GM as Referee
GMs also have to act as referee/judge when running a game. In other games that require a referee (such as football), the referees must know the rules in and out, and be ready to make a call instantly. GMing is a little different, since the GM not only enforces the rules like other referees; he’s also free to change them to suit the story.
Example: In one game, the GM had us write up Champions characters, but we may as well not have bothered. The game was run extremely freeform, and felt more like a Marvel Super Heroes game. My speedster had a 9 SPD, but in combat, it didnt matter at all, since everything was handled descriptively, instead of taking it phase by phase.
This took some getting used to, but it was kind of nice to play Champions while taking a break from the rules for a while.
Example: In another game, I was mind-controlled to hate a demon that got stronger whenever he was attacked in hate. Since the mind control attack barely hit me, the GM offered me a chance to dodge. Surprised, I said, Okay, what do I do? He told me to roll the dice and tell him if I made it.
I rolled 3d6 and got an average result, and told him that I guessed I made it. He told me that the mental beam just snagged me in the foot as I was getting out of the way and that I now had a medium dislike of the demon. This was a nice rule-bending that added a partial effect to mind control, which is normally all-or-nothing.
I ended up attacking a structure behind him so that it collapsed and knocked him out.
As a referee, a good GM should exercise fair, quick, consistent judgement, and should accommodate disagreeing players. Read more