Day #25’s question was “What is the best way to thank your GM?”
The best way to thank your GM is to actually respect them and your fellow players and letting them actually know you enjoy playing with them. Celebrate each other’s awesome.
I’ve been in a few games where the GM and other players were sort of taken for granted, where some players treated the game as an activity that was only worth paying attention to when it focused on their characters and the things they wanted to do.
As a GM myself, my main source of motivation and enthusiasm is playing a game together with everyone to tell a shared story. Like any good story with multiple characters, the whole story needs to be interesting. I’m pretty sure no-one watches Game of Thrones just for a single character and tunes out when the narrative focus switches out from their favourite character to another one - don’t do the same for a game. When players chat off-topic at the table amongst each other whilst others are trying to play, or play on their phones or otherwise be distracting, it signals that the the story isn’t interesting, the other players actions aren’t interesting and if that is actually the case, well, I’ve failed as a GM. It’s heartbreaking and furthermore, it’s disrespectful. In much the same way you’re an asshole if you take credit for a group project you contributed nothing to, if you aren’t invested in everyones story and working with the GM and your fellow players to build something entertaining for everyone, you’re just stealing creativity and fun from other people.
Wow, this turned into more of a rant than I meant it to be.
So to get back on track, how do you thank your GM? For me, it’s by simply enjoying the game and helping others enjoy it. And more than that, it’s by letting me know you’re enjoying it and ideally why. Constructive feedback, and just any sign at all that the story we’re telling together isn’t merely the product of “Well, I have nothing better to do” but actually something you’re invested in because of what I’m facilitating through play, is the best thank you I could get.
That said, I certainly wouldn’t say no to some other things. For something that is perhaps a bit more tangible, as a thank you, I’d love to receive any of the following:
To summarise, be involved, invested and care about the game as more than just a way to burn some of your free time, and if you can’t express that in words, then doing that in the form of money, art or running games works just as well.