International GM’s Day Date in the current year: March 4, 2024

International GM’s Day International GM’s Day, also known as International Game Master’s Day, is celebrated by the tabletop RPG community on March 4 every year. It honors the people who set up and run games, giving players the opportunity to enjoy themselves.

Tabletop role-playing games, also known as tabletop RPGs or TTRPGs, are games in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting and describe their characters’ actions through speech, and sometimes movements. Popular TTRPGs include Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Apocalypse World, Pathfinder, Vampire: The Masquerade, Shadowrun, Blades in the Dark, and more.

Tabletop RPGs are usually run by a specially designated player called a game master (GM), gamemaster, game moderator, game manager, referee, dungeon master (in Dungeons & Dragons), or storyteller (in World of Darkness). The GM prepares the game session for other players and their characters, describes the game world and the events that take place, and decides on the outcomes of the characters’ actions. They are also responsible for keeping track of NPCs (non-player characters), random encounters, and the state of the game world in general.

A game master plays four major roles:

  • Author: planning the general plot of the story, choosing, adapting or creating the setting, populating it with NPCs, etc.
  • Director: deciding on the actions of NPCs and the outcomes of the characters’ actions.
  • Referee: resolving conflicts and interpreting the rules of the game in ambiguous situations.
  • Manager: organizing the game, figuring out a place to play, scheduling sessions, providing supplies, etc.

To become a good game master, one needs good organizational and interpersonal skills, a rich imagination, a quick mind and sharp wit to draw players into the world of the game and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

International GM’s Day has been celebrated for more than two decades. It all began in December 2002, when a user named Spunkrat (later changed to Heathen72) posted on the forum of EN World, a popular tabletop RPG website. In his post, he noted that many players don’t appreciate the amount of work their GMs do to keep games running, and many GMs don’t feel appreciated enough. So Spunkrat proposed to create GM’s Day for the gaming community to celebrate the hard work of GMs.

In the discussion that followed, users chose the date of March 4 because it is a day and a command: “March Fo(u)rth for GM’s Day!” Coincidentally, it would later mark the death anniversary of Gary Gygax, the co-creator of the pioneering tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons. Originally a small-scale event, GM’s Day has started to gain more mainstream media attention and recognition over the past few years. Today it is known as International GM’s Day.

On the occasion of International GM’s Day, many tabletop RPG publishers offer discounts on their products, and game stores organize various events. Players are encouraged to celebrate by purchasing gifts for their game masters or finding other creative ways to show their appreciation, running a one-shot adventure with a game master as a player, and trying a new game they have never played.

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International GM’s Day, International International Game Master’s Day, international observances, tabletop role-playing games