Do you have players in your group who have never GMed? Based on my experience, the answer to that question will nearly always be “yes” — I’ve never gamed with a group entirely composed of GMs.

If that’s the case for you as well, give this a whirl: Ask those players to run at least one gaming session — and help them do it well.

I’ve always found that players who are also GMs share the following traits (among others):

  • More open to new ideas.
  • A better understanding of what goes into each session.
  • Likely to give feedback.
  • Create challenging characters.

This isn’t to say that players who’ve never GMed can’t be all of these things and more — but someone who has GMed at least once is more likely to possess these traits. It’s kind of like the flipside of Martin’s Maxims for GMs: You can become a better player by giving GMing a shot.

And they’re great traits: Running a game for players who like to try new things, appreciate the work that goes into making the game fun (on both sides of the screen), want to provide feedack and like to challenge themselves is an absolute blast.

Some players — again, based on my experience — aren’t going to go for this idea. For one reason or another, they have no interest in GMing. And that’s okay.

But other players might be interested in giving it a shot, but also worried that they’ll screw it up. And if that’s what’s kept them from GMing so far, you can help them make their first session a good experience — whether it turns out to be their first and only session, or the start of their GMing career.

In asking how TT readers learned to GM, I learned about the impact that mentorship can have on budding GMs — which was echoed in the responses to How Should GMs Learn to GM?

Two threads from the GMing Q&A Forum might also be helpful in prepping a first-time GM for their first session: GMing from scratch and Tips on learning a new RPG.

What do you think of this idea? If you’ve ever tried this with your group, what did your players think of it?