Your GM Archetype is

The Challenger

[ss_social_share networks="twitter;instagram;facebook" align="stretched" shape="rounded" size="regular" labels="label" spacing="0" hide_on_mobile="0" total="1" all_networks="0" inline_total_style="separator" total_share_placement="left" hover_animation="ss-hover-animation-1"]

Introduction

The Challenger is a GM archetype recognized by Extroversion, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving traits. There is no contesting your creative power, but it is the confidence carried with the ability to dismantle and reform ideas with mighty mental dexterity. You take the time to understand how things work just enough to break it down into components you can choose to reapply when it comes.

There's no contesting your creative power

Conflict is where people tend to fall from, but you are one to run towards it with joy and enthusiasm. The melding of ideas and opinions at the table is the appealing part of a battle for you. You understand that the most excellent way to grow is to challenge, and regardless of being the correct vision, you know that you come out better than before. You push that for others around you which may cause others to become hesitant to engage in discourse, but you hold a level of eloquence that instills confidence in even the most soft-spoken participant.

Game Mastering Styles

As a Challenger, you love the freedom of running games and exploring the possibilities that come with them, but you also enjoy the constraints of a game system. You are flexible enough to handle both rules-heavy and rules-lite systems, and you understand how to use each to its best advantage.


You can handle small and large groups, so whether you’re running a one-on-one campaign or a six-player game, you’ll be able to keep everyone engaged.

You're only keen on already established and developed stories if you can innovate and alter them as your players explore.

You enjoy giving your players’ characters a chance to grow and change over time, so it’s essential to have an open-ended structure rather than one that is too linear or predictable.

 

You may prefer longer campaigns that develop and grow session to session. You’re only keen on already established and developed stories if you can innovate and alter them as your players explore. You like to build on what’s already there, so you can explore all the possibilities in your world.

Storytelling Style

You’re a big-picture kind of game master. You deliver stories full of moving pieces, only sometimes seen during a gaming session. You love to tell stories, and you love to see your players immersed in those stories. You don’t need a fully-fleshed story to run for your table—you can run an engaging game with just about any setting or plotline.

You deliver stories full of moving pieces

You’re also a pretty even mix of combat, exploration, and roleplay—you don’t lean too heavily into one or the other. Of course, you enjoy all three equally, but if you had to choose one over the others, you’d go with exploration because you think big and love uncovering value in unexpected places.

 

You run big hero stories that are larger than any quest offered by some small town. You look forward to having players at your table experience titans instead of something small and trivial. Your stories are player driven. It’s essential that the players feel involved in their success and failure. You don’t want them to watch the story happen around them; you want them actively participate in shaping it as it unfolds.

[ss_click_to_tweet content=”The Leader (GM Archetype) enjoys BIG HERO stories.” style=”2″ ]

You find pleasure in uncovering the value of underdogs and outliers through characters, NPCs, and other story elements. You’re very involved as a game master, but not in an intrusive way—your NPCs are more hands-on and involved in the story alongside characters (though emotional expression and portrayal can be a little tricky sometimes).

Table Management

As a Challenger, Managing your players’ table is a task you enjoy. You’re a natural at leading and keeping the conversation flowing. You take your role as game master seriously and prefer to have some level of preparation before beginning a session.

 

In conflict, you prefer players speak up to you or each other instead of interjecting yourself into their business. Keep your interjections impartial when possible. The atmosphere of safety you create ensures all feel safe enough to vouch for themselves and each other.

You're a natural at leading and keeping the conversation flowing

Sometimes, you have a distaste for rules and regulations but prefer when things make sense. You will allow players the freedom to explore and try new things as long as they make sense within the context of the world. You’re not afraid to admit when wrong, either—if you’ve made a mistake in running the game or if something doesn’t work out quite how you planned it would, you’re not too proud to admit it.

 

You enjoy facilitating player bonding between sessions and likely relish the after-session chat with your friends.

Session Resources

You may prefer Virtual Table Tops (VTTs) so players can manage their tokens, but if it takes away from the face-to-face experience, you’re better off without them. Using too many digital supplements can create a structure that might feel too formal and unnecessary. It’s important to you that players build the world themselves instead of trying to paint it for them.

It's important the players are able to build the world themselves

Even though digital supplements can create a structure that feels too formal and unnecessary for the game you’re trying to run, sometimes they’re necessary for creating an atmosphere or keeping things organized.

 

Image shares are a great way to set a mood and tone without railroading the imagination. If you have a lot of world-building ideas but need to know what order they should go in, wikis are your best friends! Try one like World Anvil or a more general note organizer like Evernote.

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

lifetime access

The Organized Game Master

End the overwhelm that comes with running multiple games.

Skip to content