GM Interview: Chris Rheinherren
This interview features our first GM who runs games over internet relay chat (IRC). If you have any questions about IRC, just leave Chris a comment below.
Please introduce yourself
Your name: Chris Rheinherren, online I use Bynw or Anlarye.
My campaign’s website is located at www.teara-adan.com
There is a link there to a forum we use to post online gaming logs.
How long have you been a GM?
20 some years.
What are your favourite games to run?
I run Fudge games. I switched my games over to Fudge about 5 years ago and haven’t looked back. Love it.
How did you first get into GMing? Why?
Our campaign is long running. I am the 4th primary GM. We have long used a co-gm concept where we have multiple GMs running a game. Each does a different task and assists the primary GM who runs the overall theme and primary story arc. I am also one of what has been termed the “founding four” of our campaign world.
How has GMing affected your life over the years?
It’s been a part of it for so long I’m not sure how it’s shaped my life. That would be an interesting alternate reality to view though. Maybe I should RP it someday.
What is your usual gaming schedule?
Our current and main game meets once per week, Friday evenings, for 2-3 hours.
Describe your usual game environment.
Online on the OtherWorlders IRC Network (just point your IRC client to irc.otherworlders.org) and then join the channel #Teara-Adan
Do you use published material or create your own?
Nothing published. Even when I played and ran D&D (including Original, AD&D and 3e), I only owned three modules. I don’t use published material because of our homebrewed campaign world. Little, if anything, would fit without being reworked. So might as well just do the work myself.
What non-digital and electronic GM aides do you use?
We play online, so many of our aids are digital. If we need a map, it’s going to be uploaded via Dropbox or put up on the gaming website (forums section, usually in our image gallery).
Minis or no?
Never really cared for minis. Every now and again they can be useful for a visual representation of where things are when playing offline. But for the most part we hardly ever use them.
What is your biggest GMing stumbling block right now?
Time is the only thing that gets in the way.
When was the last time you were a player?
It’s been a long time since I was a player. I don’t actively play in any game. I now always GM or co-GM.
What are the top qualities you look for or need in a player?
I try out different players. The thing I look for is someone who actually shows up to the game sessions as a spectator every week. That shows a real interest in the game. And if they do that, they can end up playing an NPC or two from time to time before being asked to permanently join the game.
Describe in a few words each of your players and their playing style.
By far my best player goes by the handle of Kagi. A real character player, like a character actor. He can get into any role and play it well. He has been in my online game now for over 10 years. I want to see if there is a way we can get him into an offline game.
All of my players are really good. I think it’s the game world that attracts them, keeps them, and brings out the best.
Describe in a few words your group’s playing style.
We role play more than roll play. We can have several sessions go by without any dice rolling, and combat is limited.
Describe in a few words your GMing style.
I GM to tell a story, so I do encourage and run with role playing as opposed to combat. If you are looking for hack and slash, it’s not in my game.
What is your best GMing skill or ability? What advice would you give to a GM wanting to improve in that area?
Don’t over-plan. I did that originally. PCs and their players will always do the unexpected. Be ready for it.
What is your typical session planning process?
I have a broad outline of the session and overall story arc and goal for the players to accomplish. How they get there, and meander about while doing it, is up to them.
What are your favourite online resources for GMing?
Well I do like Roleplaying Tips J
I check out the various Fudge resources and the official Fudge chat on the OtherWorlders IRC Network as well.
What tools or aides do you wish would be created or invented to help you GM easier?
When folks make programs for gaming. They should make Linux versions.
After working through these question and getting a 10,000 foot view of your GMing, what is the number #1 thing you’d like to learn about and work on next to become a better GM?
Thanks again for your time. Do you, by chance, have a pic you could send along with this interview? A pic of you or your group would be ideal.
Dont have a group shot. But I do have some individual pictures. I would like to have a picture of everyone that has ever played or GMed in Teara Adan added someday.