12th Doctor
 member, 101 posts
 Laugh Hard. Run Fast.
 Be kind.
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 15:48
GMless RPGs?
Are there any good GMless RPGs out there? Anyone have any good experiences? Got a favorite rules set? What works about it?
horus
 member, 789 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 16:59
GMless RPGs?
In reply to 12th Doctor (msg # 1):

I've played in a short-lived game (AD&D 2e) where GMs shared responsibilities for different parts of a shared world map.  It all ended when some of us got transferred to new duty stations, but was an interesting experience.

I've never seen a game that, by design, was GM-less, but I have seen some that lean that way.  Magpie Codex, as I recall, leaned heavily toward collaborative play.  (And now I'll have to go give it another look - it's in my trove o'PDF.)

Fate also has a heavily collaborative bent - players have input into the design of a game and have some limited ability to "change the narrative" during play.  Of course, a lot of pre-developed Fate games tend to take that former input away.

I'm curious at this point:  what would a totally GM-less game look like?  How would the milieu be created (or would it have to be totally pre-fab?)  How would rules be adjudicated (and how would disputes over rule interpretation be settled)?
GreenTongue
 member, 848 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 17:38
GMless RPGs?
There are GM Emulators that work very well if you don't attempt to abuse them.
Also works for multiple players without a GM.
Eduardo
 member, 63 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 17:39
GMless RPGs?
Ironsworn is Solo and GMless by default, and it is very good at that too.
praguepride
 member, 1442 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 17:54
GMless RPGs?
Mythic is one I've heard of. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a GM emulator to create random adventures for the party to go through.

On a website I found this as an answer to your question:



Universalis gives everyone pennies to "pay" to make a thing true. The points replenish by doing things the system wants to encourage, such as getting involved in conflicts, win and lose. This basic dynamic can be adapted in a variety of ways.

Fiasco has a fixed number of dice available to roll. They serve as a pacing mechanic, with the story twist happening when they're half used, and when they're all used the game session ends.

Polaris splits GM authority among all the other players when a player's character is in the spotlight. The player opposite is responsible for presenting conflicts tailored to the spotlight player, while the rest are responsible for the impartial referee role, and for throwing in suggestions when the opposition and spotlight players need ideas.

Archipelago II (which is free to download) dispenses with dice and uses ritual phrases (similarly but differently to Polaris) to trigger twists or alterations in another player's narration. These phrases have "soft" effects that require a response from the narrating player, but don't force them to narrate something particular, so that they retain full authority over the story they're telling about their character. Ritual phrases are fixed words to speak and have defined effects: things like calling for more detail about something, asking for the player to narrate an unspecified obstacle and how they overcome it, or asking them to narrate in a different direction.




In addition some games like Wraith the Oblivion had some semi-split GMing duties because each player at the table also played the "demon inside" another character. You could expand that outward to having players as the "demon" take greater ST responsibilities.
12th Doctor
 member, 102 posts
 Laugh Hard. Run Fast.
 Be kind.
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 18:47
GMless RPGs?
Thanks! I've done the web search thing as well, but was looking for recommendations from people who have played & enjoyed GMless games. So far it looks like Ironsworn and Mythic might be the ones to check out.

Really looking for something for 2-4 players where everyone can play a character and no one needs to do the heavy lifting. I've played Fiasco before and had fun, but found it to be less of an RPG.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:49, Mon 24 June.

GreenTongue
 member, 849 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 21:48
GMless RPGs?
I've used Mythic and because "everyone is driving" even though nobody is, it was the first time we made it through a complete adventure together.

Usually we would start games then be distracted by another without ever finishing.
gorchek
 member, 13 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2019
at 02:21
GMless RPGs?
<a ref="https://thecollaborativegamer.wordpress.com/worlds/"> The Collaborative Gamer </a> has a very nice setup for GMless Dungeon Fantasy. It gives you quests, details the journey to the dungeon, and gives a semi-abstract dungeon exploration. Even if you don't play GURPS, many of the ideas can be adapted to other systems.
12th Doctor
 member, 103 posts
 Laugh Hard. Run Fast.
 Be kind.
Wed 26 Jun 2019
at 21:00
GMless RPGs?
Thanks everyone!
Faubus
 member, 9 posts
Thu 27 Jun 2019
at 23:48
GMless RPGs?
Also check out "Microscope" which is a game where you play out a whole planet or civilization over multiple ages.
12th Doctor
 member, 104 posts
 Laugh Hard. Run Fast.
 Be kind.
Fri 28 Jun 2019
at 12:57
GMless RPGs?
I actually ran a Harry Potter game using Microscope a couple of years ago. Good addition. Thanks!