On 2005-03-09, Michael S. Miller wrote:
There is, as far as I can see, no extreme to which the Master can go that will make the game less fun for the other players. In fact, the nastier the Master is, the better horrific fun it is for the minions. That's a game where the GM is allowed to actually cut loose.
You took the words right out of my typin' fingers, Tony. One of the reasons I so deeply, truly love to GM MLwM is that I don't need to walk that mental tightrope. I have one job and I can focus all my energy and creativity on doing that job, just like an enthusiastic player might in that traditional RPG.
A functional, creatively-constrained GM role takes the doubt out of GMing. You don't have to ask yourself "Is this what I should be doing now? Am I being too hard? Am I being too soft?" The game tells you what you need to do. Just do it.
In a way, these games could be seen to "lessen" the role of the GM. Getting closer to "banker" of a board game and farther from the "GM is god" role of traditional games. It is wonderfully counter-intuitive that less power brings less responsibility to make everything fun, and thus greater enjoyment. Give me a stripped-down and clearly-defined GM-role any day.
Tony also said:
If a game has that, I don't care whether it's entirely GM-fiat or as freeform as possible.
I'm going to assume this was a flash of rhetorical exhuberance, since "entirely-GM-fiat" and "creatively-constrained GM role" are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Am I right?