When I saw this, my mind was ablaze with it’s awesomeness, I just HAD to repost it. It’s critical for GM’s and players alike to see. (this was originally posted on reddit.com, in the /r/rpg section by the person known as Wraithstrike.
This is my official manifesto as a GM: I am a gamemaster. I create worlds for players to inhabit and partake in great adventures in them. Without the players, I am nothing. In order to ensure a proper balance between myself and the players, I pledge to do the following:
1.I pledge to give you a rich world to play in. Whether it is created solely by me or expanded upon from an existing universe, my games will always have a world to play in, where adventures can happen, enemies and friends can be made, and fun can be had.
2. I pledge to let the players have input in the creation of the world. Before the game even begins, I will give my players a chance to effect the cosmology of the world. Have you discovered some interesting fact about the world that I overlooked? Let me know and if I like it, I’ll work it in. Do you think there’s a good reason for villain group X to hate villain group Y? Let me know.
3. I pledge to help you understand the rules. I do not claim to have perfect knowledge of how the rules function. However, between us, we can work out any issues you have.
4. I pledge to help you with character creation. This means I will help you select useful power abilities, if you so ask. However, it also means explaining my reasoning for not allowing “Special Snowflake” characters. If I can make you see why your character does and doesn’t fit in the campaign world and get you to make a better one, it’s a good day for me.
5. I pledge to offer you a challenge. I will not hold your hand in the game, but neither will I try to murder your characters. I will give you encounters that will make you think, and make you celebrate when you beat them. I will give you many chances to fight and prove your ability.
6. I pledge to give you a sandbox, not a railroad. * Do you want to leave the big city and find a new location? I’ll do my best to have something you can do, even if I have to wing it.
7. I pledge to say “Yes” “Yes,But” and “No, But” but never “No.” If you have an idea for something unusual to do, I’ll use one of these three phrases. I will use the first if I find it interesting, the second to offer a complication to your clever plan, and the third if the option you’ve come up with won’t work, but it is close to one that will.
8. I pledge to not play favorites. I will not show special favors to a single player for any reason. Everyone will have a chance to shine.
9. I pledge that the story will have a beginning, middle and end. All things must come to an end, but I will make it great with your help.
10. I pledge to let you be awesome. Gaming is not about numbers and armor classes. If you have an idea for an amazing stunt, I want to hear it. If it wows me, you’ll get a chance to pull it off.
11. I pledge to listen to your issues. Do you have an issue with another player’s actions in or out of game? We’ll talk about it. Do you feel uncomfortable doing a certain type of scene? Tell me and I’ll drop it or make it easier to handle.
12. I pledge that there will be no rape in my games. I find the act reprehensible, so there will never be a time when an NPC attempts to rape a PC. If a PC attempts rape another PC or NPC, I will ask them to drop the idea. If they persist, I will ask that they leave the table.
13. I pledge that while a character may not survive, a replacement character will have no trouble joining in. I will not penalize a replacement character or expect them to earn what their predecessor had. After a few minutes of in character talk, they will be up to speed.
14. I pledge to make the game about you, the players. This is your world. This is your adventure. I will never use a GMPC or Mary-Sue character to make you feel inadequate.