[RPG] Is it advisable to rotate the GM role between players


Is it advisable to run a campaign where the GM occasionally rotates to be a regular player while a player becomes the GM? I've seen some mentions of this strategy to prevent the GM from getting burned out from always planning, but it seems like having an alternative game going would almost be better. That way you don't have one GM giving out treasure beyond what the PCs should have and the other GM having to deal with it.

Best Answer

It's been a long time that I've played in a group where only one person ever GMed anything... As specific games rise and fall, usually someone else will run something sometime, unless they are a control freak or everyone else is totally slothful (this was the case when I was in high school, though, to be fair). But nowadays, we always have multiple concurrent campaigns going on with different GMs running them.

Rotating GMs within a campaign is different - to a degree, it depends on the nature of your campaign. I've run campaigns that are very coherent stories, with loads of secrets, that I'd never rotate in the middle of. If there's a concrete vision, you don't want to rotate. If there's less of one, it's easier - kinda the "Babylon 5 model" vs the "Star Trek model." So rotating within one actual campaign is possible but is more or less desirable depending on the type of campaign.

In one campaign we proactively said "Hey, let's deliberately rotate every player in as GM." We wanted everyone to get a shot behind the screen, learn what it's like, and give us all insight into strengths and weaknesses, so whenever one adventure finished up, we handed off to the next person. Even the ones that really sucked at GMing had something specific they did great that we learned from - dialogue, pacing, whatever. The campaign conceit was just that we were all pirates and were roving around on random adventures, there was no huge metaplot. We never had any problems with canon conflict or whatnot as a result, and everyone got some GM trigger time. It also made those who seldom GMed appreciate the GM more.