Shouldn’t Gamers Be Open Minded?
by, 12-17-2010 at 03:47 PM (2165 Views)
I want to preface by saying that I think for the most part they are but some not so much. Being in any sort of fandom is an invitation for the public to criticize. At least that is what I have found. The reason this topic has come up for me personally is due to a recent disappointment. All this is regards to recruitment and belonging to a group.
- Within the pool of gamers out there, first you just gotta get a group/players that can meet with your schedule. That many times eliminates quite a bunch.
- Next is the genre. Realistically speaking, if the first one is met, I think if someone is looking for Pathfinder that they should be open to D&D. Folks shouldn’t so hung up on a system. Swords and sorcery in a middle ages type setting – that would be what I would call a realistic expectation.
- Location – Expecting that you will find a group fitting 1 and 2 that is only five minutes away from you seems a little unrealistic to me. If you live in a metropolitan area, it might be better but out in the boonies is unrealistic.
- Next is the compatibility. This falls into three sub-categories:
- Combat/Roleplay ratios – Let’s face it the 100% Combat wouldn’t be compatible with the 100% RP. Getting five folks together that agree on that in addition to 1-3 is a challenge.
- Maturity – While I am NOT age prejudiced, let’s face it the older you are the harder it is to find gamers your own age. Getting past college, the player pool shrinks.
- Reliability – For some not important but others it is
- The Intrinsic Qualities
- Plot – Very hard to define – For me a dungeon crawl won’t do. I want/give complicated politics/intrigue/mystery. The more you stump me as a player the more I will bow to your GM greatness. If you blind-side me with the unexpected, I might just kiss you for it.
- Characters – If you work my background into a plot, I do a happy dance. So many GMs ignore it. Augment it if you must to work it in better. I do (with that in mind though, I do NOT change it. I just add some seasoning.)
- Fairness – While it is true that you get what you put into it, I’ve experienced GMs who play favorites to the point of OMG get a grip. Realistically, it is entirely NOT possible to have 5 players who get exactly 20% of game, plot and GM attention for every session. One should strive for it but there are so many factors that it is nearly impossible. Gross favoritism however, it not acceptable to me or by me.
Once all the hurdles listed above have been cleared and you finally have that group where everyone has met with 1 through 4, isn’t that an accomplishment? To me adding number 5 is icing on the cake and as a player, there is so much latitude with that. Actually, there’s some latitude on any of the numbers if the others are met. Since 5 is so hard to quantify, I always as a player, give it three sessions to see how it goes.
Well, here’s my tale of woe…
Background: We are in the middle of a campaign with an encompassing political plot with many individual missions that are most of the time separate. There is an NPC who is very important to that plot but none of the players know it or how much. At first, he is aloof. Gradually they warm up with little tokens and gestures of friendship. He’s done a lot for them. A woman shatters his heart.
Situation: I had a new player who seemed entirely compatible on ALL (1-5) of the above. Everyone liked him. I spend several hours going over his character and all. All seems well. I give him our adventure logs which are quite extensive and detailed.
He joins in a short session as in he could only be there for a third of it. For one hour, folks are arriving, going over points, and talking to the new guy before we jump in. Begin actual session: The NPC noted above drinks away his heartache in a bad part of town. The PCs decide to rescue him. As a drunk, he is Sam Kennison to the ladies but ok with the fellows. Folks get into the roleplay big time and the antics are hilarious. The males join in and drink except the new guy. They get home and sober up. The NPC apologizes the next morning and lets them keep an extremely expensive liquor he found, sends the women roses and apologizes and thanks them. New guy who plays a guy BTW now has to leave.
Four more hours of roleplay: The NPC gives the PCs lots of info and helps them on their mission as a thank you. They complete a mission that they started last session. End Session. NPC has even more info to give and now if things keep going well will give it.
In RL, after all that and compatibility on seemingly points 1-5 above, new player resigns because he didn’t like that NPC, thought it was a waste of time and wanted to kill him but didn’t because the other players might have gotten upset.
As a GM I was livid after all that work I put into this guy. Further, I have played a lot of long term campaigns that I have thoroughly enjoyed BUT I can’t say that every single session of those campaigns sat with me 100%. There’s no way to please all of the players all of the time. Further, I have been in situations where 1-4 criteria were met but I must say, I give three sessions before I make a judgment. Even then if something bugged me, I would have a chat with the GM as an adult instead of resigning and being insulting in that resignation.
Why do you all think of the situation? Do you think that was small minded?