Your GM Archetype is

The Authority

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Introduction

An Authority is a GM Archetype recognized by Introversion, Sense, Thinking, and Judging traits. Some see your quiet disposition as shy, but it is a silent contemplation expanding your outlook on life. A strong level of rational thinking drives your carefully considered actions conducted with a systematic intention. This level of repeated precision, efficiency, and dedication stand firm in your integrity as a GM. You are one to keep your word, having all of the necessary details moving forward planned several steps, including diversions and potential distractions.

Some see your quiet disposition as shy, but it's silent contemplation expanding your outlook on life

Uncertainty is a sure road to ruin, and you avoid that path at all costs, preparing yourself for all outcomes you can consider. There is no desire to rush anything. Instead, you prefer to contemplate long enough to develop a concrete approach. Attempting to deviate too far from the plan is generally an unseen event for you and therefore is rarely taken. This rarity does not eliminate spontaneity or improvisation; it just means that if you try something, you are sure it is worth the time and are prepared to do it correctly the first time.

Game Mastering Styles

You’re a classic game master—you love to create a fully-realized world with a rich history and backstory. You want your players to feel like they’re living in their version of Middle Earth or Narnia, and you love systems with clear rules and guidelines for how things work. You might thrive with systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, or even Shadowrun or Call of Cthulhu. You thrive in a group where everyone knows their role and plays it well, and you would prefer to have a balanced party of different classes.

 

You prefer a group of dependable players who show up to sessions on time and are ready to play. You take your role as game master seriously, but you also know that this is supposed to be fun for everyone. So you try to ensure everyone’s having a good time—even the players who aren’t getting as much time in the spotlight—and everyone has an equal chance at success.

You seek player compatibility & can quickly tell if a group or player won't work for your table

You understand how people function as players and how your players will interact with each other, making it easier for you to set up situations that bring out their best qualities. In addition, you seek player compatibility and can tell quickly if a group or player won’t work well for you.


If you commit to a story with your group, you stick with it as long as it takes! If there’s one thing we’ve learned about you over the years, there’s no “too long” for collaborative storytelling.

 

You love exploring new worlds with your players—but only after everyone has established foundations of trust. A smaller table is suitable for managing energy levels and avoiding Game Master burnout.

Storytelling Style

You’re a natural-born storyteller with a knack for creating memorable scenes and characters. You can make your players feel like they’re living in the moment, whether you’re describing the dank dungeon or a sunny meadow.


You don’t just want to tell stories; you want them to be good ones! You like the planning process and have a systematic way of storytelling. You enjoy genres like mystery and horror, where more rules and guidelines help you mentally structure the story. You prefer a good, sometimes even happy, conclusion over an open-ended question mark.

 

Your style is more focused on giving your players a successful story than giving them a theatre performance. Showmanship isn’t your thing! Instead, you like to structure the story to follow an enticing ebb and flow, with well-timed arcs and conclusions—more like a screenplay.

You prefer a good, sometimes even happy, conclusion over an open-ended question mark

You probably prefer to avoid fudging dice rolls to help the players out, as it feels like cheating the true essence of a chance-based game. However, you would feel more guilty for accidentally TPKing the party because you miscalculated an encounter. Also, with how sensitive you are to the mood and energy of your group, you may fudge to help someone get a win when needed. But it still weighs on you a little.

[ss_click_to_tweet content=”The Authority (GM Archetype) focuses more on giving their players an interesting story over giving them a grand stage performance.” style=”2″ ]

You’d prefer not to be the center of attention during an RPG session; instead, you’d rather sit back and observe before speaking up. However, you worry if you interfere too much, you’ll miss the incredible moments that unfold when characters have the space to roleplay and explore.

Table Management

If there’s one thing that irks you about mechanical systems like D&D, it’s when players bend the rules or try to exploit loopholes to get ahead. However, your boundaries and expectations are known and understood. You take pride in being fair and honest with everyone at the table, and you believe that if everyone plays by the rules (or at least tries their best), it’ll stay balanced, and everyone can get what they want out of the campaign.

 

You can be rather strict about the rules and unempathetic to the plights of your players’ characters. For example, suppose they did something and reaped the natural consequences of their actions. In that case, it’s realistic storytelling for the players to remember and learn from the subsequent significant encounter.

You're proud of your players and their characters like a parent adoring their child

You want your players to take risks and try new things. And with your emphasis on fairness and honesty, they typically feel comfortable doing just that!

 

You can manage a wide array of players at your table and enjoy doing so. You tend to want a group with similar playing styles but can accommodate visual and imaginative players if given enough time to plan. You’re proud of your players and their characters like a parent would be of their child, and you’ll do everything you can to ensure they are happy.

you recognize that each player has a set of goals for their character

You don’t take the role of game master lightly—you know how important it is to ensure everyone has fun. So you take safety tools like session zero and consent forms seriously and ensure players accommodate them.


You can be strict but very gentle and understanding when necessary, putting a value on efforts and recognizing that each player has a set of goals for their characters. You must identify and incorporate those goals into the story, so everyone feels satisfied with the experience!

 

To help with this, you like to read character sheets and take quality notes for story implementation. However, if you put too much energy into socializing and connecting players outside of session time, you may use up a lot of energy that can take a toll on game prep and session time.

 

You burn out slightly more quickly than other GM types. It would help if you found balance because you’re prone to overdoing it. A good nap right after the session is better than a post-game discussion!

Session Resources

The tools of the trade for the game master can go a long way in helping stabilize a game, especially a long-term game. When you’re alone, you can deep dive into world-building and story ideas that are intricate and enthralling. You may appreciate the dependability of using maps or visuals; it helps you organize your thoughts and ideas instead of letting them flit away. You probably use the same background ambiance soundtracks in each game for the familiarity and mood it beautifully provides.

when you're alone, you can deep-dive into story ideas that are intricate

As an Authority archetype, you may like working with commercial or other pre-written campaigns but are open to changing them, adding supplementary content, or simply using a campaign as a framework. Using a scheduling system will benefit your energy and need for stability in planning; it’s automated and organized.

The Game Master's Toolbox:

  • World Anvil: A worldbuilding program that helps you create, organize and store your setting with detailed wiki-like organization and interactive maps to store your notes.
  • DnD Beyond: An excellent place for digital character creation and creating a campaign group for easy roll shares and sheet management.
  • Notion (TTRPG University Notion Templates)
  • Evernote
  • DnD Beyond’s Encounter Builder: I’ve heard it’s helpful. You can build an encounter and determine its difficulty level based on math. 

Role Generator: You can randomly generate everything from cities, to magic items, to herbs, to NPCs. https://www.rolegenerator.com/

  • Inkarnate: For fantasy world and city maps. Yearly subscription.
  • Wonderdraft: For fantasy world and city maps. One-time purchase.
  • Dungeon Scrawl: For creating flat and isometric dungeon maps. Completely free.
  • Dungeondraft: Building and Dungeon crawl maps, full color.
  • Azgaar Github Fantasy Map Generator
  • Dungeon Fog: Free map-making tool
  • Dungeon Map Doodler
  • Spotify: There are so many D&D playlists to choose from, or, pick your favorite video game tracks to play.
  • Syrinscape: With Syrinscape, you can control the master playlist and players can decide their preferred volume from their end.
  • YouTube Premium: Put on a 3-hour ambiance video without commercial interruptions.
  • DMs Guild: A place to find supplemental guides and campaigns to enhance your official D&D content.
  • Drive Thru RPG: The all-TTRPG sister of DMs Guild.
  • The Monsters Know: A book series about monster tactics and strategies to help enhance gameplay.
  • Reddit
  • Point Buy Calculator: Doing a character sheet from scratch? This will help so much with the number crunching. https://chicken-dinner.com/5e/5e-point-buy.html
  • DnD Beyond: The best place to build a digital character sheet. Fully connected to all the official D&D content. Makes leveling up take about 30 seconds.
  • Wild Shape Tracker: Super helpful for druids. https://arcaneeye.com/apps/wildshape-tracker/
  • Character Backstory Template: https://arcaneeye.com/dm-tools-5e/dnd-character-backstory-template/
  • Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: I use this particular book ALL the time to help build my character backstories. There are roll tables in the “This is Your Life” chapter.
  • Google Dice Roller: Super simple. Go to Google, type “dice roller,” and you have a dice roller.
  • Roll Dice With Friends: You can give your temporary room a custom name, share the link with your friends, and all roll together!
  • Owlbear Rodeo (straightforward and intuitive)
  • Canva (DIY, simplified VTT)
  • Roll20 (complicated learning curve)
  • Foundry VTT
  • Norse Foundry
  • Shard
  • Tablespire
  • Tabletop Simulator
  • Fantasy Grounds

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