Most of the advanced role playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons or the Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game require the use of one person to act as an arbitrator in the game, someone to help set up the adventure, keep everything running smoothly on track, and to handle all of the threads that each player or character might be involved in. The Game Master will be one who helps the players with keeping track of all of the rules of the game along with moderating the players so that chaos does not take over the game.
Depending on the creativity of the Game Master, they will also weave a narrative about the adventure, acting as a narrator of the story which the players are acting out. The general tasks of the Game or Dungeon Master are pretty much similar in any role playing game, although different games will have their moderators acting in different capacities, depending on the specific rules of the game.
The Game Master usually prepares for the game before the players actually arrive to play. The GM will decide on the adventure and the state of the world at the time of play as well as any major events which might take place during the quest of the day. They will prepare themselves for the quest by familiarizing themselves with special traits of all of the characters who will be participating in the night’s quest. The GM will take special notes on anything they may need to keep in mind for the quest at hand so that, at a quick reference, they can figure out any problem areas that may arise during the game.
A good Game or Dungeon Master is someone who will will use strong storytelling skills to paint the characters, conditions, and events in the world that the players find themselves in. When the players have an opportunity to act out their adventures in a world which is rich with colorful supporting characters, fraught with action and thrilling events, and full of mystery, they will enjoy themselves much more than with a boring Game Master. Indeed, the Game Master themselves will have more opportunity to enjoy themselves as, the more they have to work with, the more opportunities can arise to surprise both them and the players of the game.
A great Game Master will need to have a number of skills at their disposal, however. A quick mind is needed to keep track of all the threads that a game might have at any given moment. With a number of different characters and scenarios being acted out, it can take a great deal of effort to make sure that none of the story lines get confused. Quick wits are also important because one needs to be able to react well to anything that a player presents which may be surprising. Anyone can simply throw another enemy in the path to be fought, but a great Game Master will try to see what the players might choose to do and to be a few steps ahead of them in the story line which is building up. Finally, and this goes without saying, but a great Game Master will have a strong imagination, being able to present a detailed world in every possible aspect.