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The Myth-Weavers GM Talent Pool


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Howdy folks! This thread got me thinking critically about the typical model we use to run games where there is one omnipotent GM who is tasked with all aspects of managing a game. Coming up with the idea for the game, writing the plot, creating maps, building NPCs, finding images, running battles, writing the story, building encounters, selecting players, resolving actions, settling disputes, etc. It can be a lot to put on the shoulders of one person working alone. Moreover, not all of us have the same talents and strengths. Maybe you excel at 80% of the typical GM portfolio, but are terrible at the other 20%. This is the Internet, you're not alone! Let's work together to ease each other's burdens and make better games for everyone.

The Concept

3 hours ago, OzzyKP said:

It is quite interesting hearing everyone's thoughts and challenges. For my part, I'm rather technically proficient. I love making maps, policing the mechanics, formatting posts, finding/making images to go with posts, etc. I'm also good at crafting the big picture of the story and making all the pieces fit together. It is just the day to day moving the action forward, setting a scene stuff I struggle with.

Does anyone have any experience with a co-GM? Someone with strengths and weaknesses that compliment your own? Like I could keep track of all the details for Papa Bear or do the technical stuff for Vedast and we'd be better as a team. I'd love to find a co-GM to help run the game I've been prepping whenever I'm ready.

2 hours ago, OzzyKP said:

I wonder also if there'd be interest in/space for a "GM as mercenary" or gig-worker model? Like "crap, there are 40 applications for my game, how am I going to review them all and pick players?" Maybe bring in another GM just to help you make the selection. Or "nuts, I painted myself into a corner with this plot, how do I move forward" bring in another GM as an advisor just to get you past that spot and back on track. Or hell, even "my anxiety and depression is going nuts right now, I could use a break for a month" and call in a sub.

The typical live model it is you and 4 friends and you're in a room together. Everything falls onto a single GM. But we're online, it doesn't have to be that way. In many ways we're attempting to replicate an in-person model of TTRPGs onto a web forum instead of getting creative with the possibilities a web forum offers us. You can't call up someone to come to your house in the middle of a 5 hour session to help with one thing for 20 minutes, but we can absolutely do that here. We've got dozens (hundreds?) of people available to us and the opportunity cost for small contributions is much lower.

How This Works

Each GM (or GM-curious person) posts here with information on their strengths/talents and interests (follow my template below). Other GMs, if they need a bit of assistance, can check this thread to see who is available for which skills. They contact the GM directly (let's not clutter this thread with requests for help) to ask if they are interested/available to help.


At the moment I can think of three main modes in which this help could manifest:

GM Assistants: If you want an ongoing partner (or partners) to assist with a particular game. The idea is they will be strong in areas of running a game that you lack the skill or interest. The key to success with a GM Assistant are clearly defined roles. GMing by committee seems like it'd be trouble. Maybe you are great at storytelling, but just don't have the stomach for managing mechanics-heavy battles. Find a co-GM who enjoys battles to handle those for you. Maybe you are terribly unorganized and need a partner to keep track of loot, XP, plot points, etc. These partnerships are expected to be for the life of the game.

GM Subs: Burn out is a real thing, but so are periods of exhaustion, mental health crisis and just plain busyness. Would your game be more likely to last for the long haul if you could just step away from it for a few weeks without losing momentum? Find a sub who can step into your shoes for a limited amount of time while you recover (or get back from vacation, or push out that baby, etc). You will need to provide them some solid instructions on where the game has been and where it is going, and then trust them to handle things while you are gone. On the flip-side they need to trust that you will come back when you've promised and not just dump the game on them forever.

GM Mercenaries: Not all the responsibilities of a GM are ongoing, and not all of them need to be done by the same person. Call in a mercenary (or think of a better name)! Just need help putting together a map? Or helping to select players? Or want a nice template for your posts? Find someone on this list with those skills/interests and ask for help. Maybe you've got some various plot ideas and you aren't sure how to tie them together, find some help. Or even if you want a temporary NPC to be more distinctive and want someone else to temporarily run this one-shot NPC, bring in a temp! These are for one-off bits of assistance, no long term relationship needed.


I'll start:

spacer.png OzzyKP

About me: I'm in my early 40's, three young daughters at home. My time/energy/focus is limited so I tend to post very slowly in my games. Once I commit to something I stick things out though and never ghost on games. I'm more of a big picture & numbers guy. Creative writing takes a lot out of me, but I like crunching numbers or running tactical battles. Thinking through the overall plot is interesting for me too. I like to keep things organized and provide good visuals/maps for games.
I'm interested in being a: GM Assistant, GM Mercenary
Systems I'm comfortable with: Pathfinder 1e, Pathfinder Spheres
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: Pathfinder 2e, D&D 3.5
Systems I'm interested in learning: None
Skills/strengths/interests: Making maps, designing encounters, running battles, selecting players, sounding board/another set of eyes for plot ideas, keeping games organized (tracking NPCs, loot, plot, etc), making posting templates, (will add to this if I think of more)
Best way to contact me: a PM here or on Discord (just OzzyKP there).

Edited by OzzyKP (see edit history)
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Yeah, I like all of it! The sub thing is very cool. Imagine if you are GMing and thinking of abandoning ship. I've been in games were the GM said they were planning to leave, and asked the players if any wanted to take up the GM torch. Usually it's a "no," because everyone is invested as a PC. But if it became cool for the GM to post and ask for a sub, we might end up saving a lot of games and generating a lot of goodwill.

I love this idea!

Edited by RedMax (see edit history)
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10 minutes ago, RedMax said:

Yeah, I like all of it! The sub thing is very cool. Imagine if you are GMing and thinking of abandoning ship. I've been in games were the GM said they were planning to leave, and asked the players if any wanted to take up the GM torch. Usually it's a "no," because everyone is invested as a PC. But if it became cool for the GM to post and ask for a sub, we might end up saving a lot of games and generating a lot of goodwill.

I love this idea!

If the GM wants to leave forever, then there is the The Myth-Weavers GM Rescue Society, which is for replacement GMs. I see this just as temporary subs where the original GM returns to run the game after a period of time. But hopefully just having a bit of time away will help the GM stick it out and not need a permanent replacement.

Edited by OzzyKP (see edit history)
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Also for anyone wanting to run adventure paths or organized play. This way folks can communicate and meet up and run things. Even hand off GM/player duties between those shorter modules making up longer campaigns.

Very cool idea!

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This is a brilliant idea.

Charming Satyr

About me: Recently reached my 50s. Started gaming in my teens with 2nd ed D&D. I started running games because I love to watch my friends be heroes and do epic deeds. There is a joy in setting up your players to fail, and watching them come out the other side triumphant. I call myself a "Die Hard" style GM. Like the movie, if I can put the heroes through the gauntlet and they come out the other side burnt, bleeding, barefoot, and with only one bullet left in their gun as they face down the big bad, then I feel like I've done my job. Examples of my GMing style can be found here, here, and here.

I'm interested in being a: GM Mercenary. Maybe GM Assistant, depending on what's needed.
Systems I'm comfortable with: Pathfinder 1e, D&D 3.5, d20 Modern/Future
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: Star Trek Adventures, The Dresden Files
Systems I'm interested in learning: Blades in the Dark (and hacks thereof, especially Band of Blades), PF2e, Starfinder

  • I'm your guy for writing descriptions, plotting story arcs, creating dialog, brainstorming ideas, fleshing out player characters and working their backstories into the meta-plot, and similar tasks.
  • I'm not your guy for recruiting players, reviewing character sheets, or tracking loot and other minor details.

Best way to contact me: PM me here

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About me: I'm a 36-year-old working stiff and Myth-Weavers is my only friend. That's a bit hyperbolic, but not very. So I devote a lot of my free time to posting here. I enjoy running games with a relatively even mix of RP and combat, and I like letting the players pursue personal quests and stuff like that. I also like it when players solve problems in creative ways, and I can be pretty lenient with the rules - within reason, of course. You can check out Crown of the Kobold King for an example of my work.

I'm interested in being a: GM Assistant, GM Sub, GM Mercenary

Systems I'm comfortable with: D&D 4e and 5e, Starfinder, Pathfinder 2e

Systems that are a bit of a stretch: D&D 3.5, Pathfinder 1e

Systems I'm interested in learning: I always like learning new systems, but it would take me a while to become confident enough to GM them.

Skills/strengths/interests: Improvisation, dialogue, combat, selecting players, weaving plot threads together, "railroading"*Often thought to be a bad thing done by bad GMs, but in PbP, I think a certain amount of railroading is necessary to keep the game moving

Best way to contact me: PM here

Edited by Eagleheart (see edit history)
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About me: Early 40s, he/him, PbP fanatic/addict who is occasionally busy IRL. I think I have a good track record of playing/running games on the Weave, and I'm a fan of grounded-not-grim games with narrative elements; mostly, RP-heavy stuff and lighter on the tactical combat side (narrative, theater of mind-style combat is still totally ok!). Though... bit limited in time at the moment, and I don't want to take on more than I can chew.

I'm interested in being a: I am not sure if any of those apply... but I'd be interested in a rotating GM scheme (even for some of my existing games), or trying cooperative (GM-less) games. No GMs, no gods, no masters!

Systems I'm comfortable with: The One Ring, Ironsworn (and its hacks).

Systems that are a bit of a stretch: World of Darkness games, maaaaybe 5e but I don't love running it.

Systems I'm interested in learning: Not right now-not enough time, I am afraid! Ok, ok, maybe Forbidden Lands!

Skills/strengths/interests: I don't ghost, I communicate game stuff, I can articulate game ideas well enough, and I post consistently. I think my writing's not terrible, but it's probably not great either! But at least it's legible (low bar, I know).

Best way to contact me: PM here.

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  • 2 months later...

About me: Early 30s, been running live games just under two decades. I have enough time each weekday for a couple of hours. I struggle with commitment to a concept, and generally need to be really interested and passionate about a game to stick with it and can easily be burned out by difficulties. I easily come up with creative ideas and concepts and specialise in throwing concepts at the wall. I love working on weaving a narrative or building up a living world, but the time commitments around creation of assets can be more of a task.

I'm interested in being a: GM Assistant, or GM Mercenary depending on requirements.
Systems I'm comfortable with: Pathfinder 1e/2e, D&D 3.5, d20 Modern/Future, BitD (and its hacks), PbtA, Cortex Prime, World of Darkness, Systems Without Number, and more...
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: Starfinder, Against the Darkmaster (VsD), Delta Green, Forbidden Lands, 5e (but I really don't like it)
Systems I'm interested in learning: Almost anything
Skills/strengths/interests: If you're looking for character or monster creation, help brainstorming anything from plot, story-arcs, characters arcs etc. I'm happy to help, if you're looking for more consistent, long-term hands-on help, then I'll probably burn out quickly unless your core idea really lights a fire for me.

Best way to contact me: Fastest is discord DM (cyberspark), but I'll probably notice PMs here too.

Edited by Cyberspark (see edit history)
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This is a really great idea, for a lot of reasons. Imagine if a GM is struggling or needs some time off or something happens and they can't do much for a couple of weeks. Instead of letting the game die, you pull in a sub and they just take the notes and keep the game going until the GM gets back into the swing.

It could save a lot of games.


About me: I've been an aspiring writer for years - haven't we all - and i've almost always ended up just coming back to RP do to that. I spend a LOT more time building worlds than i do actually running games for a lot of reasons. With that in mind, i can get really, really fixated on things and focus a lot on how things work, thats why i ended up in design, and not as an author.

I'm interested in being a: GM Mercenary
Systems I'm comfortable with: Pretty much anything
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: Again, pretty much anything, its not mechanics i'm worried about
Systems I'm interested in learning: Same as above
Skills/strengths/interests: This falls into two categories. I can make templates for posts, for character sheets, for the forum itself, to you want something super organised? Thats my thing. I'll make sure everything is clear and uniform across the board. The second category is worldbuilding, if you need help building out a world, from the grand scheme to smaller things i'm totally on board. Do you need a thieves guild that integrates into your city, how about a country to visit, or a religion, or some gods, or some landscape, or a magic system. Anything worldbuilding i'll get very invested in.
Best way to contact me: a PM here

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  • 2 weeks later...

About me: I'm in my early 40's, and I work a lot. I also have two young daughters at home. My time/energy/focus is somewhat limited, but I post at the minimum 2 to 3 times per week (with some exceptions). Once I commit to something I try to stick to it, and always inform if I will be absent.

I'm interested in being a: GM Assistant, GM Sub
Systems I'm comfortable with: D&D 4e and 5e, 13th Age, Gumshoe, Powered by The Apocalypse and Fate.
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: -
Systems I'm interested in learning: Any light system
Skills/strengths/interests: I am like Isaac Asimov. Great ideas, serviceable execution. I have great ideas, and love to weave convoluted plots with many possible outcomes, but my writing style is barren. I like to be direct and go straight to the matter, without a lot of flourish; but I am trying to improve in this regard.
Best way to contact me: a PM here


Edited by yxanthymir (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...
I'm probably not the best to contact about this but I feel like this could be a great way to keep games running.
You'll see why below :D
Papa Bear

About me: I'm a bit scatter-brained at times. I forget this or that but I like to think I'm player friendly and when my players know this about me and are willing to point things out without getting upset, I like to make things right. It doesn't always work, sadly. I like to think I'm creative. I always try to add some element to my games that make them unique from what it might otherwise have been if someone else ran it. Again, it doesn't always work. I've created dozens of RPG systems (nothing published) and inflict them on my FtF group. Most of the time they are great (My version of Fallout, my D&D Western hack, my Mass Effect, my own Fantasy and general system) and sometimes... not so much (my Attack on Titan RPG).

I'm interested in being a: GM something or other... sorry. Part of my problem here is that I'm 'wishy-washy' in the sense that one day I just don't feel like Role-playing, the next I can't bear number crunching (combat), then I can't stand the idea of reading a bunch of player posts, then I can't bring myself to do the crunch for an NPC and so on and so forth. The good news is that these don't usually last a day but a few hours at a time instead. Then I'm happy with one or the other. I guess there's some kind of 'bi-polar' aspect in there somewhere. (RPG-Polar?) So I will often just postpone whatever post I have for a few hours and come back to it and am fine... unfortunately, remember that 'scatter brained' thing... I'll forget that I didn't do the post and think I had. This affect the games where I'm a PC and not just when I GM. So... the 'something or other' which is completely not helpful, is really 'whatever the heck interests me'.
Systems I'm comfortable with: Pathfinder 1, D&D 5e, Champions, Marvel Superheroes, James Bond, MERPS
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: Mutants and Masterminds, D&D 3.5 (only because I haven't played that version in two decades)
Systems I'm interested in learning: Most anything. I love learning new systems... though, as above, sometimes reading a lot of rules gets me all wonky.
Skills/strengths/interests: I'm a decent writer, though I can be long winded. I try to actively keep my posts shorter so that when I get swept away in a moment, it doesn't turn out too terribly long. I love creating things. A buddy of mine wanted a HP-less system for a D&D game he ran. He asked me to come up with something for that. The game group loved it. Another buddy wanted a differnet magic system for D&D game he wanted to run. Not sure how that would have turned out. Most of my FTF group isn't big on magic and my buddy decided to quit running the game after three sessions. As you've probalby guessed, my interests are all over the board. I love most genres (Fantasy and Sci-Fi), but most especially Supers.
Best way to contact me: a PM here

But you probably shouldn't. I will say this... when I commit, I don't let go. In 20ish years of PBP RPGing, I've only killed three games I've GMed. One the group got confrontational with each other. It was best to just let that one go. Another because a personal crisis and the two players in it were friends of mine so I explained what happened and we all decided to just let it go. And another because players kept dropping from the game and I struggled with how to move forward with it... which is a shame, I really liked that game. I don't ever recall dropping out of a game as a PC (though, as we all know, if you last long enough in a PBP game, odds are it will fold up eventually, sadly)

Edited by Papa Bear (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

About me: Early 50s here. I've been gaming with D&D/AD&D 1e since the days of the Satanic Panic. I've played every edition of D&D from Basic/Expert, 1e, 23, 2.5e (Skills & Powers), 3/3.5e, 4e, and even tried 5e. I've played many other games, collected even more as either source material or "Oh gee, this looks fun". However, I have my core games that I would stick with for playing, fewer for running.
I'm interested in being a: GM Assistant, GM Mercenary... GM Sub if necessary, depending on the ruleset.
Systems I'm comfortable with: Pf2e, Mutants & Masterminds 3e, HERO System, perhaps Palladium (Beyond the Supernatural and Fantasy only, please)
Systems that are a bit of a stretch: GURPS (burned out on that one quickly)
Systems I'm interested in learning: Savage Worlds (SWADE), FATE (Either version of Dresden), PbtA, DC20 (Have the Alpha 0.7 rules, getting in on the Kickstarter 04 June 2024).

  • Maps - I'm okay when it comes to using Dungeondraft, but I can turn out a quick map as needed.
  • NPC design
  • Encounter design (Fantasy OK. Modern military ops I can work with nicely as I'm doing that sort of thing already.)
  • Campaign organization (working with Obsidian.md)
  • Research

Best way to contact me: a PM here, or Discord (same username either place)


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