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17

Universalis gives everyone pennies to "pay" to make a thing true. The points replenish by doing things the system wants to encourage, such as getting involved in conflicts, win and lose. This basic dynamic can be adapted in a variety of ways. Fiasco has a fixed number of dice available to roll. They serve as a pacing mechanic, with the story twist happening ...


13

Mythic RPG is a stand-alone RPG powered by the Mythic GM Emulator, which is the generic GM "replacement" system. It works very well and a lot of good stuff can be found in the Mythic Yahoo Group or in the RPG.net threads. Using the Mythic GM Emulator you can run just about anything you would want without needing a GM — some systems work better than ...


10

You could try some of these GM-less RPGs! I'm picking games that at least have a fantasy bent to them, but they are not explicitly dungeon crawls. All but Polaris are one-shot games, so you can either replay them, try more than one, or play them between other games. Fiasco, in which you play out a darkly humorous, Coen Brothers-esque disaster. If you ...


10

A number of "indie" games are GMless: Annalise Breaking the Ice Fiasco Kagematsu Polaris The Shab-al-Hiri Roach Shock: social science-fiction Spione Universalis Most of these just apportion the various GM responsibilities to different people at different times. In general, you're never going to get rid of the need for someone to do certain "GMish" things ...


8

I would love to just say "yes", but actually it depends on the player and style of play. If you have a player who is good at coming up with details themselves, and you play the game in a very "ask questions" kind of way, and you're good at roleplaying NPCs as self-determined entities, then yes, you can have some awesome games. There are a couple caveats, ...


7

Having tried to do stuff like this, I'd say that a GM can't coax, convert or transition players to GMless gaming. Not to say a group can't convert - but the GM's first move in that conversion has to be stripping off the authority of game-chooser and start a brand new conversation. Say to the group "I really like telling stories with you guys. I'm not so ...


5

I'd take a hard look at Polaris, which has a track record of being adapted (Anna Kreider's game Thou Art But A Warrior uses the core Polaris mechanic but re-skins it in a cool way). Polaris has clearly defined roles that rotate with the players (protagonist, antagonist, and two supporting roles) and a system of conflict resolution that relies on specific ...


5

In my experience, playing GMless is way easier if you have games that present themselves as boardgames with some roleplaying elements. Microscope is a great example and it's what I'm trying to do with Geiger Counter as well. People know how to play Monopoly or Mouse Trap or Diplomacy without a GM, right? Doesn't strike them as weird at all. So if the ...


5

I'm currently running a 4E D&D campaign, and one experiment that's worked out very well for me as a DM is using Microscope to build out the history of the world. It is a completely GM-less game, and has worked incredibly well for building up a homebrew campaign settting. However, I think it can pretty painlessly be integrated not only into a DM's ...


5

Both Mystic Empyrean and Capes fulfill these requirements to some degree. Its also worth noting that many rules-light games fit your needs and can be made GM-less simply by rotating who has narrative control. The D&D 4e DMG (or maybe it's DMG2) has suggestions on how to effectively turn it into a board game, for that matter. Mystic Empyrean There are ...


4

Microscope I'm going to suggest Microscope, because I've had a lot of success with it in the regards you've requested. Microscope is a game in which players determine individual "periods," "events," and "scenes." Periods are long spans of time, events are smaller, well, events within a period, and scenes are subsets of the event that are actually played ...


4

Cohesive story (generation) GMless games tend to have mechanics that are specifically aimed at generating a structured story. Often this is accomplished by giving the players choices and rules-assigned powers that directly or indirectly are about story elements instead of focusing on character actions. For instance, instead of having the player choose where ...


4

People know stories. It might even be built in. It's part of our pattern-recognition system, I think. When you play GM-less games, the players are all working together to make the story cohesive. If you play the first two scenes of Universalis with very little cross-over elements, it is very likely that the third scene will be framed to unite the first ...


4

I use Universalis for this. It's a game that non-gamers and trad-gamers can both play together. But one key is to explain to the trads that this isn't really a role-playing game as they normally thing of it. It's a narrative-building game that has elements of role-play. I use the terms actor-stance, director-stance and author-stance because they ...


4

I think that jumping directly to GM-less gaming with players who have found their groove with a GM is not an ideal solution. Easing them into it with games that give players increasing amounts of control over the environment and direction of plot is slow, but more likely to succeed as it lets the group move slowly out of their comfort zone rather than ...


4

I would recommend you take a look at Dirty Secrets, a very interesting system dedicated to creating a modern noir. My group has had a couple of fun sessions with Dirty Secrets. Adapting to another genre would take some work, but I think it could be done. There's no GM but there is an "investigator," a role taken by a single person for the whole game. The ...


3

Another game that has not been mentioned is Western City. We used it for a western city as well as our village in a Song of Ice and Fire RPG. I would use it again in such a situation: if you need to generate some NPC personalities and some events in a village to use as backdrop for the "real" game. A nice one or two session GM-less break from the regular ...


3

Two things to consider: First, don't try to "convert" anyone. If your friends are loving the games they are playing, that is totally great. If you want to try new stuff and they are willing to give it a shot, awesome. If not, go out and make some new gamers. People coming into gaming without any history have 100% no problem with the GMless format in my ...


3

I used to roleplay with my brother, so I have some experience with the one on one. I'm talking about having a GM and a Storyteller. Some people think it's lame or boring, but it has a few advantages: As you are only two people, you only have two calendars, and you can meet more easily for a game. PC has all the attention. You can play everything you like: ...


3

Microscope may be a good solution for you. You create stories in a nonlinear way, focusing just on what the group wants to. People pick characters for each scene, and while characters can recur, they by no means have to. It is GMless. It is self-moderating through the use of index cards which represent Periods (broad swaths of time), Events (shorter, ...


3

My personal experience with Universalis actually leads me to believe that it might suit your needs very well. All the mechanics are focused on the ebb and flow of story control and how to represent persistent objects in the fiction, but the style of play the mechanics are designed to (and succeed in, in my opinion) support is very close to how freeform ...


2

I have several recommendations... but all of them require some "creative use" to run "GM-less." AD&D 1E The 1st ed Dungeon Master's Guide has a random dungeon generation system. Couple this with random encounter tables (also in the DMG) and a healthy dose of "groupthink GMing" (see below), and AD&D can be run GM-less Central Casting Dungeons CCD ...


2

I suggest you might be interested in freeform gaming, particularly on IRC or message boards. Often, in a small enough group, the moderator's sole task is to keep people on the same page rather than to necessarily control the plot; often, people create multiple characters, and often, things like wikis or newsletters serve to keep everyone informed as to what ...


1

There's nothing stopping you from rotating GMs between dungeons. This is what I would recommend. The GM role in Torchbearer explicitly involves information hidden from the players: the map of the dungeon, potential interactions in rooms, whether a given test will result in a condition or twist, the hidden qualities of previously unencountered monsters, ...


1

If you need a map generator tool, I recommend Dave's Mapper.


1

Here are a few mechanics I've seen in the GM-less games I have played. The first thing I've seen are games where the game itself is the GM. For example there might be a box of cards or a book that acts as the GM. The players just follow the instructions and turn pages, or draw new cards, as instructed. In games like this, everything is pre-scripted, and ...


1

Squid, There are two practical steps to get players to have a good experience with GM-less games: 1) Make sure that everyone who is playing has a decent amount of experience GM-ing (the reason is that for most of these games, you have to assume GM-like duties at various points in the game) 2) Start with a one-shot of ...In Spaaace! this is a great GM-less ...


1

This is truly the Holy Grail that all GM-less, or GM-full, loving players would love to figure out. I have had the most success when introducing a game that matches a genre the group loves and is excited about. If the group if fully conversant with the tropes and twists of the source material, they are more likely to throw out cool ideas when it is there ...



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