after tons of tries to find this, only to find a forum that says “fixed” and doesn’t give the solution, i decided to come to facepunch because i’m a dumb doo doo head who didn’t do this in the first place
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\GarrysMod\garrysmod\settings\spawnlist
Go to this folder and delete all .txt files in it. Do not delete the default folder in there. Then launch gmod again.
holy shit you’re awesome. thanks.