The Lost GM Scrolls: James Jacobs Lists His Pet Peeves
Back in the fall of 2009, Chris Dinkins and I interviewed a host of game designers and novelists who were also experienced game masters. We sent around too many questions to too many GMs and received far too much material for one article to hold. As a result, a lot of great material got scrapped. Fortunately, gaming wisdom ages well. I recently discovered a folder full of all that cut material (anecdotes, advice, and miscellany), which we will be presenting, here, in the Lost GM Scrolls. Enjoy!
What irks James Jacobs when he’s GMing? Here’s a list of pet peeves from the veteran GM and Creative Director at Paizo that you might want to send around to your gaming group before the next session.
James Jacobs: Pet peeves . . . let me see. I guess I’ll just list a dozen or so out of the many I have: players who don’t bother letting you know that they’re going to be late to the game, people who complain about game rules but never seem interested in solutions (or playing different characters that don’t use the rules that annoy them), dwarves, nonintelligent monsters with alignments other than Neutral, edition war arguments, players who surf the net during the game, having to repeat read-aloud text, immediate actions and their ability to enable players to disrupt the flow of game play, silly names in serious games, players who build characters that are intentionally awkward for the campaign style they know they’ll be going on, people who see paladins as rules-sanctioned opportunities to make disruptive characters, the overabundance of horse stat blocks, the implication that a 3.5 Large crocodile doesn’t exist*, GMs who go out of their way to kill characters, and overly loud players . . .
Update from James Jacobs: It’s worth noting that in Pathfinder, we do have Large crocodiles. Sometimes pet peeves can be solved!
If you’re a GM, what are your pet peeves? And do you have ways to address them at your table? Feel free to discuss them in the comments section!