Running Games/GMing

Any member of BathLARP can be eligible to run games through a coaching and feedback process.

Running Games/GMing

Before starting GMing in BathLARP, members are asked to read the following areas of the website so that they understand the extra responsibilities involved in running a game:

As a general rule we suggest that members interested in GMing a BathLARP game should start by co-GMing for an existing Experienced GM as a way to get the feel for it. If you want to make your intent to be a Newbie GM known to the Experienced GMs, we have a list that you can put your name on so that Experienced GMs know who to contact about co-GMing opportunities.

To apply to run a game, use the Event Calendar – each available game slot that has not been assigned has an “Apply to run” link. Unless you have been designated an Experienced GM you will need to include the name of your Experienced co-GM in your application, and all GMs should include an intended rank bracket (even if it’s “Committee can choose”).

A number of guides have been written to help you learn to be a GM in BathLARP; these are not required reading to be a GM but can be very useful.

The Newbie GM’s Guide to Running a LARP
A detailed guide covering all the elements involved in GMing a game from plotting and statting to the debrief. Written by Judith O with the assistance of several other experienced GMs. Also contains a short section on more complicated GMing techniques for more experienced GMs.
The Experienced GM’s Guide to Running Residentials
A comprehensive guide written by Judith O with the assistance of multiple experienced GMs.
The Masochistic GM’s Guide to Running a Campaign
Everything you need to know (including quite a few things you didn’t even realise you’d need to think about) in order to run the year-long low level campaign. Written by Judith O with the help of several other experienced GMs.
The GM’s Guide to Running Games Down the Middle
An Op-Ed piece by Tony Cruickshank, the original writer of TonyLARP, on the delicate balance between giving your players a challenge and giving them a nightmare.
Breaking the World
An essay on the dos and don’ts of playing with the underlying structure of the setting in believable ways by Judith O.
TL Statting Guide
An in-depth guide to statting games, aimed at all expierence levels. Written by Doug MS.

GMing Forum

The GMing Forum is an ongoing attempt to improve and enrich the BathLARP system, both from a playing and a GMing perspective. Any member of the club can attend regardless of whether they have any intent to GM or not; we want to get the perspective of as many people as possible to get consensus on what sort of thing works. As for what they cover – anything from how falling works to world plot to website development.

The intention is to hold two per year, one during the winter and one during the summer.

Anything agreed at these meetings is a guideline only and does not have to be followed/used, although the intent is to codify what does work into the rules via the usual playtests.

Ongoing Work

This is for any large-scale projects that are in progress. Links are to Google Drive or similar.

GMing Forum Minutes

Experienced GMs

What is an Experienced GM?

An Experienced GM is someone who is trusted to be able to run a game at BathLARP without help. They get the following benefits:

These last two can be adjusted on an individual basis to take into account having already co-GMed for a 24/36hr etc. and co-GMs nominated – as long as one of the co-GMs fulfils the criteria, that is sufficient.

How do I become an Experienced GM?

Ideally the member will co-GM for an Experienced GM at least twice so as to get a feel for how it works before running their own games, but this is not compulsory.

The member will need to run three games with at least two different Experienced co-GMs. The Experienced co-GMs will support the member and give them feedback after the games, and will also write up feedback on the member’s performance as a GM to be held in trust by the Character Refs.

If two or more inexperienced members run a game with an Experienced Co-GM, only the primary inexperienced GM will be able to count the game as one of their three games, and the Experienced Co-GM will only give feedback to the Character Refs on the performance of the primary GM.

Once the member has GMed three games, the Experienced co-GMs will get together with the feedback and make a call on whether the member is ready or whether more practice is needed. The committee has power of veto only if the member in question has a history of poor behaviour.

This process may be shortened if the member is already an experienced GM in a different larp system and only needs checking that they can work with TL rules, or if the member has co-GMed a sufficient number of times for multiple Experienced GMs.

Giving Feedback

The Experienced co-GMs should use the following template to give feedback after the game – they should include at least a few words under each heading, with the more detail the better. If for whatever reason they couldn’t demonstrate something (for example left the statting to the Experienced co-GM), please leave a comment on that too. Email the completed feedback to the Character Refs for future reference.

The Experienced co-GM is encouraged to ask for feedback from other members on parts of the newbie GM’s performance that they might not have been able to witness, such as player/monster reffing

Pre-Game

Plotting

Statting & Organisation

During the Game

Handling Players (briefing, answering questions, dealing with the unexpected etc.)

Handling Monsters (briefing, statting, on-the-fly changes etc.)

Post-Game

IC & OOC Debriefs (tying up loose ends, general comments etc.)

Individual Debriefs (bonus/negative points, individual comments etc.)

General Comments