Age of Ravens: The Many Names of Gamemasters

On today’s blog post, I do an update! Over the last few years I’ve collected the wide array of the “interesting” names rpgs give to the person running the show. Recently on Twitter Jamila R. Nedjadi of Sword Queen Games asked about everyone’s preferred title for the person running the game. They even had one I hadn’t had on my list. So I’ve gone back to to my list and updated it for 2019. For each of these names, I’ve listed just one example system, though many of these appears in several games (Storyteller, Narrator, Director). Feel free to suggest any I may have missed!!!

Age of Ravens: The Many Names of Gamemasters


isn’t the GM in Paranoia called Computer or Friend Computer?

I prefer Moderator

Master leans towards

  • presumed genre or system mastery
  • old term for young male
  • my word is law

although Corpse Master and Kennel Master are certainly in genre :stuck_out_tongue:

Mutant Lord and Big Mac Daddy - LOL

Sensei… I can see people yelling Yes Sensei like they are in Karate Kid (original) :stuck_out_tongue:

Winter… that’s dope as hell

Paranoia’s one that often get’s brought up-- while it has some first person references to the Computer it uses the term Gamemaster throughout.

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Wow, that’s a long list. Funny that the “other” terms are not more overlapping. Seems that when you invent a new term you do it that way that noone else wants/can re-use it. Strange.

there is some overlap -

The Dark Eye/Warhammer Fantasy/Conan age of Adventure = Game Master
Trail of Cthulhu/Monster of the Week = Keeper
Golden Sky Stories/Cold Shadows = Narrator
Vampire the Masquerade/Werewolf the Forsaken/Mage the Ascension = Storyteller

Yeah, I went with only mentioning one example game or else this would have become (more) unwieldy.

I like Phil Vecchione’s suggestion that GM should stand for “Game Manager” rather than “Game Master.”