Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Many Names of Gamemasters (Updated)

BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD STILL SCORE A CRIT
From time to time in reviewing I’ve hit the problem of naming the Game Master. Also known as the GM. Aka Gamesmaster, Games Master, Game-Master, Games-Master, and Gamemaster. GM’s my preferred term (because that’s what I do).  On the other hand, to me a DM or Dungeon Master, is someone actually running Dungeons & Dragons. That's a matter of taste and experience I suppose (or I'm just plain wrong). Below I've assembled and updated my list of the many 'alternate names' RPGs use. For each I've listed just one example system, even when that name appears in several games (StorytellerNarratorDirector). Many were suggested by my excellent colleagues on the original list at RPG Geek

Feel free to suggest any I may have missed!!!

With GM as #1 and DM as #2, here are 98 many others...

Absolute Judge (Mechanical Dream)
Administrator (Top Secret/SI) 
Adventure Master (Dragonraid)
Airedale (Knights of the Road, Knights of the Rail)
Animator (Toon)
Antagonist (ΑΓΩΝ) 
Author (Age of Empire)
Bartender (Tales from the Floating Vagabond)
Big Mac Daddy (StuperPowers!)
Booker (Kayfabe)
The Boss (Low Life)
Campaign Master (Star Ace)
Cannibal-in-Charge (Cannibal Contagion)
Castle Keeper (Castles & Crusades)
Cat Herder (Call of Catthulhu)
Cavemaster (Cavemaster)
Chill Master (Chill)
Chronicler (WitchCraft)
City Planner (Nightlife)
Consul (Super Dungeon Explore)
Continuum Master (TIMEMASTER)
Control (Agents of S.W.I.N.G.)
Corporation (Merc)
Corpse Master (Rotworld)
Creative (World Wide Wrestling)
Cryptkeeper (The World of Tales from the Crypt)
Dawg Master (Dawg the RPG)
Dealer (Dust Devils)
Director (Night’s Black Agents)
Dispatcher (Ninja Burger)
Dolphin Master (Everything is Dolphins)
Dorn Keeper (Dorn)
Editor (Pandemonium)
Editor-in-Chief (Rotted Capes)
Engineer (Steamfortress Victory)
Everyone Else (Everyone is John
Evil Mastermind (Scared Stiff)
Excursion Master (Excursions into the Bizarre)
Fairy Godmother (I’m a Pretty Princess)
Fairytale Teller (Wiedzmin- trans. from the Polish)
Fate (The World of Synnibarr)
Fixer (Leverage)
Galaxy Master (Starfaring)
Game Control (Spycraft)
Game Moderator (Wild Talents)
Game Operations Designate aka GOD (The Legend of Yore)
Game Shepherd (Spiritual Warfare
Game Sheriff (Dzikie Pola- trans. from the Polish)
Gamekeeper (Tales from the Wood)
GeekMod (Way of the Geeky)
General Management (Time & Temp)
Ghostmaster (Ghostbusters)
Grand Master (Witch Hunter: The Invisible World)
Grey Eminence (Agone)*
Guide (Don’t Look Back)
Hand of Fate (The Secret of Zir’An)
Hollyhock God (Nobilis)
HōLmeister (HōL)
Host (Ironclaw)
Interrogator (InTERRORgation)
Journey Master (Dangerous Journeys)
Judge (Marvel Super Heroes)
Jump Master (Jumpers)
Karma Fate Destiny Master (Refuge in Audacity)
Keeper aka Keeper of Arcane Lore (Call of Cthulhu)
Kennel Master (Woof Meow)
Labyrinth Lord (Labyrinth Lord)
Leader (Shadows of Esteren)
Lead Narrator (Valiant Universe RPG)
Lejend Master (Lejendary Adventure)
Loremaster (The One Ring)
Magister/Magistra (Kata Kumbas)
Maim Master (F.A.T.A.L.)
Marshall (Deadlands)
Master Creator (The Secret Fire)
Master of Ceremonies (Apocalypse World)
Mayor (Kobolds Ate My Baby)
Meister (Das Schwarze Auge)
Mission Director (Recon)
Moderator (Blue Planet)
Mutant Lord (Mutant Future)
Mythguide (Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth)
Mythmaster (Mythender)
Narrator (Houses of the Blooded)
Navigator (Mermaid Adventures)
Operations (Wilderness of Mirrors)
Overlord (Descent)
Overseer (Catacombs
Playwright (The Play's the Thing)
Producer (Primetime Adventures)
Programmer (Engine Heart)
Project Director (Morrow Project)
Prophet (The Seventh Seal)
Puppet Master (Puppetland)
Rattenmeister (Ratten!)
Referee (Traveller)
Runner (Rune)
Scenemaster (Non-Essential Personnel)
Seneschal (The Riddle of Steel)
Sensei (Chi-Chian RPG)
Sherpa Guide (Sherpa)
Sholari (Skyrealms of Jorune)
StarMaster (Space Opera)
Story Master (Dungeons the Dragoning 7th Edition)
Storyguide (CthulhuTech)
StoryHost (Enter the Shadowside
Storyteller (Vampire: the Requiem)
Superintendent (Panty Exposion)
Superuser (Freemarket)
The Man (Starchildren)
Umpire (Lace & Steel)
War Master (Weird Wars)
Watcher (Marvel Heroic Roleplaying)
Watchtower (Smallville)
Wulin Sage (Weapons of the Gods)**
Zargon aka Morcar (UK) (HeroQuest)
Zombie Master (All Flesh Must Be Eaten)
______________________________
*Eminence Grise in the original French
**If I were to run Weapons of the Gods, I would require that the players address me as the Wulin Sage at all times.

15 comments:

  1. I can't recall the games of the top of my head,(anyone who can please feel free to help me out here), but there are two Japanese tabletop RPGs that specifically use the terms Sensei (Teacher or Master of a subject), and Senpai (Senior student/mentor).

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Nightlife" had the City Planner :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (A quick check)...yup...you are right. I'd completely missed that one. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. There are a few pro wrestling RPGs (Kayfabe I know uses it, and I'm pretty sure there are a few others as well) that use the term "Booker" for the person running things.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 'Friend Computer' from Paranoia would fit in the list.

    I've also just come from a conversation that used, 'arbiter' to describe the role. I've also seen 'Invisible Hand', "The Invisible Hand", or "Roll Master".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about that, but Paranoia pretty consistently uses the term Gamemaster/GM to describe that role in the rules. I was a little surprised.

      Delete
  5. "Programmer" for Engine Heart!

    ReplyDelete
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