Friday, February 7, 2014

Ooopss...Late Again

Well, crap.  Life appears to have stolen all my free moments and left me with nothing but puzzlement about how all my time vanished.  Strange...

Been busy with school, life, and school....and more life...and illness.  Yeah...anyway...

So, more drama in the gaming department.  I'm in two gaming groups, which alternate meeting at my place on Fridays: an old school group on one Friday, a Pathfinder group on the next, then back to old school, then PF...etc.  You get the picture. 

The old school group is going through some growing pains as we get to know each other a little better and start becoming more a part of each others' lives outside of the gaming circles.  Because of that new familiarity, we're all beginning to open up a little more about a gaming preferences.  While we really enjoy each others' company, we have definitely different views about what makes a "good" game.  A couple of us want a "story" game, one in which there is an overarching plot with middle goals and character development, which culminates in a "boss battle" or some other cathartic conclusion.  A couple of us want an "exploratory" or "sandbox" game.  A game in which we are given several plot hooks and the players choose which one to follow.  There is no overarching plot initially nor is there a conclusion though there can be character development.  And a couple of us just want to get away from the kids, hang out with intelligent adults, roll dice and drink beer, and just have fun.  As I said, we're now getting to the stage where we all are wanting what we prefer...and we're coming to the conclusion that the first two approaches to gaming listed above (the third fits into either one) are not only incompatible but may even be mutually exclusive.  So, we're at an impasse of sorts.  I'm trying to take it as a challenge and work on a sandbox in which there can be a conclusion which will satisfy the story players but is open enough that the explorers enjoy their time.  Of course, the biggest hurdle in this is character death.  In the former, character death derails the story and messes up the arc, and "is no fun" to the story person.  However, it is an integral part of the explorer game.  If there is not the likelihood of death for bad decisions, then there is no challenge. 

If you haven't figured it out, then let me state right now that I'm in the explorer category.  I don't want to follow "your" story because it should be "our" story, all of us around the table.  If I do not have a chance to die, then how can my character heroically sacrifice himself so the rest of the party can escape?  No, I don't want his death scripted into the story: "on page 37, your character sacrifices himself to save the children of the town, but he's not really dead and comes back on page 45 at the critical moment".  This isn't Days of Our Lives, this is D&D.  This is an adventure.

Anyway, there's been much discussion about what we're going to do.  I hope to get my game together by the start of March and that it's acceptable to everyone.  If it's not, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  The funny thing is, one of the other players happens to play in both groups and mentioned the discussions at the end of a PF session.  As expected, the PF group was clueless about why anyone would want an explorer type of game.  When I tried to justify myself, they were just all the more puzzled, though one of them did opine "oh, so that's why you're character has sucky stats".  Yeah, I don't min/max, I don't look for the loopholes in the feats and such, and I barely keep track of my skill points.  Those are all crappy things to keep track of and irrelevant to how I view my character.  Maybe we just need a re-org of the two groups...move all the story guys to the PF game and all the explorer guys to the old school night....
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