I GM fairly frequently, well at least once a month with the Girl Game, but pretty often outside of that. This weekend, I’ve set myself up to run two games. Tonight (Friday) I’ll be running up to Stax’s place to run one of three choices I emailed her earlier today, all fantasy-based, for her and one or two others. Tomorrow, I’ve issued an open invite for anyone who wants to swing by, grill stuff and game out on my lawn.
Frequently, usually on messageboards, people will tell me I’m the only Female GM they know. And I find this bizarre. I mean, I know more girls are getting into games every day. But even in the Story Games community, women who run games are a definite minority. Now, AmberConNW does have quite a few female GMs, seeing as it’s about a 50/50 split along gender lines, ok, maybe 60/40, and everyone is encouraged to run at least one game. I usually run two.
Now, I have to say that as a Female GM, regardless of where I’ve been running, I don’t think I’ve run into problems any different from my male GM-ing friends. I don’t find that the players are any less respectful of me, or my rules-modding, than they are to male GMs at all. Maybe it’s the company I keep, I don’t know. I highly encourage women to GM if it interests them. It may not, I mean, not everyone wants to run games, regardless of gender. It can be a lot of work.
In the past I’ve run several games in the Harry Potter universe, both at AmberconNW and for local groups. I’ve run GURPS vampire games, GURPS Fantasy. I’ve run Little Fears, both locally and for ACNW. I’ve run Teenagers from Outer Space. And oodles of Bridge System games for people just on a pick-up basis. And, of course, Amber. The Mister is also trying to convince me that I need to run a Harry Potter LARP for the kids of people we know. I say that I have no especially deep self-destructive urges right now, but will take it under advisement.
Tomorrow, I’m hoping to have enough people to run a game I’ve been itching to run for months. Essentially, the players will be the children of people in a Medieval Keep out in the middle of nowhere, a way station in the wilderness, if you will. The game starts after they come out of hiding after an attack of some sort, and realize that all the adults are dead. I’m going to have them playing kids ages 9-16, and their character concepts will be built around what their parents/foster parents/trades masters did. You know, concepts like “Son of the Blacksmith,” or “Daughter of the Brewer” or vice versa. I figure in a small environment like that, gender lines do tend to break down, because you don’t have the luxury of gender segregation, every hand is needed. Historical accounts of medieval villages tend to support this. Gender segregation has, in western lands, largely been a trait of the upper classes. I’m considering there may have been a very minor noble in attendance, and allowing someone to play his child. But we’ll see what people want.
I can’t remember when this concept first started percolating in my brain, but I’m very excited about it. I could have sworn I’d discussed it with Mr. Geek Girl What Rules, but he swears that last night’s drive home was the first time he’d heard mention of it. I’m pretty sure I discussed it with someone previously. If it goes well this weekend, I’ll probably run it at AmberconNW this fall.
For tonight, two of the choices take place in a world I’ve been writing stories in for a while. In this world, a civil war in the Summerlands leads to a Fae Diaspora into our world, and the Fae become the new immigrants, everywhere. During a PTA game at a Story Games meet-up we explored the possibility of Fae Enforcers for Al Capone in prohibition era Chicago. That game, “Guns & Glamour” was so freaking much fun. Hopefully we can get those same folks again for another episode. We left with some pretty hefty cliff-hangers going on. Tonight’s options are, again, a Gangster-Fae sort of thing, or the Fae in Weimar Germany. Can you just imagine?
So, other girls who run, share your stories with me. Have you had any difficulties with gamers of either gender because of YOUR gender? What’s your favorite system? Your favorite game?