I have a coworker, let’s call him Pete, that does things in what appears to me to be a completely backwards and bizarre way. When discussing Pete, another coworker once said to me “I don’t scratch my ear like this…” and reached his left hand up over his head to scratch his right ear. After a few weeks of working with Pete, I was growing concerned that one day I was going to have to talk to management about why Pete shouldn’t be here.
I’ve come to realize though that working with Pete is a lot like co-DMing with Delta. Delta and I once ran a D&D game together as co-DMs, and it was a very strange experience. Going into it all we knew was that we both liked to DM, both enjoyed playing in each others’ games, and were curious what it would be like to run a game with two DMs. It was, well, a bit contentious. It turns out we have pretty radically different DMing styles. I won’t say we argued, I mean it is just a D&D game after all, and we both respected each other enough not to ever really get angry. More than that though, I think when one of us did something that startled the other, the reaction was more of “that’s bizarre, I would never do something like that, let’s sit back and see where this goes.”
I would co-DM another game with Delta in a heartbeat. The fact is, though our styles may have been different, our goals were the same: run an awesome game. We respected and trusted each other to reach that goal, even though our methods confused the heck out of each other. If anything, having two completely different approaches may have been a boon. If something wasn’t working for one DM the other could jump in and take it in a totally different direction.
I realize now that Pete is one of the handful of coworkers that I would actually be devastated to see leave the company. I don’t understand how he goes about things, but in the end he hits the same targets I’m shooting for. It may be difficult to work together, but it’s also educational. I don’t scratch my ear like Pete scratches his ear, but neither of us have itchy ears.