Becoming a GM

How to become a PbF GM and set up a Play-by-Forum game.

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Becoming a GM

Postby Pedros » 04 Jun 2012, 17:54

If you are thinking of becoming a GM here in Forum Games, you need to read through the whole of this Start Here section carefully, and in order (starting with "So you want to be a GM") This post takes you through the process of preparing yourself for that first game

Anybody who wants to GM here for the first time should first of all contact the PbFDip GMs group via forum PM. It will save time if you can outline your experience and how you rate your knowledge of the rules (admitting you're a bit shaky on some of the more obscure bits won't disqualify you - we want more GMs, and we're prepared to put in time to help you through tricky bits like beleagured garrisons and convoy paradoxes!) We'll probably give you a tricky adjudication problem to sort out.

A list of Forum Games you've played will also help - if we have to search for any game you've been in it could take quite a time. We'll be looking for at least one game played for several game years (seven years has been suggested), with good (not necessarily perfect) reliability about NMRs etc; we'll probably check with the GM! This is for two reasons - firstly, if you're an unreliable player you are extremely unlikely to make a reliable GM; and secondly, we want to be sure you understand as a player how long these games take. As a GM you'll be committing yourself to possibly six months' work (some larger games can take a year or more!)

Part of "Start Here" is about map-making and manipulation. You don't have to be able to create or copy maps from scratch - so far as I know every current GM will be happy to share any maps they have with you - but you do have to be able to move units around, colour in territories, etc. We'll ask you what software you intend to use, and probably ask you to change the map we gave you for the rules question in the light of your adjudication!

You will be asked what House Rules you intend to use. There's a temptation for most new GMs to skimp this part of it. Copying somebody else's is fine - at least there's a fair chance that they work well! - but you need to understand them and be aware of the details.

And finally we'll be asking you again about the time you have available. Not just now - most GMs who abandon games do it because there is suddenly real life pressure which leaves them unable to carry on. Some are genuinely unexpected; we understand that. But often it has been things which the GM knew were coming up months before (such as exams). Well, you need to think about that (In my case, I'm retired, which means I have masses of time - except that my summers I spend on a boat with plenty of other things to do and limited internet time. As Spring approaches I have to reduce the number of games I'm involved in. That kind of thinking ahead.)

And what then? One game only at first - a reasonably straightforward one; no complicated rules, and no bigger than classic (there are plenty of very interesting and high quality variants which are available there - see our suggested list at ..., although this isn't necessarily complete). Get that one finished, or at least several years down the line, before you think of starting another. And if you want to start a second, we'll probably check with the players in your first game to see how it's been going!

Does that sound too much? Good - you're beginning to realise what you would be taking on. Now think again and, hopefully, decide that it's something worth putting that much effort into!

One final thing - where GMs have left games unfinished in the past, we are also leaning fairly hard on them before they can start a new one. The same standards will apply to them as to new GMs; and to me as well if I let my players down.
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Re: Becoming a GM

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 30 Jan 2019, 17:49

Update 30 Jan 2019:

If you would like to become a Forum / Discord GM, please composing a message to the PbFDip GMs group rather than contacting any one given GM. You can find that group in the "Compose Message" interface here on the forums in a little dropdown menu on the right.

The reason for this? Admins move on. Pedros, for example, has been inactive for a while. Morg has been frequently busy in recent times too. Lately I've been shepherding folks through the process, but there's always the chance that I'll have to take a step back at some point in the future.

However, if you message the PbFDip GMs group, you're far more likely to find a GM who will be willing to act as mentor, no matter who happens to be leading the show at the time.
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