The GM’s Job is to be Defeated by the Players…

I wanted to make a quick response to Troll in the Corner’s Gamemastering 211: Advanced GMing for Majors (Introduction) statement:

To put it bluntly, the GM’s job is to be defeated by the players in the most entertaining way for everyone involved. With this core concept in mind, it’s easy to see how the role of GM can be both fulfilling and frustrating. There are, of course, many other responsibilities that fall to the GM, plenty of which are enjoyable.

He’s got a lot of very good advice, but this tidbit sends the wrong message in an attempt at brevity. This might be the case if the GM was structuring his adventure like a story or video game, with increasing levels of difficulty based on linear encounters, so that each encounter is progressive rather than simulationist. Another exception might be if its a simple dungeon crawl where the party is never expected to leave the confines of the dungeon. But in either case, it creates the wrong sort of dichotomy that the players are actually competing against the GM; that the players have to defeat the GM, or the GM has to defeat the players. In that case, the GMs impartiality and fairness could be called into question.


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