Shared GMing

+Tim Shorts+Chris C. and I have been doing some round-robin GMing with a shared world. It has been a good time. Here is a bit more about what have been doing in bullet point form:

  • Using a Simple Rule Set: We are using Pits & Perils and it has been serving us well.
  • Keeping the Group Small: This was a hard one for us, but we had decided to restrict our group to just the three of us. We had been talking about this style of play for several months and decided that it would work best with the three of us. As far as gaming goes, it was the right decision. Personally and socially, it was difficult thing to do.
  • Short Adventure Arcs: We have been rotating the GMing duties every 2-4 sessions. Each time, whoever is GMing starts a new arc for the next 2-4 sessions.
  • Not Quite a Sandbox: Each adventure arc has started with a specific problem to solve or task to complete. Rather than spending time with the players figuring out what the characters are going to do, each arc has started a bit more railroady. Sometimes it is as simple as an NPC asking for help (we have all used this at least once). Other times, the PCs travel into a village with a major problem to be solved. We made a conscious decision to start off each adventure arc with a specific task or goal. 
  • Not Much World Building: We have not done much world building, except what was needed to support each adventure arc. The minimal world building was not intentional but I think it has worked fine so far.
  • Same Characters: Each of has been using the same player character throughout. When one of us is GMing, the GM's character simply sits out those sessions. 


  1. I like the fact that in many of our adventures, the next GM in line has riffed to some extent off of things the preceding GM(s) did. So despite the apparently discrete nature of the adventures, there still is some continuity. I also like the limited up-front world-building. I feel like the world is gradually fleshing itself out as far as it needs to be at any particular moment. Given time, I think it could eventually end up being as fleshed out as any other world.

    1. Yes, there has been a fair amount of continuity. I forgot to note in this post that we have been using a private blog to share information. I, for one, could do a better job of posting to the private blog.

  2. Ken, would you be interested in submitting this monster to & Magazine for publishing? Drop me a line at bryan.and.mag@gmail.com