I’m blessed with a wealth of great gamemasters but I’d like to give a special shout out to Christian Griffen. Christian is a fine game designer (Beast Hunters, Anima Prime) but he is also a damn good GM and player.
I play in a group with him that’s been together for over three years now and my admiration for him and what he brings to the gaming table is a comment not just on his capabilities but also those of the other members of the group who sometimes run the games, David H and Colin C. Over the last three years we’ve all gotten better at learning those things that make the game fun for each of us. As trust and familiarity have increased we’ve all gotten better at communicating those things. But Christian is especially intuitive, both as a player and GM, at moving play and narration towards those things that a particular player enjoys. He exels at “making others awesome.” Given our gaming preferences, sometimes that takes the form of a “face-stab,” a gut-wrenching outcome delivered as a GM response to a failed roll or as a “bon mot” that highlights a particular character’s Achilles’ heel.
Each of the wonderful players in my primary gaming group usually create characters with flags that wave, “hurt me here,” and Christian is especially adept at delivering those blows. Similarly, if a character is kick-ass at words, weapons, or Wyrd, Christian is careful to provide spotlights/opportuniites for those capabilities.
Whatever the game, as a GM he rolls like someone who sold their soul to the gods of the polyhedron. In some groups this might be a problem, but our group enjoys the challenge and it works out great. Hell yeah!