August 25, 2017
RPGaDay Question #25
Question #25: What is the best way to thank your GM?
Honestly, both as a player and a GM myself, the best way to thank a GM for being your GM is to literally say words to the effect of "Thank you for running this game, I had a lot of fun, and look forward to the next time I get to play in another of your games soon!"
While some GMs may be able to make it look effortless, in a great many cases being the person in charge of running an RPG session, of acting as the mostly-impartial* referee with regards to how the rules operate, devising and presenting a story for the players to engage with, and running various adversaries for the player-characters to overcome is really hard work. And sadly, there are players that just take all that hard work for granted. I've been the GM where I poured hours into crafting an engaging story, coming up with challenging foes for the characters to defeat and interesting NPCs for them to interact with, only to have the players barely acknowledge the time and effort it took for me to do all that work, and a few points it was enough to put me off GM'ing and to bring campaigns to an accelerated close (I don't do "rocks fall, everyone dies" TPKs as that to me is the ultimate expression of a lazy GM) just so that I could let someone else deal with those ingrates or in some cases simply leave that group entirely.
Admittedly, there have been sessions I've played in that have less than thrilling, but I still make it a point to verbally thank the GM for taking the time and energy to put that session together and to run it for us. For someone that's new to the role of a GM, getting that bit of positive reinforcement, of knowing that their efforts were not a total waste of time can be a huge deal, and might make the difference between that person working to improve their craft as a GM or just giving up entirely.
Now that's not to say appreciation in the form of covering the GM's part of the food bill for the night isn't unacceptable, but with online gaming via Skype or even play-by-posts where the players all live in different parts of the world, offering appreciation by way of free food isn't always easy to accomplish. That and it might come across more as an attempt at bribery to earn the GM's favor, especially if done prior to or during a session rather than an act of appreciation.
Well, thanks to you the reader for sticking along with these posts. Hopefully you'll come back tomorrow to see what answers lay in wait for tomorrow's question.