Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gaming Groups- How Do They Work

Yesterday marked the first session with a new group running a typical dungeon crawl using Pathfinder. This is only my 2nd time running Pathfinder (and any real d20 system) as I consider myself still a noob GM. The first time behind the GM screen went about 3 awkward sessions about a year ago before I pulled chute and bailed.

On almost every level this time around was vastly better than that one. Why? I suspect the people in the group has a whole lot to do with it.

Gaming by JadeLotus
We all got together once before for everyone to meet each other and discuss characters, campaign decisions, and schedules, etc. So yesterday's game was the first actual play with the new group. My brother is playing in this game and this is his first time in any real RPG. It has been a treat to have him join in on my hobby. The rest of the group is quite experienced with a variety of roleplaying systems and a couple are actively in the business of creating games. A couple of the guys were new to me and me to them. They have been a real positive force helping my brother figure out what's going on at the table. That also frees my attention to focus on running the game. The chemistry feels good. The spirit around the table has been very light and lots of laughter.

What I discovered through all this is how much a group's success is dependent on the members that form the group. From just one session I am optimistic about the members of this group.

So a game group's success, in which I mean their ability to use a game system, stay together, and generally have an enjoyable time- how much of this is based on the group's chemistry. Can one person who doesn't sync with the others destroy a group? It seems like a table top role playing game, when it's working, is similar to a band performing live music. A jam session. Everyone knows their part, it takes practice, you improvise off the actions of your band mates, for the most part everyone is gelling together to make one good thing.
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