View Full Version : Question : Can anybody give me any advice?

26 October 2002, 11:33 PM
When you have a game that involves more than 1 GM, what do you do if the head GM in charge disappears without any contact, and doesn't leave any note explaining his absence?

How do you handle this? Do the other GMs involved keep the game going, regardless of how much or how little the head GM had filled them in on the overall plot he had in mind, or do they end the game?

Any advice that anybody can give would be greatly appreciated.


27 October 2002, 12:42 AM
That is all up to the GM. If he feels like taking up the game with the same characters, and the players want it, then I say he should do that, even if it involves creating a whole new plot.
If he or any of the players doesn't want to for any reason, then he should end the game, and maybe create a brand new one.

I think that if the GM disappears, for any reason, he have no right to that game anymore, and cannot expect the players to wait for him to return. The other GM may, no MUST do what he feels is the right thing for him to do, for himself and the players.

27 October 2002, 06:58 AM
I've played games where there were multiple GMs before. The way we handled it was that the 'primary' GM handled the main over all campaign plot which directed where the game was going. And each of the 'secondary' GMs would create their own plot that wouldn't affect the primary GM's plotline, that way if they had to run the game for several sessions (like the primary GM going on vacation), they could continue to play without loosing a beat.

Since your GM has disappeared KnightStalker, you might want to create your own campaign idea (if you still want to play the same characters). What you can do is make something that's not too long term or doesn't affect the game universe too drastically, just incase the GM does come back. If he doesn't, you'll have a basis for creating something longer (NPCs already introduced, created planets, etc).

I'd give the guy about a month to get in touch with you guys before completely dropping him as the primary GM. If he returns several months later and has a good reason, you can let him join the game again as either just a player or as a secondary GM.

Hopefully that helps a little.


27 October 2002, 08:42 AM
Our group has two GMs, and we keep each other informed of our plans for the characters, long and short term. Sometimes we omit telling each other details, and keep some things hidden as surprises, but we try to keep the other well informed.

The reasoning we have is pretty simple; the more info the secondary GM has, the better he can continue on with the original plot, without screwing things up, if the primary GM is unable to control a game. This keeps there from being too many plots at one time.

Admittedly, I generally go with a subplot idea when I run things, but that's because so far, I like where the game is going. If that should change, then I will act on it and lead the game in a different direction. If I should alter the storyline the primary GM had in mind, so be it. We can adapt, if we must.

All in all, it's what the players want that counts. If they want someone else to be GM, then so be it. The primary GM can't really stop them from choosing someone else to control things. The GM, like the president, is at the mercy of the people he commands. If the primary GM is gone, without cause or reason, and the players elect someone else to take over, then he has no reason to complain when/if he returns.

27 October 2002, 01:18 PM
Well, I would say, try to get ahold of said missing GM for a few weeks. Then after that time period has elapsed, if the co-GM wants to continue where the other GM left off, fine. If he wants to scrap the campaign and start anew, that's fine too. It's his call. Me personally, given the information that you have provided for us, I would choose the latter. Scrap the current campaign and start a new one. If the missing GM comes back "mid-swing" let him come back as a player, and tell him that he can start his campaign over after the new one is completed.

28 October 2002, 04:52 AM
all this advice seems to be heading toward a certain view;

A.) Give the primary GM a time limit- a few weeks to 1 month. Contact the GM.
B.) continue play- it may not be the same campaign, but players don't stop playing just because a GM is missing...
C.) a dissapproving attitude toward a GM that leaves without letting anyone know.

from the outset, all good advice. Giving the GM a time limit allows us to feel better that we gave them time to make amends. That lessens the guilt on our side since we have been fair. Good call- never make arbitrary judgments if you can help it.

yes, no group should fall apart just becuase a GM is missing. It is hard for some groups to pick a new GM... unless there were quite a few in the stable. this depends on the group makeup, entirely.

as for the third... i'm inclined toward C for now, but we must keep in mind the fellow might have had a death in the family, a meteor struck their house, etc. Acts of Fate does not guarentee everyone is in the know.

I have 2 questions that Seghast partially answered;
1) why have more than 1 GM? Does the co-GMs play? If so, do they have an 'unfair' knowledge of the scenario and 'direct' the other players onto the storyline?
2) what is the makeup of your group? how many followers? how many GMs in the making? Are they Star Wars fan nuts (they know everything about SW and argue what is 'canon' and what is not)?

While i'm loath to bring it up... there are other systems than star wars. Maybe for a breather until the GM comes up, you could try out something totally different while you're all waiting for the GM to come back.

28 October 2002, 06:43 AM
Game On! With this guy or without. If the players are attached to their characters then the current game continues. From the description at the onset of this thread, it sounds as if you tried to get in touch the GM. So you're in the clear guilt wise.
Life has enough ways of distracting you from what is fun. Game on...the details will sort themselves out.

28 October 2002, 08:30 AM
Maybe I'm not totally catching everything, because no one else has brought this up yet... Is this an online game or a real-life game? If it's real-life: you said the GM just disappeared. Um, is anyone concerned for his/her safety? Usually you'd be with a group of friends, and I'd be very worried if my buddy just stopped being heard from. If it's online, maybe similiar concern should be applied.

If you find that everything is without concern for the said GM's safety, then I'd recommend doing a secondary game campaign/adventure/system for a while. During that time work on putting together a solid storyline for the future of the disappeared GM's game. That way when you want to go back and pick it up, it won't be half-hearted.

Best of luck to you.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
28 October 2002, 01:24 PM
I'm one of the players in ks's group, occasionally offering ideas and what not.

However I can fill you in with some additional group info...

This is an online forum post by play style game with some 20+ players 1 head gm overseeing 3 regular gm's. The game has been running since last november. Its one of those games that players will sometimes come and go and come back again later but the dedicated players like me would be in for the long haul.

One of the regular gm's is pretty much non-existant, and now the head gm is anywheres but around... The head gm designed the game, has a master story arc and campaign (unknown to us) and lets the regular gm's run segments though the head gm still directs and oversee's the game and has the absolute authority for what goes.

I know the gm's all put in alot of work into the game with contributions, and such related material...

The majority of of players and gm's talk out of game freely on yahoo instant messenger, and conferencing when more than any two of us are online at the same time...

KS is running the current segment, has us heading to Bespin.
And the head gm has been out of contact for over a month now, the game pretty much crawling along at sandslug pace...

I hope that gives a broader picture of things...

28 October 2002, 05:02 PM
Terras handles our SW database forum as a moderator, and has helped flesh out a portion of the scenario I'm leading up to at Bespin. My major concern over the head GM's absence is that once I wrap up the scenario at Bespin, he was supposed to begin the next scenario in our overall game.

I've slowed the pace that the game is going at to both double- and triple-check my notes, flesh out a few minor details that need a bit more work, and try to buy a little more time in the hopes that the head GM will turn up.

He's active military stationed out in New York, but he's supposed to be getting transferred to a base in California sometime in the near future, now that he's supposed to be finished with PLDC (he had it scheduled from September 9 to October 9). Only one of our players has received a message from him since he finished PLDC, but he's been silent and non-existent since. For all we know, he's on his way to California right now and didn't bother to inform us.

28 October 2002, 05:33 PM
Being military myself, I can understand his delay then. He is likely caught up in the hassel of the move and finding a new internet provider, etc. But, at least you have some idea. I hope that you can get your game going along soon again.

20 November 2002, 05:10 AM
I think you should leave it up to the players. It they say that it's cool for you to keep running, then do it, if the other GM shows up then at least you have the players behind you.

20 November 2002, 05:52 AM
I am military too. I am not going to say that the guy didn't flake or quit just because he is military. Certainly he is as likely to have been irresponsible as anyone else.

Let's not forget that this is a time of war. Further, we are fighting a very different kind of war than any we have seen. It is possible that he was deployed somewhere and either did not have time to inform anyone or even was not allowed to inform anyone that he would be gone for a while. It really could happen to almost any member of the military at anytime depending on the needs of the country.

But this reminds me of a real life incident (i.e. not on the computer) that happened to me. I ran a SW game at a store every other week. This guy had joined my game and I gave him a ride to the store occasionally. The guy was in his late 20s and really a nice guy. One day he didn't show up (and hadn't asked me for a ride). Well, he was a great player to boot and I really wanted him in the game, so I called his number. His roomates said that he didn't live there anymore and they didn't know where he went. I thought this was highly odd and tried a few more times over the next few weeks (he had several roomates and I thought one of them would tell me something).

A few months later, I found out that he had skipped town because his ex-wife's investigators had tracked him down for the alimony payments! His roommates assumed that anyone who called could be an investigator and wouldn't give out any information.

Come to think of it, there were a lot of unstable people in that game. Just one of the risks you run running a game in a store.