Not long ago, it has been pointed out to me that while RPG theory about different archetypes of players is relatively well-known, people are generally less aware of what sorts of GMs are out there. So I posted a question, which, in retrospect, was too shoppy. I brought it up in chat and was offered some advice on how to improve it, so I made an edit.

However, I'm not very confident in the edit being sufficient, and have also been given the advice to start a workshopping meta on the matter. So this is the meta in question.

I would like to start acquainting myself with the differences in styles/archetypes/etc. of GMing. I'm not sure how to begin. For learning about the styles/types/etc. of playing, I've found Robin's Laws of Good GMing to be a helpful guide that made me see distinctions between players that have previously been conflated by me, and the new insights have been useful. For the same insight into GMing, I don't know how to start; I am hoping to see focused, constructive, coherent expert advice rather than directionless sharing of anecdotes that cannot be analysed, so I think the RPG stack was a good place to look for such knowledge. How should I approach my search for such knowledge?

Necessary Disclaimer: Obviously all categorisations of fuzzy phenomena are approximations, and I know they're imperfect and that GMs don't neatly fit into one to the exclusion of every other (just as in the case with players). I'm not disputing those limitations, but I found the similar categorisation of players useful despite those limitation. So hopefully it's possible to acknowledge those limitations and move on to the useful part.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I love the question and the topic, but beyond what I offered in chat, I can't be of much help since (as mxy points out in that answer) any response we offer will be informed by our observations ... which are necessarily limited to our own experiences. You have the topic of a book that could make you famous. :) I'll buy a copy when you publish. (Kickstarter may be a way ahead for you ...) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Turns out someone already completed a short article on GM types exactly in the vein of what I was expecting. Now I wonder if my question can be scoped narrower to the question legit and make that article the legit answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 8:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Looking for web resources is still shopping. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Worldbuilder, Duellist, Plotmeister, Master of Ceremonies, Actor, Director, Provider. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Got it, we followed up in chat. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


This is unlikely to be turned into a question that fits RPG.SE’s format.

You are either asking for people’s existing works on GM categorization, which is list/shopping, or you are asking people to categorize GM types, which is too broad/opinion-based.

We are not a good “explore a topic” site. We are a Q&A site. Learning is necessarily focused here. Sorry, you probably should try a forum.


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