Why I prefer the term “Referee”

No it doesn’t have anything to do with hockey.

There are many terms out there in this hobby. Here are the ones that I know of:

  • Dungeon Master
  • Game Master
  • Storyteller
  • Narrator
  • MC (master of ceremonies)
  • Referee

I’ve chosen Referee to describe myself in this role. The reason?

Dungeon or Game Master implies, well mastery over the players. That my fellow gamers are my subordinates. I don’t feel that way and don’t want them to either.

Storyteller or Narrator implies that the story belongs to me; that I’m the one telling the tale. I don’t like this because roleplaying games should create a story organically through play. An RPG should not have a pre-written script or plot, in my opinion.

Referee sounds best to me because it implies impartiality or neutrality. I’m there just to say what happens when the player characters react or interact with the things that are presented to them. It doesn’t imply a position of dominance nor the pretentiousness of a story teller.

And that’s why!

As you were.