I saw this meme the other day…
I saw this meme and I got angry.
RPG memes like this one seem to really get to me.
I hate the idea that a Game Master can look at their player’s awesome concepts, see how cool and bad-ass the players see themselves… and laugh at them.
It feels like this perpetuates an adversarial relationship between the Game Master and the Players. A kind of relationship I’ve rallied against as long as I’ve had a voice.
To me this meme, and others like it, are saying the players are idiots and that really irks me. My player’s are my friends and their ideas are really amazing. After all, I play RPGs with these people for what they bring to the table.
So… I made my own meme. One that encapsulates how I see my player’s characters. One that demonstrates how I think Game Masters should be looking at their Player’s Characters.
Do you see the difference?
When you bring me the 1940’s Superman cartoon, I’m going to make you feel like an Alex Ross painting.
You strike a heroic pose? Not cool enough, how about bullets bouncing off your face?
You’re just simple line drawings? Not in my game! You get to be a full goddamn painting.
You give the villain your heroic squint? Go bigger, you get a heroic gaze.
To quote Jeff Winger, “You are all better than you think you are. You are designed not to believe it when you hear it from yourself.”
In my mind, it is my job as your Game Master to take your character and elevate them to the next level.
It’s my job to take everything you give me and turn it into something more.
Yes, I need to stay true to your design. Ultimately you can toss out any of my suggestions, but if I’m not being additive… well… I’m failing you.