I’m a player in a one-on-one game with a friend, who is the GM. Both of us control several characters each, which should in theory be getting equal use. (Our game uses FATE mechanics, however, the issue is not one specific to the system).
Most questions I see about GMPCs are from GMs themselves, on how to avoid common pitfalls of the GMPC. Common advice is to build a character that ‘supports’ player characters – such as answers here: (1) and (2). Players and GMs alike seem to agree that GMPCs tend to be too powerful. This is not the case here.
The problem: Most of the (several) GMPCs are perfectly fine, and in fact, even the “problem” GMPC follows the suggested guidelines – she is not overpowered.
The “problem” GMPC has almost an inverted issue – she is martyred. Despite so many other characters, she must always, somehow, end up involved. She’s often thrust into combat, and then the GM focuses on her. She takes the brunt of attacks (despite being, relative to most characters, weaker) and suffers massive damage.
It’s not uncommon for my own characters to take zero hits (or only very light ones), even when one of mine would be the most reasonable target of an enemy.
Non-combat encounters have similar outcomes – the problem GMPC ends up a damsel-in-distress, often to an absurd degree.
- It’s frustrating to have encounters where enemy NPCs behave as though my characters don’t exist. Even when my characters are targeted, there is an obvious difference in the amount of effort put into it. (Example: We are using the FATE system – NPCs will tag aspects when attacking the problem GMPC, but almost always fail to do so for my characters.)
- Inserting the problem GMPC into every situation means many characters – my own, and other GMPCs – are left out, when it would make more sense for them to participate. Characters who were intended to be in the main party are not able to gain skills, because they are edged out by the problem GMPC (and then because they have low skills from not participating, they are further glossed over later…)
- The problem GMPC is always the victim, and never the victor – and vice versa for the other characters. My characters feel stagnant, and now the other GMPCs do also.
I do really like this character, and do not want to see her removed from the game – I just want her treatment to be changed. I do want my own characters to be able to experience failures/losses, but I don’t want to simply turn the table and nominate a single character of my own to be the martyr – it makes for a bad story and will only create these same problems again.
I know the only solution is to have a candid talk with my GM. What feedback or suggestions can I give my GM, without sounding entitled (because this is a one-on-one)?
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