“The GM is always right.” Right?

Sort of.

In the heat of the moment, yes. But in the calmer spaces between sessions, no. And it’s okay to be wrong sometimes.

Enshrined as either Rule One or Rule Zero, depending on your preference, the idea that you, as the GM, are always right is pretty pervasive.

And when it comes down to rules calls, on-the-spot judgments and anything else you might do to keep the gaming moving, it’s true.

Even then, though, many RPGs advise revisiting on-the-spot calls after the game, so that you can evaluate them when there’s no momentum to maintain and nothing on the line.

That’s good advice when it comes to pre-game and between-session decisions too, especially house rules. It can be tempting to stick to your guns because you don’t want to seem wishy-washy, or because you’re stubborn, or because you feel strongly about something.

But sticking to your guns isn’t always the best idea.

House rules are a good example. Something you decided before the campaign began could turn out to be a) flat-out wrong, b) right, but not much fun for your players or c) in need of some tweaking.

That’s the benefit of hindsight, and there’s nothing wrong with re-evaluating a decision and changing your mind. Like adjusting difficulty on the fly, flexibility is one of the big advantages tabletop RPGs have over video games.

Plot, story and world-related decisions can be just as flawed. In a D&D campaign I ran a couple of years ago, I made two big mistakes along these lines — both related to being an incredibly stubborn person. They’re described in the Urban Adventures thread on the TT forums.

At the same time, you don’t want to roll over like a hot dog every time you’re not sure about a decision, or every time one of your players asks you to reconsider. (The latter is especially true if you have a player who likes to bend the rules to the breaking point.)

Instead, strike a balance. Give your decisions a fair shake, but don’t be afraid to reverse them. Your players just might thank you for it.