RPG theory seems to recognise the differences between player interests, and acknowledge a few loose categories/archetypes thereof - the tongue-in-cheek four in the Munchkin File, expanded to the more seriously-considered seven in Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering; there seem to be less formal ways to split the types floating around that are largely similar to the former. And sure, I know the categories are loose approximations etc. etc.; I'm not here to argue the degree to which they are or aren't to be taken literally.

But in a recent discussion my attention has been attracted to the fact that categorisation of GM types seems less well-known, yet one can't just transplant player categories to GM categories because of how radically different the roles are. I don't think I played under enough GMs to be able to answer my main question based on my own experience, but hopefully others could help me out: what are the recognisable GM archetypes, if any? If there aren't any, then why not? (Obviously the latter question can be summarised by the radical difference in roles, but it would be good to know which differences are the prime cause.)

I don't care if it's a book/PDF, an article, or even an answer posted right here because the original source is lost, so long as it can help me out to learn what RPG theory has to say about GM types. I prefer an introductory source/answer, but if that's unavailable, am willing to try a more complex source instead.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is off topic as a resource recommendation question, but it's also currently un-answerable as written because it's asking for a centralized resource and those don't really exist. "RPG theory is a folk art, ...there is a lot out there and it's decentralized." Not that being un-answerable is a close-worthy reason, just thought I'd put that out there in case you're thinking of re-phrasing it to get it re-opened: even if you can get it re-opened, you'll need to check your assumptions or you probably won't get useful answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Aug 15, 2019 at 9:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Most of the "how do I" questions are about accomplishing particular goals, not asking for overviews of topics. Setting that aside, this question is literally "what should I read," which is substantially different from "how do I learn about." \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Aug 15, 2019 at 9:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for the answers to this question for trad games, or for other kinds of games? Given that the role of GM itself varies, this might also be too broad. Interesting question, regardless of how well it fits our format. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2019 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Robin's classification of players seemed to be stepping outside the tradgame boundaries (thus the inclusion of a storyteller rather than having it folded into the roleplayer as in traditional classification), so I'm more interested in RPG-spanning categorisation, but if that's unavailable, I'd like to start with at least something. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2019 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ As advised, I've made a meta about how to best approach my question, hoping that this will result in refining my approach to the problem and perhaps aiding in a reopening (or providing an alternative solution). \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2019 at 7:16


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