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Monday, December 1, 2014

Why do I play more than one game?

I apologize for this, I was looking at my bookshelves and wondering  "why?" I wont be paying the tax on this one.

If I had to choose I would:
  • Run D&D second edition for fantasy games.


Pic Snapped of the book shelf behind my desk.
As it is we:
  • Regularly play  D&D 5th edition, Monday nights, Jay runs it. (I don't think I want to run it)
  • Neal runs The Strange.
  • I run Dungeon World on Fridays.
  • Otto has started running games as well.
  • We play my home brew AAIE for laughs when we have time.
  • We get together and it's usually assorted board games.
  • Write and play test new games as inspiration strikes.

So why the disconnect? Why not just play exactly what I want exactly when I want to?
Why write games? If the game I would choose to play if I had a gun to my head are already written? 

Answer:
gotta smell this stuff..
I enjoy it. I enjoy different designers takes on the idea and the process of RPG's. I enjoy  looking at a genre, breaking down what's important and trying to work those important points into a game. I enjoy this aspect of the hobby.

I also enjoy baking bread. I make a mean crusty peasant bole and it's darn good. It is simple it was the first bread I ever learned how to make. I have the recipe memorized. I can whip up a few loafs for holiday dinner and  other such occasions. I have gotten good at it. I am so comfortable making this bread that when my wife said, why not make a sour dough for thanksgiving, I have a recipe." I froze. I don't normally need a starter, can I keep it alive long enough to get the job done? How much do I need? Is the ambient temp in my house to low for the rise? Can I use my oven as a proofing rack, how old is the yeast? Oh damn.
I was outside of my comfort zone, and I didn't like it. I made the bread, it came out "ok" a bit dense for me, just ok. The next time I had to make bread I ran back to my comfortable old peasant loaf, because I'm good at it, I have the recipe memorized.

That is a mistake.
There are thousands of ways to make tasty bread or for that mater ways to play RPG's. I appreciate what I like more if I know what I don't like. If I read a game that I'm not interested in playing I like to know why, I like to think about it. If I never look at anyone else's designs how can I inform my own?

This is a personal choice. I know It's a choice that takes my focus away from ever settling on one thing. 
      It would be fantastic If I could have started writing a RPG and had lovingly tended it and grew it over the span of years; I would love to say that my D&D campaign world has been my singular focus since high school, but I have not done either of those things. I have played a ton of different games in that time, enjoyed many of them and hated a few. I don't regret that. I have put in work on my campaign over the years. Actual grind it out work, work done in the name of providing the  players freedom to not have to choose what to do next, but just to do, as they could in the real world. I could have done more if I had decided not to do other things, it's my trade off.


     What I have gained is a broad understanding of what works for me in a game and what I enjoy. For the record it's not as much  pure D&D as one might think. Something I never would have discovered had I started playing Basic D&D back in Junior high and never tried or more importantly, given anything else a fair chance.


yes laser like focus is admirable, as long as that focus does not equate to a pair of blinders.

Thank you for reading,
Leave questions and comments in that little space still left on the shelf below.
-Mark.