Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crusading for Castles

The game is due to start next week. Monday we'll be making characters and jumping in with both feet. The Pathfinder group has decided to keep their game going and stick with what they know and love -- Pathfinder. That's kewl. I'm happy for them. They have continued carrying their game forward with commitment and imagination. I listened in today and felt like their GM was doing a good job. The players seem into it, and keep coming back for more. They are currently exploring a goblin lair with a crew of 5 pcs and 2 tag along npcs. Nobody died last session,but overall the death count has been fairly high. That happens with new GMs, sure did with me when I was starting out.

Actually it was a little hard to tell them I wasn't going with Pathfinder. Not because it was Pathfinder, but because they had a good thing going, and they were dedicated gamers. Not mature or very experienced, but I would have liked to support their passion. Truth be told however, it's best that these gamers take off on their own, and continue under their own steam.

It's funny how things work. Not three months ago I was frustrated because so many of the club gamers were reluctant to continue gaming outside of the club. A few would run games at their houses, but not many really took hold and ran an ongoing game. So due to other circumstances I had to cancel the club for awhile so I could catch up. And lo and behold a core group materializes on their own and is up and gaming every Tuesday and Thursday. That's just cool. It's gratifying to know that sometimes it does stick.

I don't want to leave everyone else behind however. There are some gamers out there that simply aren't GM material. I mean they _could_ run a game, but they just don't have a lot of interest in trying, or they can't find players willing to play in their games. They want to play, they just don't have others willing to play. It's a problem common to all gamers everywhere, teen to adult. Which is the reason the club exists. To bring gamers to the hobby, build the gaming base of the community and strengthen the hobby as a whole. So no matter when and where you are in our tri county area a gamer can find a game and gamers that suit his style and gaming interests. The vision is a lot like the Hackmaster vision expressed in The Knights of Dinner Table comic. Gamers everywhere in groups across the area, linked to the greater gaming community. Conventions -- local, state, regional and national. Gaming organizations, gaming panels, gaming magazines, and on and on. Something bigger than us all. And I suppose I see the club as a small part of that. The generation of gamers to come each and every year.

The success of the club has been gratifying even though the commitment required from me has continued to grow over the five years we've been running it. Students who don't really have a place elsewhere now fit in. They have friends and peers with common interests. They love coming to school now, some for the first time ever. Several parents tell me each year how much the club means to their child and that they are so pleased with their activity therein. Beyond even that, for me, is the light of interest and joy in their eyes that they have for this wonderful hobby. To see their imaginations open, grow and take wings is incredibly gratifying. And it's great to have so many fellow gamers to talk to. Especially ones so excited by the newness of the past time.

So as a new game starts and I look for six players for our new campaign I hope first and foremost to run a good, fun game. Next to continue to build player skill and perhaps inspire the birth of the next long term group that continues to game long after they leave the Junior High.

The question is: which system to use? Actually it came to me in a flash just today as I talked about the new game with a student. Castles & Crusades. What could be more appropriate? After all the club itself is a crusade for gaming and the gaming life. More later about why C&C seems so perfect right now.

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