What's your favorite GM-less game and why?

Yesterday I played my first ever gm-less game, and what can I say. I’m kinda blown away.
We played 10 days without sunlight, and it was a very deep experience. I enjoyed it so much, that I’d like to explore this style of play a bit more with different settings, rules, moods, etc…

So, what’s your favorite gm-less game?

(There was a similar topic once in our slack, but it’s gone)


One of my favourites is Hell 4 Leather by Joe Prince, which tells a tale of supernatural revenge over the course of a night. One person takes on the role of the person who has been killed and is offered a devils to return for one night and get vengeance. It’s an older game and I haven’t played it in years so don’t know how well it holds up but was one of the first to show me the potential of GM less games.

Edit: link on drivethruRPG https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/82150/Hell-4-Leather


Oh gosh, there are so many great GM-less games (or, as I like to call them, GM-full). Archipelago III is way up there for me. Cheat Your Own Adventure and The Final Girl are Gauntlet favorites. There are some delightful Forge-era classics out there, like 1,001 Nights.


Slight tangent - to me:
GM-Less: Rules/mechanics/text do all tasks normally assigned to a GM.
GM-Full: All players (not necessarily evenly, but at least distributed among multiple people) do the tasks normally assigned to a GM


I definitley want to try out archipelago, as I listened to an Interview with Mtthijs the others day and it made me quite curious about the game already.
I did play the German version of cheat your own adventure, and it’s such a blast I really need to play this again.


Fiasco’s great if you have a group of heavy-lifting improv players


The heavy lifting piece is key there.


Of the few that I’ve played, Kingdom is my favorite so far. http://www.lamemage.com/kingdom/

Trouble for Hire is also very well crafted if you like the genre.


I like For the Queen! It’s even easier to play just out of the box than Fiasco.

Also, I like Melody of a Never-Ending Summer, @Luiz’s game about teenagers, cute monsters, and summer friends forever. Here’s a link: Klick me, I’m a link!


Mine’s Dream Askew. It’s the only GMless/GMful game I’ve played so far that scratches the same itch as a traditional GMed game. I think it’s because in addition to their character, everyone has a part of the world that they’re responsible for. For example, “Scarcity,” “Outlying gangs,” or “the Psychic Maelstrom.” So there’s a certain amount of pushback for the things your character does, if that makes sense. That said, it might not scratch the same itch that other GMless storytelling games do.


In addition to some of the ones already named, I’d add:

  • The Companion’s Tale
  • The Quiet Year
  • Fall of Magic
  • Dialect

One thing that I like about a lot of GMless games is that they can zoom out from the usual real-time, in-the-character’s-head perspective that most GMed games take. I often find it challenging to improv those in-character interactions, whereas I’m more comfortable talking about the story from a more author-type perspective.


Those are also great GMless games. I’ve not yet played The Companion’s Tale. I have difficulty calling The Quiet Year or Microscope true RPGs because of the lack of focus on RP for the games. But the lines continue to blur and amazing things like Dialect come forth. :slight_smile:


Seconding this! There’s a really tight interweaving of systems in the game, and it’s versatile enough to tell a lot of different stories that aren’t approachable with a traditional style of game, but at the same time it’s still character-focused, so you can immerse yourself on a personal level.


Yes, they are more narrative games than rp. Nevertheless, I like also roleplaying the scenes in Microscope.


To me, what’s appealing about RPGs is the storytelling aspect. So with games like The Quiet Year where you’re not exactly playing a role, I’m more inclined to say “‘RPG’ is just a label we happen to use for storytelling games” rather than “TQY isn’t a true RPG.”


I’ve played a lot of GM-Less and GM-Full games and love them with all my heart but my favorite is Downfall, by Caroline Hobbs.


There’s a really rich world creation element focusing on traditions after which players share three characters and play out a sort of speculative Greek tragedy.


Need to try Downfall too!

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Downfall isn’t bad, though I think my favourites are definitely:

  • Star-Crossed (obvi)
  • The King is Dead
  • For the Queen

My favourite GMless rpg is Gregor Huttons Remember Tomorrow (favourite rpg also, incidentally).

But there are so many great ones, really: Dog Eat Dog; Kagematsu; Sign in Stranger; My Daughter, the Queen of France; Perdus sous la pluie; Posthuman Pathways; Dream Askew; Alienòr; Okult…


The King is Dead, Kingdom, The Quiet Year