n. (alternative spelling of game master English) vb. To run a roleplaying game; to act as a gamemaster
A gamemaster (GM; also known as game master, game manager, game moderator or referee) is a person who acts as an organizer, officiant for questions regarding rules, arbitrator, and moderator for a multiplayer role-playing game. They are most common in co-operative games in which players work together and are less common in competitive games in which players oppose each other. The act performed by a gamemaster is sometimes referred to as "Gamemastering" or simply "GM'ing".
The role of a gamemaster in a traditional role-playing game is to weave the other participants' player-character stories together, control the non-player aspects of the game, create environments in which the players can interact, and solve any player disputes. The basic role of the gamemaster is the same in almost all traditional role-playing games, although differing rule sets make the specific duties of the gamemaster unique to that system.
The role of a gamemaster in an online game is to enforce the game's rules and provide general customer service. Also, unlike gamemasters in traditional role-playing games, gamemasters for online games in some cases are paid employees.
The Gamemaster Series of board games consists of five war simulation games created by the game company Milton Bradley, beginning in 1984 with the introduction of the popular Axis & Allies board game. Of note is that none of the five games were developed "in-house"; all five games were published under smaller game publishers in the early 1980s in limited runs before their rights were acquired by Milton Bradley. Nevertheless, the games as released by Milton Bradley are considered to be the "first edition" of the games in this series.
The original Milton Bradley Gamemaster Series included:
- Axis & Allies (1984)
- Conquest of the Empire (1984)
- Broadsides and Boarding Parties (1984)
- Fortress America (1986)
- Shogun (1986)
The first three games were designed by Larry Harris, while the last two were designed by Mike Gray, though neither were credited for their creations until their subsequent re-releases. Of these five, Axis & Allies was the most successful, spawning several revised versions, spinoffs, and a related miniature game series, though Conquest of the Empire and Shogun also saw some success.
Though all five games were originally released under the Milton Bradley umbrella, by the 1990s Axis & Allies was the only game being continually updated. Hasbro (parent company to Milton Bradley) moved Axis & Allies to its Avalon Hill imprint (specializing in board wargames) in 1999, and Avalon Hill itself was made into a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, another Hasbro imprint (specializing in board games for a more dedicated "gamer" audience), in 2004. Axis & Allies was chosen as one of the three board games re-released to represent the 50th anniversary of Avalon Hill in 2008.
The rights to Axis & Allies, as well as three of the other four games in the series, is currently held by Avalon Hill; Conquest of the Empire was re-released by Eagle Games in 2005 with updated rules. Another game in the series to have seen re-release is Shogun, renamed to Samurai Swords in 1986 and Ikuza in 2011 to avoid naming conflicts with a myriad other board games with the same name, under the Avalon Hill branding. Fantasy Flight Games re-released Fortress America in the summer of 2012, also with new and updated rules.
Gamemaster is a person who acts as an organizer for a multiplayer role-playing game.
Gamemaster or Game Master may also refer to:
- Gamemaster (board game series), board war game
- Game Masters (exhibition), exhibition at ACMI
- Captain N: The Game Master, joint-venture between American-Canadian animated television series
- Game Master (console), handheld game console
- Konami Game Master, a game enhancer for the MSX home computer designed for Konami titles.
Usage examples of "gamemaster".
I say we must deal with the city of Bodach on its own terms, and not with what we think the gamemaster may have in store.
Instead of a dealer, there was a sort of gamemaster who directed the play.
The gamemaster then presented them with an imaginary scenario through which they had to play, as teams, supporting one another with their respective skills.
The players had to improvise, because they had no idea what the gamemaster would present them with next.
The gamemaster had a deep, mellifluous and dramatic voice, and he knew how to use it to its best effect.
The gamemaster had purposely designed the scenario in such a way as to make that the least attractive choice for them, the fifth player insisted, which was precisely why it was the choice that they should make.
The other players would all complete their rolls before the gamemaster revealed the outcome, based on their scores and their strength and ability rolls at the beginning of the game.
Each time, the gamemaster noted down the score to balance off against the strengths and abilities rolled earlier.
When they had all finished, the gamemaster consulted the scores that he had written down, taking his time about it to allow the tension to build among the players, and many of the onlookers, as well.
The gamemaster was unperturbed at this display, and continued smoothly.
But the gamemaster had anticipated that in his script, and had outwitted them.
Recalling what had happened in the last encounter, the players would now suspect that the gamemaster was tempting them with the walled house in favor of the tavern, but the choice that was apparently more dangerous the last time had been the wrong choice, so now the stone tavern seemed more tempting.
However, the gamemaster had fooled them once before, and would obviously now try to fool them again, so they would pick the walled house, after all.
The gamemaster paused again and raised his eyebrows in a questioning manner.
They tried to think of various things that they could do to determine if there was anything dangerous on the other side of the doors, but the gamemaster replied the same way each time.