Friday, August 9, 2013

I Have a Gaming Group!!

Two actually! And I owe one at least to online game finder services! It has taken forever and a day, but it has actually happened. For those of you who may not know or recall, I'm an educator and ran our school's gaming club for about six years or so. It was a great success, and I would say we served over 125 gamers over those years, many of them beginning gamers. We played several different games, as looking back through my posts will show, but most of our long term games were run with 1e/OSRIC, Pathfinder and 4e. It was great fun, but at times frustrating for a number of reasons I've been over many times in the past.

My biggest frustration over the years had been the lack of a solid gaming group of players more in my demographic (age etc.). I had been urged by many to start an online gaming group, but avoided doing so as somehow inauthentic. Well, last year the gaming group didn't fly. I had been promoted into school administration and my time and position at school simply didn't allow for the running of a school club. This was sad for me as I missed not only gaming of course but I missed the interactions with the kids in the club. But it was beginning to look like gaming might not happen too often in my life and I was getting desperate. So I got ahold of some old gaming buddies and a brother of mine who games, scattered all over the country and told hem we should start a Google + Hangouts game. Surprisingly everyone was very much supportive of the idea!

We planned on using Roll 20 and Google Hangouts. A friend of mine had a campaign idea he wanted to use, we had three willing players, so we looked ready for action. As we were making plans and proceeding, albeit slowly, towards our first online game, out of the blue I get an email from a local gamer. Turns out he had found my name online, checked out my blog and wanted to know if I was interested in a regular game. Interested!

Long story short, I now have two games going! And I am very grateful for that.
I also am settling in to my new position (I was transferred to a new school this year) and chugging along in my graduate program. I mention them only as a passive excuse as to why I haven't been more diligent on the blog lately. Aside from the rather obvious excuse that my gaming had been as dry as the Sahara under sand rationing.

Oh and as for my world project it is moving along. I had written some time ago that I was going to create my own world. Of course I have created numerous worlds over my gaming career, but rarely used them as my default campaign. I always set my adventure in either Greyhawk's Flanaess or Faerun's Forgotten Realms, preferably Greyhawk. But my ideas had been infected by numerous indie games and supplements namely Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Carcosa, Crypts & Things, Adventurer Conqueror King, Pelinore, and others. I tentatively labeled the setting Gedrion, and have made progress, but have rewritten much of what I've come up with several times. Fortunately I am currently only playing in both games and not DMing, so it gives me plenty of time get my setting in playable shape.

I have also had quite a few thoughts on the new old school, and why I consider their approach to play preferable to the Monty Haul excess that exists in today's new school games. Recently I came across a quote by Ayn Rand in which she says,

"Contrary to the fanatical belief of its advocates, compromise [on basic principles] does not satisfy, but dissatisfies everybody; it does not lead to general fulfillment, but to general frustration; those who try to be all things to all men, end up by not being anything to anyone. And more: the partial victory of an unjust claim, encourages the claimant to try further; the partial defeat of a just claim, discourages and paralyzes the victim."

And couldn't help but wonder how this applies to my feelings when I play games that I do not like. At times we are forced to, because we have little choice in our gaming mates. But sacrificing principles applies in so many things. Some have accused me of being overly dramatic in regards to defending the old, school ethos; and close minded, stubborn, pedantic, and down right wrong of course. But the fact is I have always felt exactly as Ayn Rand points out when forced to try and "fit" myself into a game I do not prefer. I feel dissatisfied, frustrated, defeated, discouraged and ultimately my creativity is paralyzed. Well now I know: it is because I compromised on my basic gaming principles.

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