Should I run a game?
I’m more of a world-builder and game designer than I am a GM. I’ve certainly run games before, and most of them have been fairly successful, but I get a lot more satisfaction out of creating (or modifying) a setting and planning a game than I do out of actually running it. The social aspects of running a game are fine. I like playing host.
I think part of my issue is a strong belief that the PCs should be the protagonists of the story and at the center of the narrative. If I’m GMing, then I’m going to be pushing that… which, to some degree, means that what I’m doing is playing support. Sure, it is necessary support… but I’d rather be in the starring role. I want to be a player in my own games, yet that way lies madness… and, I am certain, a poor experience for everyone involved.
All this comes from my inkling that I should GM a game. Kenneth, who is running the Dresden Files game I’ve been playing in, has asked me a couple of times if I’d be interested in running Shadowrun.
Now, I like Shadowrun well enough, but I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of the setting and timeline, so I said that if I ran it, it would be in a somewhat variant/abstracted setting. This idea, of course, took root in my brain and sent out tendrils. I now have an idea for a setting that I can best describe as a post-apocalyptic Shadowrun/Unknown Armies hybrid… with high-tech corporate arcologies separated by wastelands infected by wild animistic/memetic magic. I find the setting compelling, but should I run a game based in it?
To a certain degree, I deal with this by "playing" the role of the setting. It may not exactly be the star role, but it's pretty vital.
But yeah, if you can't sit back and enjoy making the PCs shine, then it may be best for you to organize games that others run.
Yeah. "Playing the setting" can certainly be enjoyable. I think part of my issue is that the set of settings I enjoy creating is larger than the set I enjoy playing. Perhaps the that is part of the trick…