Your GM Archetype is

The Guardian

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Introduction

A Guardian is a GM Archetype recognized by Introversion, Sense, Feeling, and Judging traits. You create a space that is warm and inviting, ensuring that everyone feels welcome around you. Your approach is efficient, and you handle yourself with dedication through responsibility. This dedication is all driven by your ability to provide careful attention to practical details with each interaction you have. It is a matter of hard work and devotion to your craft that keeps momentum for yourself and those around you.

you create a space that is warm and inviting, ensuring everyone around you feels welcome

As a GM, you feel a deep sense of personal responsibility for anyone with whom you share the space regarding their feelings, experiences, and overall health. This feeling is known to sometimes extend beyond a session and your group. As a result, you develop a sympathetic connection with sincere individuals and will go above and beyond to honor people who invite you to interact with them. Sensitive and caring, paired with an eye for detail, you strive to give people the best because they deserve it.

Game Mastering Styles

If anyone could run a multi-year campaign with the same group of players, it’s you. You’re committed AF, to put it delicately. It’s not easy, but you make it look that way. You’re very good at creating settings that feel real and tangible because you have a clear vision of the types of games you like to play and the stories you want to tell.

You may prefer rules that implement the game's themes

Some GMs are diehard sci-fi or Cthulhu fans. (Just look at the cult following Ravenloft has for D&D.) The Guardian Archetype is also likely to dig into a particular genre or setting and continuously improve at storytelling. You may enjoy more of a narrative game structure than a crunchy one because you need help calling people out or seriously enforcing rules. Alternatively, a solid rule system could alleviate some of your anxiety around assertiveness because it speaks for itself. You also prefer rules that implement the game’s themes rather than just providing an objective framework.

Storytelling Style

As a Guardian Archetype, you are a natural storyteller. You can remember an incredible amount of details. You may fall into people-pleasing and may bend more to your players’ whims than you should—but that’s OK! Your game-master style is player-driven, which means you like the idea of having players take part in creating the story themselves. You’re even typically OK with their wonky character builds.

 

The game isn't about combat, it's about the story happening before and after

You’re great with descriptions, but you thrive on having visuals of some sort to portray your scenes and offer a more vivid picture of what’s in front of them. You want to understand the story behind monsters or foes and how they would act in a battle for real. They’re more than stats. The story isn’t about combat, though—it’s about what happens before and after. You may be less into the “chosen one” world-ending type of story and more interested in realistic settings. While you probably adore roleplay, you may be a little shy with NPC portrayal, preferring to sit back and watch the story unfold, inserting yourself only as necessary.

[ss_click_to_tweet content=”The Guardian (GM Archetype) wants to understand the story behind monsters or foes, beyond their stats.” style=”2″ ]

Table Management

You’re the game master who wants everyone to have a good time. You’re sensitive to your players’ needs and make sure everyone is comfortable with their characters and the game world. You know that safety and consent are paramount, so you take the time to make sure everyone understands the procedures for both before the game begins.
You’re very gentle but can be strict when necessary: you want everyone to have fun, but not at the expense of others’ enjoyment.

 

You want everyone to have fun, but not at the expense of others' enjoyment

You also recognize that each player has a different goal for their characters—some want to make a name for themselves in the world, while others want to have fun with their friends at the table. You’re good at reading character sheets for story ideas to help those goals come true!


If there’s one thing we might suggest: remember that being a great game master means taking care of yourself too! Pay attention to your needs in accommodating other people’s schedules or desires.

Session Resources

You’re a very organized GM with a strong sense of self, preferring to stick to what you know. You value stability and schedule and enjoy a system’s consistency. You probably have a favorite song or playlist that you like to play for each session, which helps set the tone for your games. In addition, you probably have offbeat systems to ensure your sessions run smoothly.

 

Your sensitive nature may recoil at feedback for fear of criticism

When it’s time to ask for player feedback on the game, sessions, and style of Game Mastery, you could use a feedback system such as Google Forms instead of face-to-face feedback. Your sensitive nature hates the idea of being criticized in real-time.

 

That anxiety may stretch into your toolset as well. Even if you prefer theatre of the mind over Virtual Table Tops, you may think that you “should be” incorporating more than you are. Try not to overdo it. A simple system like Owl Bear VTT or Canva is perfect for simple visuals.

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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