Realms Yet Undiscovered

In any gaming world there is bound to be the occasional instance wherein the players find themselves involuntarily exploring new geographical areas. This can happen in a number of ways of course. Pursuing an enemy into uncharted territory is one way. Seeking out a valuable ally or item is another. One of the most problematic methods though is the notion of having another person step in to be the Game Master for a while. This is problematic because the first Game Master might have painfully clear designs for how everything in the world functions and interacts. Disruptions to this scheme might make the expansion of their world difficult to manage because their designs are most probably not the same as the second Game Master, or the third. Like all problems in D&D though these issues are actually quite easily dealt with.

The first thing to bear in mind is that every Game Master and every Player they collaborate with is entitled to their own creative measures. This means that everyone needs to have respect for everyone else. This is a two-way street obviously. Players need to not be unfettered forces of destruction towards everything the Game Master does just as the Game Master needs to treat the Players as valuable characters in an ongoing interactive saga. Should one of the players decide to take over as Game Master they need to respect the general flow of things as previously established. Changes to the Gaming World should be minimal and easily adaptable for everyone involved. Every effort to keep a steady transition should be made at each turn.

For instance a Game World that is centered on central Europe might have a Game Master who has an idea what they will do should the players venture into Asia or Africa. A guest or temporary Game Master might decide to run a connected adventure or campaign in that world’s version of Australia. If the new GM doesn’t want to share elements of their storyline with the original GM for fear of wrecking suspense or surprise, that is entirely understandable. But the original GM might need to know certain things in order to smoothly connect this Australia to the rest of their world. Dangling threads are subject to being tied up by the next person to pick up duty as the GM and that might end up being detrimental to whoever left the threads dangling in the first place.

The second thing to keep in mind for all GMs that split their responsibilities among others in their gaming group is that ultimately they are to blame if anything in their game world setting gets tossed about by others. If you do not want them mucking about in Australia, then tell them that at the get go. Urge them to experiment with parallel universes or alternate planes of existence instead. If the game does end up off the rails then the original GM has some work to do to tidy it up again. This is far from the worst possible option. Running a game is great fun but it also is a good deal of effort. Take every chance to enjoy it all.