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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

[General][Gaming][Philosophy] "We killz you fast fer lettin' uz go."

We may be losing one of the APG to a move, and may have a change of venue, as well.

Talking with a lot of gamers over the past two weeks, both in person, as well as via e-mail and on blogs has really demonstrated a few key things, although I'm not certain they can easily be put into words.
--I'll try:

  • Like formative sexual experiences, our earliest gaming sessions seem to heavily contribute to the choices we make in selecting our future outlooks, down to even which games we will play, and how we perceive how they are to be played. --Kathy B. was my first real kiss, and although she was a terribly skittish sort of gal (horribly abusive home situation), she had a smouldering fire that blew me away that October night. In a way, she was the measure of all subsequent kisses. --Likewise, the first session of Joe C.'s AD&D campaign, in which I realised we were facing an undead (in the dark) before we got within melee range, and his appreciation for my intuitive-inferential way of thinking was a flip of the light-switch that gaming could be more than the rules and rolling of the dice. I'd GM'd before that, but never had meet a 'peer' in the games. Although much of the subsequent Giants/Slavers/Depths of the Earth/Demon Web Pits campaign was highly adversarial, it became the measure of a good game.
  • Phobic or other conditional experiences often cause us to steer clear of people, places, and things that have, in the past, caused us harm or turmoil, go on to inform us of patterns in our later life. --Sitting down to game with these shit-kicker Rebel sons in Jacksonville, I was already aware of their malign nature before I was filled in on their racial agenda being played-out in their campaign. I lasted about as long as it took to create my character. Later, I almost got into a fist fight with steroid-junkie Dane when he didn't like me calling him out on his hate rhetoric at my friends' store. --Now, when I meet pricks, online or at the table, I don't get angry...
  • "That's not the way we ran it..." That's nice. Go run your own game. --Likewise, if I want to play in a game with folks with diametrically opposed gaming philosophies, I need to just STFU and play my character. Let the dice [wor]k me over, if that's my fate, but don't give the f[ol]ks ammo.
  • "It's a man's world." Yeah. --Bruck up, sister.
So, for better or worse, prejudices and predilections inform our gaming attitudes, as they do everything else. Where we go from there is our own burden.

In my SO's 3.5 (forgive her) game the Ent, the Elven Wolf-shifter Druid, and my Grugach/Dryad/Eladrin Src1/Scout3 (hopefully soon to be Fey-pact Warlock) did our best to spare the lives of Goblins we bumped into when we strolled into their territory. The bow-happy alcoholic Halfling Rogue shot a captured gobbo in the hand of the Ent, losing much of whatever charm he had in the process.

Cutting the bonds of the second of the surviving gobbos after I updated their painted warning on the rocky entrance to their zone, now in 'Common' and 'Elven', my character was told,
"We killz you fast fer lettin' uz go."
Sweet. I'm making inroads with the anti-human critters. Soon the cities will be in ruins.


  1. Interesting observations, and ones with which I'd strongly agree. I was introduced to D & D by Dave Arneson, and his game style still influences how I run RPGs today. I got into miniatures through modeling stuff, and that influence still affects my game style as well. And, of course, getting a post-graduate course in the world of the Petal Throne from some storyteller in the marketplace - one Firu ba Yeker, by name - made a world of difference in every sense of the word...

  2. Jeff,

    Great to hear from you, here, again. :)

    Two of the Luminaries!
    --You are definitely operating at a higher Event Class than most folks. How happily envious I am of you. How right it is that your own game design fame continue (BTW, when is Q2 coming out?).

  3. I'm glad I haven't made anyone like the people you describe from Jacksonville.

    While I agree with your ideas, I also present the idea of subtle evolution of habit over time. I find that the more I understand the nature of a concept I am trying to change, the easier it is for me to make it become part of routine. It was true of my time in the restaurant industry, and it is true of my DMing.

    And, in my opinion, and this goes back to formative experiences as well as contemporary ones, halflings are never charming, alcoholic or otherwise.

    I hope there was some sort of basis for his action. At least when I tried to kill the orc prisoner (though I didn't), I had a few good points that others agreed with. But that depended on perspective of alignment. The bane of most gamers :P

  4. Orion,

    I am certainly of the mind to let it roll off my back like duck-water ;) but first, in my Scorpionic smouldering way, I must wrestle with the internal demons before I can let it go. As much as I love Zen, I rarely remember The Way.

    No, the character had no reason whatever for his action. The critter was already literally well in hand.

  5. Good observations. I have noted, in comparison, that the way we played as children strongly effects the way we play in all later life game and play sessions, no matter the kind. One might also then draw some interesting conclusions about the pre-teen mental state of your "Jacksonville" gamers.

  6. Rob,
    --you are officially my hero of the day! :D

  7. Only for a day? ;) .) <--- one-eyed hero (pirate). That doesn't allow me much time to save the world; but considering your many plights, I would definitely start that 24 hours of saving with you, TS. ;) Hope all has settled down and is back on track. :)

    Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum...


  8. Rob,

    Well, sir, you certainly have achieved Name Level. :D
    --Thank you so much!

    We'll shake every last doubloon from those that dare sail in our seas! Arr!
    --Set sail for Port Royal and be quick about it you dogs!


  9. Heh-heh. Avast there, me matre dee!

    I'll have two kegs of fantasy and a leg o' game (not to be confused with 'lego').

    BTW: During my usual insane rush, I earlier forgot to suggest this title to add to your ever burdened schedule: "The Genius of Play" by Sally Jenkinson.