating events. I think with appropriate safeguards the impact to a game for running a GMPC is minimal.

FastJack

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« Reply #17 on: <03-22-11/0751:52> »
I've only done it a few times, mostly in small groups to fill in a niche or for them to act as a guide. Although I did bring my normal PC in as a GMPC when running a group through Forgotten Realms' Shadowdale adventure. Mostly because they were the party that would loot everything and I knew there was a high-powered artifact sword in the book. To make sure there wasn't a TPK when they try to decide who bonded the sword, I had the GMPC "accidentally" bond it before they even had a chance.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #18 on: <03-22-11/0808:38> »
I ran one for quite a while during an Iron Kingdoms game.  It was the first time playing in the setting, and we didn't have enough close combat/tank characters.  So I ran a fighter for the group.  Even later, when more people joined the game, I kept him around.  While he didn't do or say much other than offer his opinion or just lend a hand when beatings were needed, he seemed to develop a personality that the other players could bounce ideas off of.

At the end of his appearance in the game, some of the PC's liked him, one or two didn't.  But they all knew his name.

Some advice for running a GMPC, if it ever comes up.  Make them memorable in some way (give them a quirk or interesting characteristic), let them speak their minds once in a while (but only use in-game knowledge), keep them in the background (the PC's are the important ones, here), and do not get too attached to them.  The last piece of advice is the most important, I think.  Just think of them as recurring NPC's, ones that are useful, but ultimately can be thrown away when needed, and they work out just fine.
« Last Edit: <03-22-11/0810:10> by The_Gun_Nut »
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Charybdis

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« Reply #19 on: <03-22-11/0848:46> »
I've only done it a few times, mostly in small groups to fill in a niche or for them to act as a guide. Although I did bring my normal PC in as a GMPC when running a group through Forgotten Realms' Shadowdale adventure. Mostly because they were the party that would loot everything and I knew there was a high-powered artifact sword in the book. To make sure there wasn't a TPK when they try to decide who bonded the sword, I had the GMPC "accidentally" bond it before they even had a chance.
Ooooh, that's the sort of thing that would get a PC killed in most of my groups :P

Why not set them up for the Head of Vecna option instead?
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Dead Monky

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« Reply #20 on: <03-22-11/1019:42> »
Part of why I brought this up is because I almost always have a GMPC.  Now granted, it's because the groups I play with always seem to be really small so I usually need to have one to keep the group rounded.  It's pretty hard to get far in SR with no hacker or mage.

I'm aware of the problems it can cause so I'm obsessive about keeping my GM responsibilities and knowledge separate from the my PC and mostly just have my PC follow along and let the players make all the decisions.  (And try to come up with personalities for the character that lets his or her passivity make sense.)  On occasion, I'll have them act as the voice of reason if the rest of the group is going to do something unreasonably self-destructive or psychotic.   (That comes up way more often that I'd like.)  But I'll let them do it if they want.  And have my PC sigh heavily, roll their eyes and go along with it.  Which is also my reaction.

FastJack

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« Reply #21 on: <03-22-11/1237:39> »
I've only done it a few times, mostly in small groups to fill in a niche or for them to act as a guide. Although I did bring my normal PC in as a GMPC when running a group through Forgotten Realms' Shadowdale adventure. Mostly because they were the party that would loot everything and I knew there was a high-powered artifact sword in the book. To make sure there wasn't a TPK when they try to decide who bonded the sword, I had the GMPC "accidentally" bond it before they even had a chance.
Ooooh, that's the sort of thing that would get a PC killed in most of my groups :P

Why not set them up for the Head of Vecna option instead?
Don't tempt me. It's been brought up in discussions about certain party members. ;)

CanRay

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« Reply #22 on: <03-22-11/1252:09> »
Well, back in "The Bad Old Days" of Decking/Hacking/Whatever being a "Take the game away from everyone else", a lot of GMs would just have an NPC do that while the rest of the team had to "Watch his meat", then have him be useless for the rest.

And, of course, sitting at home in just his underwear and a pirate hat made from the New York Times while doing Matrix Overwatch while everyone else risks their bodies.
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Elizara Dane

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« Reply #23 on: <03-22-11/1305:37> »
In my group I have a tendency to roll up characters that fill a much needed niche (face, brute force hacker) so when it's my turn to GM my players use their aquaintances as "contacts" and call them if they need their specific services. Usually it will be for a specific service like finding/buying or breaking into a single system and not an extended stay. The same goes for another player that plays a steet doc with a clinic which have given rise to my Face's catch phrase "I know this great Doc in the barrens..."

Now this doesn't count the time a player borrowed some nuyen to get a nice bit of 'ware and I paid the hospital a little extra to install a biomonitor to allow me to "keep an eye" on my investment. I'll usually make an appearance after he's gotten his teeth kicked in.
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Man Who Walks At Night

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« Reply #24 on: <03-22-11/1322:55> »
Seems we don't quite agree on where a NPC ends and a GMPC starts.. I see a lot of people talking about GMPC's but what they describe is really just a NPC.

GMPC:
- Made by the same rules as the other PC's
- Gets equal share of loot/karma
- Has spotlights in the plot like the other PC's.
- Same rules as for players (no GM hand-waving instead of rolls for instance)

NPC:
- A character controlled by the GM for shorter or longer periods to advance the plot or help the players through a tough time.



Feel free to add more to the distinction :)
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Dead Monky

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« Reply #25 on: <03-22-11/1325:03> »
I'm using the first definition: A full blown player character that's controlled by me, the GM, acting as a player.

EDIT
Fixed some typos.
« Last Edit: <03-22-11/1518:37> by Dead Monky »

Angelone

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« Reply #26 on: <03-22-11/1511:33> »
I've used both. Mostly npcs though.
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #27 on: <03-22-11/1712:25> »
I use the first, but I have him act in the background like the second.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

JKilla

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« Reply #28 on: <03-22-11/1717:38> »
I feel compelled to throw my two cents in on this one.

I play a GMPC because, while I like GM'n I also am a RPG playing junkie...never leaves ya. But with that said we are also only a group of 4 (including myself) which I find works perfectly! It takes alot of practice but, I find it highly enjoyable to both craft the story but to also experience and be a part of it, like a director acting in his own film. To do this though you must be able to abide by the rules and relize that your character is just another one of the actors on the stage. (but I also designate another player to be my check in case I do something to OP from the other players perspective)

Other than that, I freaking love having a GMPC!

-J

Charybdis

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« Reply #29 on: <03-22-11/1848:05> »
GMPC:
- Made by the same rules as the other PC's
- Gets equal share of loot/karma
- Has spotlights in the plot like the other PC's.
- Same rules as for players (no GM hand-waving instead of rolls for instance)

NPC:
- A character controlled by the GM for shorter or longer periods to advance the plot or help the players through a tough time.
I'm fine with those definitions.

In our co-GM game, we use the GMPC's only as necessary, playing them as NPC/PC's as required.

I've also seen true abuses of GMPC (first pick of loot, first to find and loot secret passages etc), which need to be stomped out ASAP.

I've also had one campaign where I was a player, then took the reigns of GM due to his unavailability, I tried to retire my PC, but the rest of the group rebelled, and insisted he stay on as a GMPC. For me, this was a challenge to ensure there was zero favouritism, but seeing as I use a lot of random die rolls to determine whom gets targetted by attacks, this never turned out to be a problem.
'Too much is never enough'

Current PC: Free Spirit (Norse Shamanic)
'Names are irrelevant. Which fake ID do you want me to quote from?'

Phreak Commandment V:
If Thou Be In School, Strive To Get Thine Self Good Grades, For The Authorities Well Know That Scholars Never Break The Law