EXACTLY, Asperser, exactly.
Personally, if a GM goes through all the trouble to make and run a game, they sort of deserve to actually play in that game if they want to. Most of the RPs Shes been in the GM hasn't been overpowered or anything. Sure there are probably people that to that but to be frank, if they're just in it to have a super badass character who none can hope to rival the RP probably wouldent last too long anyway.
Depending on the roll though GM playing a very powerful character could be done well if it actually serves a purpose. Something like a teacher or a guide.
@ Jannah: If your rp has active players who are vested in the rp but you yourself no longer are, admit that to the players and let them know. Prolonging your involvement in an rp you're not having fun in is a disservice to you and the rest of your players who will pick up on that. If you no longer want to play it, then bow down out of it, but also offer the rest of your players the chance to continue it, and maybe promote one of the players to become the new GM. Maybe you'll have more fun as a player and not the GM, so a switching of roles there might be an option worth exploring. At any rate, talk to your players, let them know how you're feeling and how they're feeling, and progress from there.
As to the original topic, I cannot see how GMs playing characters could ever be a problem, but then I'm going to be controlling about 10ish characters in my rp, so...
With rps, I try to make it more of an active story, and controlling characters makes this easier to achieve since you can use them to push the plot forward, not to mention its always nice to be able to actually interact with other people's characters. I'm not a massive fan of telling people this, this and this and having them write posts in response. Bias isn't something I've ever seen occur.
Another case where the Gm plays an OP char--and it works: The main villain of a linear RP. When there is a solid planned quest, with a solid planned villain, they NEED to be more powerful than the other players--it's part of the growth of the characters, and the obstacles of the protagonists. They need a hurdle to face--thus, the GM plays the villain of the story, probably in addition to one of the group of hero's.
I fully agree with you Pach on the quitting an RP you are no longer interested in. I mean, it's really not fair to anyone at that point to continue it--you won't RP your best, and you ought not be forced into something that you don't want to continue anyway.
I am with Dervish and Tick in this.
For me a GM player character is no issue, in fact I actually expect it in the RPs I join. I agree that the GM should be allowed to participate in his own story, he probably put a lot of effort into it after all. I haven't run across a GM PC that was awesomely powerful before and I hope not to, but I tend to avoid joining any RP that has obviously overpowered PCs in it anyway. I will also probably politely object and question my GM if he lets an obviously overpowered character into the RP. I cant spot them all of course, but I'm not too bad at seeing the overpowered ones.
In the RP I am setting up at the moment I have made the slightly uncharacteristic decision to not make a GM PC, as has my co-gm. This is in large part because we want the players to move things without any direction from us in certain areas, with our NPCs interveneing only to move major plot things along according to the plan. In fact we specifically avoided drawing up our important NPCs in too much detail to avoid them becoming GM PCs as they inevitably would if we were to give them detailed backstories. I may, however, create a PC of my own for this RP once it gets properly underway, though as ever I will have to try hard to avoid that PC becoming the group leader. To that end I'm hoping that one of the PCs takes up that role before I set up a character of my own, but if no-one does then maybe they weren't going to anyway.
In my opinion, it is a mark of a good GM if they are able to truly treat their own PC just like everyone elses, including having them fail or succeed realisticly, get injured and/or die. This doesn't mean they should try to martyr their PC or have them fail unnaturally often, as that is going into the opposite end of the spectrum and not better (unless thats part of their character I guess). Of course GMs without PCs can be good too, they don't have to worry about how their character is treated if they don't have one, but in the case of those that do have PCs this opinion holds true.
In most cases where the GM is directly controling the main villain I would tend to say that that villain is more a main NPC than an actual GM PC, in my mind a character is only a PC if you regularly see them from their own perspective rather than that of others, with particular emphasis on regularly. I wouldn't expect to see the villains thoughts and feelings on something in many of the posts they show up in, particularly since a villain is generally easier to maintain as a villain when they are mostly an unknown quantity.
If people really want to RP in their own setting they should opt for round robin and simply swap the GM role throughout the course of the game, or they could find a coGM so they can retain an objective authority over their character, keeping him or her from being a functional demigod.
I have done so for half-a-decade.Quote:
You can't do this and effectively GM, so it defeats the purpose.
Honestly, I have never been in a roleplaying setting where the GM in a cooperative story doesn't take a character role. GM's develop setting and when it's homebrew; characters within that setting. It is not anything about being "conceited" and I certainly have never "demi-god'd" through player characters in ANY of my settings. The whole idea that this is what you see out of GM as a Player is frankly sort of insulting.
Also, I love LoneSilverWolf's comment on villains. I'm not going to say anything more incase any of my rp's players end up reading my comments in this topic because I don't want to spoil them, but essentially: yes, yes, and yes!
In the end, being a GM is much like carrying a gun. It gives you a certain power over circumstances. You can be a tempered person and never reach for that gun your entire life or you can be an idiot and end up shooting yourself in the foot. It's entirely individualistic and depends on the GM. For me a real GM is someone with a cool head and a firm perspective on things, that's really all you need. (apart from the ability to actually write something :D) A GM playing a player character and not abusing it is perfectly normal. I have seen it done, I have played with GM's who've done it and I have done it myself as a GM.
Consider this, how the heck do writers create all these great books and memorable characters if they know the story and the world beforehand?