Part two in the four part How to Be a GM is here.
To become an exceptional Gamemaster, you have to take a step back from Role-Playing Games and take a close look at the elements that make up those games, looking beyond the basics of rules, dice, and mood to the very heart of the game - the heart that most people never even look at.
So, we take a closer look, and see that Role-Playing Games are, at heart, group games that tell a shared story - with each person involved telling a part of the resulting story.
The Players each tell the part of one of the main characters of the story, while the Gamemaster tells the parts of the enemies and supporting characters, as well as telling the tale itself. Because of that, each person playing the game has a role in making the game great. But it is the Gamemaster who takes on the largest role.
The Gamemaster is the linchpin of a Role-Playing Game. They are the teller of the tale, the guardian of the rules, and the final judge in all disputes within the game. Because of all that, even though a Role-Playing Game is a group game with its focus on the Players and their characters, if the Gamesmaster doesn't do their job well, then everything falls apart before it even begins.
So, how do you become an exceptional Gamemaster?
Being a Gamemaster is a skill, and, like any skill, you learn the methods of that skill, and then you practice those methods until you've mastered them. Within these pages you will learn the methods of Gamemastering.