March 25th, 2006


GM mannerisms and body language

Me and a friend are setting up a partly tongue-in-cheek "GM's mannerisms and body language" lecture at a local convention. For that, I'm looking for some information about what sorts of, well, mannerisms and body language different game masters use, if anything. (If you read all your scenarios from a pre-written paper, sitting stiftly in your chair with no inflection in your voice and your face carefully blank at all times, moving only when you need to roll a dice, do post a comment about that as well.)

For instance, I have at least two trademark expressions I use when running a game. In the first one I'll raise my eyebrows at the players and look around the table questioningly, to indicate a "well, what are you going to do NOW?" question when the game's getting bogged down. Sometimes I also do this when they're clearly expecting for me to throw something at them instead of acting themselves (what, you expected the GM to arrange all the action for you?).

My second mannerism is the one I often use, when the players point out an apparent contradiction that I've planted there intentionally. (Actually, I often also use this when they point out a contradiction that wasn't intentional. Why admit that you've maken a mistake when you can work it into a plot twist instead?) A simple "yes, that's true, what about it?" spoken in a consenting, smug tone while I nod and smile at them in what I hope to be a confident and mischievous smile.

And then there are all the basic GM behaviors, like making meaningless rolls and pretending to consider their results when you're thinking about what to do next, leaning back in your chair to watch when you've set up a situation that'll have the players arguing their next course of action for the next three hours, and so on...

What are yours, and what have you observed in others?
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