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A GM's plea - October 25, 2006  

So, Joe Gamer, you’ve read this far to appease your curiosity — please stay a little longer. Maybe you actually wanted to give something back to the hobby when you started reading this or maybe you were just curious what motivated people to be a GM in the first place. In either case, if you’ve decided not to join us — that’s fine, but please consider this the next time you argue with your GM, give feedback to the convention director about me, or even just sit down to play at my event…

Hi. I’m your GM. I want to pass on some thoughts.

I don’t consider my efforts perfect, by far. I know my failures and my shortcomings, especially the ones that aren’t readily evident to the players. They might not even really have any effect upon much of anything. But, I know. Don knows a few of them, not all, but I know the rest. Whatever the case, I know that every year I strive to improve and put on a better and better tournament.

Perhaps I’m too honest. More honest with myself than I should be. Perhaps I have overly-high expectations. Perhaps I’m a perfectionist. Perhaps I know what I could be doing, but I don’t because it takes too much time or too much energy. Perhaps it’s a combination of all these things.

Whatever the case, GMing is no sinecure. It’s a thankless job, difficult to do properly even with adequate preparation. And, difficult to even realize that preparation will dramatically improve the quality of the tournament. If I put forth even half the effort I put into just a single project that I do every week at work, my tournament would shine. As it is, I put as close to that half as I can possibly manage.

Other factors hit pretty hard, too. Every year I spend over $750 on the week, adding in food, gas, depreciation on my car, and hotel. This is not bad for almost a weeks’ vacation. However, when allocated over the time slots of the whole weekend it’s a hefty figure. Say, about $75 per average event slot. So, I basically spend $250 to GM my event. Add to that the fact that I give up playing in two or three other events in order to GM, and it’s sometimes tough to rationalize that.

Anyway, some of you have said “thanks”. Taken a moment to comment on my performance to the Convention Director. Come up and said how much you appreciated the effort. Put up with the occasional guy who rubbed you the wrong way. Or, just done what you could to help out.

I just wanted to say it makes it all worthwhile. Thanks!