Positive over the Negative

Creative Guy asks “is it time to hang it up?” (Referring to what is, apparently in his neck of the woods, a dearth of players willing to do more than your basic hack-n-slash. I can’t comment there, so I’ll comment here:
I disagree. Transcribing quoted bits to respond to here:

Based on discussions currently happening on the message boards, perhaps it’s time for me to acknowledge that the roleplaying community really has grown so inbred that there’s no place for a guy like me.

Message boards? I work with a player-based, just counting my friends, of over a dozen people. Moving that out to include cool acquaintences in the local area, that number number jumps to the low thirties. I didn’t meet any through a message board, nor do I correspond with any in that fashion — perhaps the medium just doesn’t attract that style of gamer you’re looking for.

The problem? These [good] people are spread all over the place. Getting them at a table even once a month? Never gonna happen.

You never know until you try, and you simply must try. I ran TiHE for two and a half years, every week, on a weeknight, and every one of the players worked full-time at demanding professional jobs. The closest participant in the game lived 35 minutes from our house and had to get up at five a.m. the next morning.
In my current biweekly-Saturdays Nobilis game I’ve got two players with an toddler who drive up 70 miles from Colorado Springs to the game, getting there later than most because one has to get off work first.
In the other biweekly-Saturdays game (Amber), one player drives down to our house (southern Denver) from Boulder. Look it up on a map, or can summarize: It’s Far. (That same player comes down on the other Saturday for Nobilis.)
In my d20 games, I’ve got a couple driving down from Broomfield (see: Boulder) every week, no less than a 75 to 90 minute drive, during Friday-night rush-hour traffic.
Is it harder? Hell yes. Can it be done? Absolutely.

In the past three years I’ve played with (let’s see) with four people who gave a damn about the things I give a damn about.

There are more. There are always more. When I moved to Denver I suspected I’d never game again. I’d left every one of my gaming buddies behind in a college town and didn’t expect to ever see or play with any of them again, and didn’t know how to go about meeting new gamers.
I finally posted a message on the board of a local gaming store, talking about roleplaying, innovation, and mature players. I got two calls. One was from a guy who I still game with once or twice a weekend. The rest just tumbled into place.
It took about three years to really get going again, but it did get going.

We’ve come to a point in the hobby where if one wants to do more, to step outside the maze of 10’x10′ corridors, people wonder why bother?

We haven’t come to that point — those people have always been there. I simply don’t game with them.

The game industry has matured to the point where we can have something truly innovative, even brilliant, like Nobilis come along, only to crash and burn.

[looks around] I don’t see any crashing and burning. Heck, the Nobilis mailing list sees more activity every month since I’ve joined, from a steadily-increasing group of participants.

The vast majority of gamers want to keep their eyes fixed on the ground in front of them and, boy, if it doesn’t irritate the hell out of them when somebody looks up.

90% of everything is crap. Yes. I agree. However, 10% is still a workable percentage.

Unless you’re a thirtysomething parent who spends the vast majority of your time in or near your home, your gaming experience probably has no parallels to mine.

I chuckled at this part. If you know me, you’re probably chuckling to. Suffice it to say that I’ve found being a thirtysomething parent who spends the vast majority of his time in or near his home to be no great hindrance to my gaming. Is it harder than it was in college? Sure. Doable? Sure.
I love the Creative Guy. I do. I solidly disagree with the fatalistic tenor of this particular post, but I love this guy. I do agree with a lot of his assessments of the average gamer and the average game group.
I just think (from personal experience) that such things are surmountable.


  1. I have a player that drives 90 minutes to game FtF with me, an unknown and untried GM – He’s gamed with me once, in a very silly last game of the con romp – he’s with me on pure faith. I could easily have 10 people in my living room twice a month, gaming, if I had the energy and the faith in myself.
    Good folks are out there… but I game Amber, and we tend to be rules-breaking / change the storyline / mix it up with other systems sort of folks…

  2. Yeah, and I’m talking about hauling it up to Austin from Houston to game with Rey when he gets down here.
    We’re not gaming FTF right now because we get what we need online, but we could and should put the effort into it to build a good group. It would take time, and it could be a pain, but we could do it. Next year may well be the year we make the effort.

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