So on the off chance you weren’t aware, The Handbook of Heroes is a double act. I may be in charge of words, but this site would just be a bunch of nerdy ranting without all the hard work of my illustrator. I bring her up because, in addition to breathing life into Handbook-World, Laurel was also kind enough to cast ceremony with me a few years back. In other words, we are married. And insofar as we game together, certain issues tend to creep into play.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to bring up any unpleasant scenes like today’s Thief/Wizard argument. I have too much of a sense of self-preservation. (And also our couch isn’t very comfortable). On the contrary though, I do tend to worry about the opposite sort of problem.

Take our latest megadungeon session for example. The party was staring out of a sea cave on a foreign coast. They’d just come in through one of those standard-issue glowing green portals, so no one had any idea where in the world they’d been spat out. Imagine their surprise then when they saw a familiar shape rising out of the water. As per Monte Cook:

The temple seems like a terrible white tumor growing up out of the sea. Vaguely a windowless dome, the misshapen, twisted, and rounded walls are punctuated by what seem like massive stone tendrils thrust down into its foundations. The white stone used to build the structure is stained with black slime streaks across its surface. An open doorway waits at the front of the temple like an obscene maw.

“Wait a minute… Isn’t that the weird Cthulhu temple from way back at Level 7?”

“You mean the one with all the ties to Laurel’s retired dark tapestry oracle?”

“Ah yes. The same dark tapestry oracle whose backstory has been haunting us all this while, despite the character having left the game over two IRL years ago.”

“Gee, I wish my backstory came up freakin’ ever.”

“Come on gang, let’s see what’s waiting for us inside the Temple of GM’s Girlfriend.”

And scene.

Thankfully, none of that stuff was actually said out loud. In fact, I’m pretty sure none of my players even thought it. But you’d better believe my own internal neuroses were playing that shit on loop.

It’s irrational, but the whole GM’s Girlfriend thing pokes me in the back of the head every time I sit down to write up content for my significant other. Am I giving her too much attention? Or am I overcompensating and giving her too little? Am I making too many rules calls in her favor? Does she have too much loot compared to the others? Maybe I should kill her character just to be fair.

Clearly, it is possible to overthink this sort of thing. That’s why I’m hoping for a little perspective in today’s discussion. When you’re GMing for your partner, do you ever second guess yourself about how much attention they’re getting? And for all the players out there, have you ever seen your GM give “most favored player” status to somebody else? Was it egregious, or did it manifest subtly? Tell us your tales of GM favoritism down in the comments!


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