This month’s blog carnival is discussing the best GM ever. When I read this month’s topic, I knew immediately who I would be talking about. That was my GM from high school, John Scott Clegg.
At the time, Scott had been running games for around thirty years and regularly every Saturday in his house for at least a decade. That was over 20 years ago and he still has his weekly game that I drop in on sometimes to say hi as I now live back near him.
I think one of the things that made Scott such a great GM was the depth of the gaming world. It was one that he created, all starting with a map he drew in the 60′s while he was in junior high school. He has grown and developed that world over the intervening decades with all the campaigns he has run in it. There are very few places you can go that he doesn’t either already have mapped out or knows what will be happening when you arrive. I think the thing that I loved most about it was that it always made sense. He had been running the world for so long that he had worked out all the inconsistencies. The logic of the world held together very well.
Scott started role-playing with his school buddies long before even D&D was published with a small set of rules that took up 3 pages (front, back, and front of two pieces of paper). They moved to D&D for a while and then on to RuneQuest when that came out. By the time I was playing it, it was still based on RuneQuest (3rd ed.) but with a much expanded skill set and a couple of additional magic systems. His game still lives on in that system today.
Scott was also fairly well connected to the gaming industry. Those school buddies he ran games for, you might of heard of some of them. They included Tracy Hickman and Sandy Peterson. Scott helped Sandy write and play-test the original version of the Call of C’thulhu RPG and continued to write supplements and adventures for that game for years. He even has a “Best Role-playing Game Supplement of the Year” award from Origins that he received in 1985, just a few years before I started playing with him. It was for the Earth’s Dreamlands supplement for Call of C’thulhu.
Scott was also amazingly flexible in running the game. He could manage the session regardless of who was there or how many people we had present on any given day. Which was good. He never turned anyone away that wanted to play. He wanted to share the joy of role-playing with anyone and would integrate any new player immediately into the game. The net result of this was that we occasionally had a very large group. At one point we had 16 active players running 24 characters in the party. That made for a fairly crowded session. I think that the most amazing thing is that it all ran smoothly and I, at least, never felt left out or lost in the crowd. It is as testament to his skill that he could keep it all running so well and everyone involved.
But most of all, in addition to being an amazing GM, Scott was (and is) a great friend. I have fond memories of all the hours I spent at his house playing RuneQuest in his home-brewed world. I can only hope that I can some day end up being half the GM he is. He wins the Greatest GM Award hands down as far as I’m concerned.
Categorised as: General