January 30th, 2007

Devil Doll

A note of what I've read

I've read several entries here today, and I've noticed that something most people didn't say was alive in each instance of what I'll refer to as great gaming, although one person did outright say it.

Gaming groups are formed by people who want to enjoy themselves and have a common interest, but more important is that everyone is working towards making everyone have a good time. That is not to say that you have to make sure everyone is happy at all times though.

I have gamed with people that I have a personal dislike for, and it made me a better role player. If they were overly rude throughout the game it wouldn't have been possible but they weren't. They wanted to play the same game as me becuase they liked it. At least one other group member had no problem with them so they played and amazingly enough, our characters liked each other even though I could not stand the guy.

Drama, tension and conflict are part of the group dynamic and make a game more interesting. Personal fighting, in-game grudges for out of game reasons, and generally rude behavior detract from the game. I have had in-game conflicts escalate into hatreds with people that in the real world were close friends.

The goal of a gaming group should be that everyone enjoyed themselves, even if their favorite character got stomped into oblivion. Working together in-game is expected because in a 'real world' enviornment you wouldn't associate with someone who was constantly at odds with you. If you are forced to work with that kind of person, you are still working toward the same goal, the same should be true of your characters. If your character wants nothing to do with the party, then don't expect to be included.

I have been blessed to have had a hand in three major gaming groups in my gaming life, all that worked so well that we had a great time with the games. Our experiences often turning into conversations and jokes long after the game was over. That is great gaming.

I have often seen, although no one here that I have seen is guilty of it, where a group is dismissive of new players. Not new to the group players, but new period. When someone joins a group but has played for a while, they have an established style of play and can often integrate seemlessly in short order, but when a new gamer arrives, often group members forget that they were new once too. I have been role playing for almost 30 years now (good lord where does time go) and have to say that at first it was a tough thing to do. My brother started playing and didn't want to include me with his group because him and his friends were 'experienced' and I didn't fit with them. The local game store had a game room (I discovered this much later) but the postings from game groups were invariably cryptic ( D&D Fri 5-7, PCs with EXP welcome) and uninviting. But I persisted and discovered that my own friends were interested as well, so we started our own group.

My second and third groups came much later in life and all members had a fair amount of experience when I met them. I thought it was odd that I wasn't meeting 'new' gamers for quite some time, until long into gaming with my third group. As it turns out, many 'new' gamers were like myself and found it dificult to get into established groups.

I guess I'm saying, be open and inviting to new players. We brought several people into our games and have since been happy to have them. Remember that inexperience does not mean poor gamer.

Now go out there and have a great game