The GM/DM’s Girlfriend

Posted: March 20, 2011 by Cynthia 心雅 in Uncategorized

You undoubtably have heard, or perhaps experienced this anecdote; a group of people (guild, dungeon party, etc.) are at odds because one member is being treated as a favorite by the leader. Anything they want, they get, and nothing is ~ever~ their fault. This is very clearly a problem.

There is, however, another underlying problem here. If everyone were treated perfectly fairly, someone being personally close to the GM or DM is still going to, at times, be accused of being favored. The unfortunate truth, that both the leader and their significant other have to understand, and accept, is that in order to keep things from getting dramatic, the odds have to actually be against (slightly) the significant other. For instance, if there are two equally able players wanting the same raid spot, and one of them is the guild master’s girl friend, the spot has to go to the other player. I’m not saying that this has ever happened to me, as William’s S.O., but it is something we’ve discussed in case the situation ever arises, so that no feelings are hurt. If a decision comes down to me or another player, I understand and support that William’s choice would have to be the other player.

Another situation that comes up is disagreements. When a guild member disagrees with a leader’s decision, they usually verbalize that disagreement, and I’m no different. The difference is that when you’re talking about someone that the GM/DM loves, there’s a little more weight in the opinion. It’s yet another situation where the GM and his/her significant other have to be cautious not to over step boundaries of a GM to player relationship. William is the GM; I’m not. So when I have opinions about how things should be done, William and I both have to treat that opinion like any other. Otherwise, you end up with a backseat driver for the guild/party, and a lot of built up resentment from other players. I have no more authority over the guild/party than any other player.

One of the most burdensome things responsibilities I’ve noticed, as the girlfriend, is knowing what is discussable, and what is meant to be kept unsaid. As someone who lives with their GM/DM, and plays on side-by-side computers in the same room, I hear things I’m not necessarily supposed to hear. I do what I can to miss most of these conversations (I didn’t originally, and it made certain situations awkward for me) but there are times when I realize what I’ve been listening to is actually a private conversation. It’s not hard (for me) to keep secrets, and to keep other people’s opinions to myself. The caution here is to watch what you say in response to the GM/DM, which for me is usually nothing at all. If someone has a private conversation with William, it’s up to him how to deal with it, and unless he specifically asks for my input on a situation, I don’t give any comment or opinion. I have, on occasion, over stepped those boundaries when I felt very strongly about something, but I try to keep myself in check. There have been occasions when William is in a very heated conversation where I find it hard to help myself from telling him what I think he should say/do, which is why I find it easier to keep headphones on and music playing to more easily avoid ever even knowing the conversation took place.

The reverse of that is also true, and I’m sure that some significant other’s experience it more than I do myself, but it has happened a few times. What I’m talking about is a situation where a guild member has something to say, but they feel more comfortable telling me, and so I’m expected to relay their concerns to William. This is certainly an irritating situation for me, as it makes me feel like I’m being pitted against William. The comments are always negative, and usually quite subjective. For instance, Player A decides they don’t like a particular decision by the GM/DM, but they don’t want to confront them, or cause a scene. So instead they whisper/talk to me, the gf, about their concerns in a way that makes it obvious they want me to alert William to their concerns, and a lot of times, to do so in an anonymous way. My first reaction is alway, “talk to William, not me.” but sometimes this isn’t enough. If they refuse to confront William, I usually do it for them, but I have never done so in an anonymous way. Honestly, that’s not my job. I’m not the guild/party suggestion box. If there was a growing request for such a person, well, that would be fine, and I wouldn’t mind filling the role, but everyone else should have equal opportunity to fill the role. I don’t like being expected to be the barer of bad news, or to go off on William for someone else… especially if I don’t hold the same opinion. Mostly, this is because no matter how hard he tries, William is going to react to the comment toward me. So something that evokes a strong negative reaction, is going to have him yelling at me (even though I know he’s not angry with me, just what I’m saying.) Please don’t put your GM/DM and his friend or partner in that situation. We don’t like having other people’s fights for them.

I do enjoy being the GM/DM’s girlfriend. So, I thought I’d end my post with a few perks of the position (if you can call it a position). First of all, because William plays so often, I am more likely to play more often. Also, being a GM/DM is a very immersive position, and I feel more involved in the game and the other characters as a result. I also enjoy being easily recognized and remembered because I’m directly associated to the GM/DM.

~Ms. Pacman



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