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Reigen Ruminates: Burning Bridges
Allow me to take you through a process, and I promise this will become relevant to the title in a few, though a process known as GMhood.

First off is the moment you get told. There is a giddy excitement there. One that feels just like an explosion of butterflies in your stomach once you realize you've been chosen. You get that wise word from an older GM that 'it's not all what it's cracked up to be.' You ignore how stressed the other GMs seem to be, how bitter a lot of them have become since their promotion. I mean, you were chosen. Clearly you can handle it, clearly you won't get sucked down into the deep, dark pit of angst that the others seem to have fallen into, right?

So begins your month-long trialship. It's pretty great at first, you get to hang around the other GMs for tidbits of advice. I know I was the most excited to learn how to build. Everyone's giving you a pat on the back and your friends and hootin' and hollering that their buddy got chosen. Things are going to be sweet.

You might want to make a few memory screenshots. They won't be your friends for long.

There comes a day'll have to tell one of your friends no. Sorry, you're not allowed to give them gold like you used to. GMs can't do that. They want an enchant? You can't do that either, because you can just add the materials to your inventory. What gives, man? You used to gossip with us about so and so and now you're dead silent all the time. Oh, by the way, can you get me this cool mount? No one has to know...

By the time you're promoted to a full GM, you'll notice that your friends list is a lot shorter. Not as many people are inviting you out to RP as they used to. In fact, they seem to act rather strange once you do get into an RP with them. They're must more proper, reserved, as if they're watching everything they say like a hawk, and watching your reactions even closer. You might laugh it off at first, you're the same person after all. Only, to them, you're not. You're now an authority figure. You are the police. You are the one who will eventually swing the hammer. You are no longer 'safe' to BS around with because if they step too'll have to be the one reporting it.

Then there will come a day where you'll have to act on a report against one of your friends. You'll have to invite them to a party and say the seven deadly words:

"Do you have a moment to talk?"

From there on out, it just sinks more and more. You will be exposed to the worst sides of everyone. You will see things that were said by your friends that you can never believe they said. You will be treated worse than customer service the day after black friday. Everything you do will be judgmental in some way. A polite reminder in OOC will come to bite you in the rear end later when there's a dispute. You will no longer be able to hang around a certain group of people without claims of favoritism being made.

And you'll have next to no one at the end of the forth month beyond the GM team who asked you to join. You know, the ones who get to look at you and say 'I told you so'. I think the worst part is the paranoia that comes with it, the worry that every new person just wants to be your friend so they can use you in some way.


I hear from a lot of people how much they would love to become a GM, and I just don’t think they know just how draining the job is. It’s not all fun and games, and while there are perks to the job, I think what most all the GMs have lost outweighs the little good that has come from it. It’s not a job for the weak-willed, nor is it one for people who try to be everyone’s friend. That’s just not going to happen and you’ll burn yourself out fast trying to be everyone’s BFF.

Let’s face a fact. When a GM is in an RP, you act different than you would if it had been all non-GMs. I did it, I know a lot of people who admit this because it’s true. It might not be intentional, but it’s one of those things where a GM enters and the back of your mind goes ‘there’s here to enforce the rules’. I think that’s one of the main reasons we don’t get invited to RP as well, because we will enforce the rules and we will call things out. No one wants to be told they can’t do something, or joke a certain way or anything like that.

I don’t say this because I’m whining. I say this because that’s just how things are, and I think it’s high time people understand the flak we get for doing our job.

We will, at some point in time, ban your friend. However, you will not think that they deserved it, but we will have logs upon logs about just what type of person they are that they kept hidden from you. There are things that go on that only the reporter, the banned player and the GMs will know. We will see the most vile sides of a person that they do not show their friends and we will act upon that side. It will not matter how much sunshine they spread for their group because we will focus on the shadows they cast over others. No, we will not make warning threads public because that takes away the anonymity of those who send in reports. Not only are we protecting them, we are protecting the image they wanted you to see.

If I’m to be disliked for that, so be it, but I will never betray that trust the reporter had in me.

Yes, I am suspicious of anyone who tries to be my friend because I have been used and will be used again by those who just want a GM connection. This is nothing against you as a player, nor is it your fault at all. Others have come before you and prove time and time again that we are nothing but a road from point A to B for them. We’ll be their go-to guy for anything iffy. We’ll be the one they complain to about every little thing. We’ll be the one that they’ll hint at about their profile that’s been up in the Private Discussion a few days now...

Yes. I am paranoid of meeting new people on the server because I worry that it will be another burnt bridge down the line.

What’s the point of all this?

I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m upset at the way the GMs are treated and I’m furious that we cannot defend ourselves. I’m depressed that I have to separate myself from the players to be safe. But they told me so, the ones who invited me in warned me about this and I went ahead with it anyway. Am I giving up? No. I’m not going to let this get the best of me.

I am, first and foremost, a GM. Friendships take a secondary role. When it comes to what is best for the server, I will burn any and every bridge that I cross.


So there you have it. A look into the mind of a GM. This isn't to represent all of them, but it does describe my experience and the experiences told to me by others. They can speak for themselves however.

I don't want drama in this thread, in fact I'll be locking it to prevent that. I don't want pity. I just want to tell it like it is.

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