A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Not interested in having a say

In no other circumstances have I seen people so willing to just go along with whatever is planned.

In most social circumstances, they're democratic efforts at passing the time. Lets watch this movie, or lets play this game, or lets go to this place. But I have found that some gamers want no say in what kind of game they're going to take part in. (Oh, but they'll bitch about it later, when they dislike this aspect or that aspect!)

I have actually had people respond, "No, I don't want to talk about the game. I don't want to have to decide what game we are going to play. A good GM will just have a game ready. I can just show up and we'll play." Blind faith like that is.. well, its something. And honestly, I wonder if it might be particular to my situation - it could be a negative backlash to my constant effusing about democratic gameplay and stuff.

"Old school" gaming, well, old school by my reckoning, I think its still the norm in D&D: does not inherently involve any discussion about what you're going to play. Your buddy Chuck calls you up and says "Hey! I'm running Forgotten Realms! Come play!", so you grab your paper and pencils and dice and head over. The only thing that you know so far is that you're playing in (nasal lecturing voice) a fantasy world steeped in varying cultures, with dangerous creatures and wizened wizards and (/nasal lecturing voice) blah blah blah blah. At this point, all you really know is that you're going to be running around with the likes of Elminister and Drizzt. But what kind of game are you going to be playing? Sneak thieves in an urban setting? A group of ex-soldiers turned mercenary, in search of their next meal? There's no real focus or theme to it. Now, I suppose you might get to Chuck's place and he's got the latest published adventure in his hand, that provides some focus to the game, but it may not provide any focus to the characters. Two hours later, you've got a Sneaky Spellcaster, Thog the Barbarian, A guy who's thing is his mount, which happens to be a big lizard, and a priest of the god of doom and suffering. No cohesion, no focus, no commonality. And I do think that this is the norm. People who get together to play D&D approach it with the mindset of "What is the coolest character I can make today?", rather than "How does this fit with the other characters? How does this fit with the world, and what we're going to be doing in it?" They've come to a group sport ready to play an individual game.


I hate it when I wind down and am left without a point or anything really to end on :P

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