As you may know, my group of DitV is playing on a rotating-GM basis. (Vincent, apparently, is following this avidly! *grin*) Since it seems to be of interest, and since, I have enough to say on the subject that it was threatening to invade on my post about last night's game, I decided to start a thread about it. I invite Brendan, Matt, Alisanne, or people in other groups playing this way to add their thoughts about it too.
So far GM-rotating seems to work well. I find that DitV is the kind of game that's attractive both as a game to play and as a game to GM. So this way we all will get a chance to go "ooh, ooh, what if THIS were to happen in a town?" as well as react to stories thrown at us and evolve our characters.
As far as the narrative side of it goes, it seems to be working out well. Brendan was GM for our first game, and so when we played my town last night, we played it that he "graduated" from the Temple shortly after we three had been sent on our way, so the Temple, knowing our planned route, sent him directly to the second town we'd pass through, intending to catch up then.
As for the question of where my character is while I was GM'ing tonight, when we finished Brendan's town we knew I'd be GM next, so we arranged our ending narrative to include that I stayed behind, telling the other two I'd catch up with them at (Town #3 to be Named Later). Reason being, Hannah was recovering from the wounds that Gabriel and I inflicted, and I subsequently healed. She's also pregnant, and I decided to stick around for a little while to be sure she's fully recovers from the injuries she sustained, and that those injuries don't appear to have complicated the pregnancy.
I've been toying with having my character play out those few weeks as a conflict, similar to the "I hope I learn to ride a horse" initiatory conflict described in the manual, under Some Cool Applications of Conflict Resolution. It might be interesting to play out a conflict like that, with the stakes being "Do Hannah's injuries worsen or in any way complicate her pregnancy?" - I have to check with the other players to see what they think of it. Even if I don't do this, I think it's interesting to note that rotating-GM play seems to encourage at least a little narrative related to what happens between towns, and therefore give an opportunity for interesting time-lapse conflicts like that.
An interesting note about our "where is the GM's character this week" question. Matt seems to be considering including his character as and NPC in his town. I'm fascinated to see how that would work out, especially since Gabriel (Matt's char) and Imiah (my char) have traits and relationships directly relating to one another as a result of working together in Cedar Falls and having an argument as students at the Temple together.
So far, playing with the GM position on rotation seems to work well, though I'm already anxious to put together another town and GM again.
I love the idea of playing out the time you spent in Cedar Falls after the group moved on as a conflict. I wouldn't have thought of that, but it makes great sense in this case, at least.
So far, my only complaint with the rotating GM setup is that I have to wait to throw my next town at the three of you. :) On the other hand, that means I can put more time into it and make sure it's ready without holding things up.
Oh good, I'm glad you like the idea, I'm antsy for some playing after last night. On the other hand, I second that emotion with regard to what you said about the rotating GM setup. I'm really anxious to GM again, but this way we should all get two or three weeks to develop our town, while still getting a DitV fix every week. Woot!
Vincent isn't the only one avidly following this experiment. I would love to do rotating GMing with my group. After I run through my first few towns, I'm going to have to suggest that one of the players pick up the reins for a while so I can play!
Coolbeans! I think it's great that people are so interested in this, and how it works out. Something I just realised though, is that with rotating GMs, we won't be as able to do what we ought to of sort of keeping a theme throughout the game, the thing of taking the decisions made in one town and in the next town pose a similar question. "What about THIS?"
Of course, as our first game, I think it's less of an issue, since this is a concept we're having some difficulty getting our respective brains aound anyhow. I'm not sure either of the two of us who have had the GM seat so far have a good grasp on what questions were posed and what decisions were made. That's ok though, I'm sure we'll learn as we go.
I can't really see it as a problem, Betsi. It's possible that the theme may have to skip towns, but so long as everyone keeps it in mind, I think it should be easy enough to set up conflicts which challenge the judgements made in earlier towns..
Think about it.. Your character makes a judgement in Brendan's town. So next time you run, lay a similar decision before Brendan's character, or someone else's character who supported or opposed Imiah's judgement in the earlier town.
I'm not so keen on the whole experimental rotating GM aspect as some, but I think your initial posts are hella cool, and I'm going to be avidly following the run of your game, no matter who's running.
So the whole playing my character while GMing idea only kinda worked. The hardest part was staving off the temptation to use him as an NPC to guide the story, and to keep his reactions from being tinted with extraneous knowledge. Since the town was engineered to induce conflict amongst the dogs, (more on that in another topic, look for it in an hour or so under Oak Bluffs) it was probably more complicated than it might have been, but nonetheless it was more hassle than it was worth. Having characters remain out of story somehwere while their player is GMing is decidedly more manageable.
On another note, rotating the GMing has proven wonderfully effective. GMing this game is often as much fun as playing, or more so, and while the dilemmas characters face are fascinating, adapting the world to the players ability to do things that were totally unanticipated is a great deal of fun. I don't know if I would be up to doing towns more than once every week or two, so I'm glad I can play a character in the meantime.