Dogs & Apocalypse World Have Categorically Different Ways of GMing?

  • 2 Replies
I've played both Dogs (one & a half abortive sessions) & AW.
I've GMed both Dogs & AW.

Now, I know they are both supposed to articulate certain ways of GMing--categorically different ways of GMing, from my understanding--and I'm having trouble parsing that.

When I GM Dogs, I don't plan a story. I'm a fan of the player's characters. I play to find out what happens. I reveal the town in play (I'm honest, even generous, with information).

If you know AW, you know I GM it the same way.

I'm sure that's not all the things I do in either game, but I can't seem to come up with meaningful differences.

I feel blind here. Can someone point it out to me, or ask me provocative questions such that I figure it out myself?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 02:24:30 AM by Hans Chung-Otterson »



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Re: Dogs & Apocalypse World Are Categorically Different Ways of GMing?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 01:41:43 AM »
They are very, very close siblings. In Dogs, your prep leads play more strongly, and you prep to test the PCs' consciences. In Apocalypse World, you prep more responsively, and you don't really care about the PC's consciences.

What about some other games you've run?

Re: Dogs & Apocalypse World Are Categorically Different Ways of GMing?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 02:23:15 AM »
close siblings--that makes sense.

I've only been playing rpgs for a few years (2007ish), so in AW when you say "there are a million ways to GM games," I was assuming hyperbole, and that there are in fact a handful of concrete ways, but now I'm seeing maybe the truth is closer to a million?

What else I've GMed, hmm:

-A coupla single session games of Mouse Guard (play to make the characters heroes)*
-Houses of the Blooded (?! the game didn't hang together for us; I felt like it didn't tell me how to GM)
-A single session of Steal Away Jordan (strangely seems similar to MG: play to make the characters heroes)
-way back, my first playing (GMing, that is) at all: 3.5 D&D (um, play to make the characters heroes? Seems like a lot of that flying around)

*these parentheses are obviously just shorthand, trying (perhaps unwisely) to distill the "way to GM" of each game into a single priority.

And then I've played a bunch of non-GMed games, S/lay w/Me, Breaking the Ice, Dreaming Crucible, GXB, A Penny For My Thoughts, and more. Those probably aren't pertinent to the conversation, but maybe somewhere else it would be fruitful to break down how to approach them as players, because GM-like roles get distributed in different ways in each.