April 23rd, 2005

Legolas Nah

A Bit O' Gaming Geekery

A little while ago, our gaming group hit a snag and fell down; with the exception of a handful of very fun Star Wars sessions run by laurie_robey, we haven't done any gaming for some time. As you might expect, jamesbarrett and I were both pretty bummed by this turn of events. We've gone through gaming drought before, and it's always a painful experience.

For gaming to really work, there needs to be the right mix of player personalities in a group. There needs to be a strong GM, who is determined to keep the campaign going and willing (and able) to herd the cats wrangle the players and keep them pointed at a goal; among the players, there needs to be at least one strong leader. However, the players in my group -- and this isn't a criticism, just an observation of fact -- have a tendency to be quite deferential. If one of them is the GM, I can easily take on the role of party leader, but have to constantly bite my tongue to keep from steamrolling the game. When I am the GM, there is a real danger that a long time will pass as each player waits for someone else to take the initiative unless I keep throwing plot at them at a rapid-fire pace.

Without wanting to go into too much detail, recently the other player in the group who is the least deferential decided to take a hiatus from gaming, leaving the rest of us sorta blinking and going, "Well, crap!" For several weeks, we just all put gaming aside and did other stuff -- in my case, I was up to my elbows in Tough Breaks anyway and couldn't have done any real work on gaming if I wanted to. But as that passed, and I got over being sick :P I decided it was time to get gaming up and running again. It is by far my favorite social activity ... storytelling, character-interaction, puzzle-solving, butt-kicking, escapism, you name it, gaming's got it. I can go for periods without gaming if I have to, but I'm never happy to do so.

So, although I was prepared to begin searching for a new player if necessary, I sent a note to the wayward member hoping against hope that he would come back -- and huzzah, he says he wants to! (SET CHEER = WOOHOO!) I got so jazzed by the prospect that I went out and splurged on miniatures today ... a vice of mine, alas, but not so bad as vices go I guess. However...

I have been playing with the idea of running a Star Wars side game of my own. (One of my all-time best campaigns was a Star Wars campaign I ran in Richmond with laurie_robey, satyrblade, and others, and in a lot of ways it's the kind of campaign that comes most naturally to me.) Today I found a figure that is just begging to be "Campaign Bad Guy" for a Star Wars game, and I'm like, "Okay, I gotta do this thing." Our prodigal player isn't interested in SW, tho, so this would be something for those times he wasn't able to attend ... but that puts us back with the problem we were facing before, of a reduced, sans-leader group. D'Oh!

I'm beginning to wonder if it would make sense (and even be possible) to try to set up two overlapping groups. Must ponder. But in the meantime, I'm just happy that we'll be back to regular gaming at all again!

-The Gneech
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