Tuesday, January 24, 2012

LGG does the RPG

I'm fortunate to have a core group of friends to make up a local gaming group (LGG). Over the years we have played many different games...CCGs, board games, miniatures, card games. But one type of game we've never played together was the classic pen and paper RPG.

We had always talked about playing one, but there was never a consensus on the system we'd use, or who would want to dedicate their time to being a game master (GM). So, we never got around to doing one.

Now within my family we have done some very light RPGing. My sons bought the Dungeons and Dragons Red Box and we tried a couple scenarios of that. At Free RPG Day, we picked up Fantasy Flight Game's Deathwatch and we played a couple sessions of that. Then at GenCon last year we signed up to play the Hollow Earth RPG. So the family has dabbled in RPGs, some members of the LGG have dabbled in it...but never together as a group.

Well, thanks to Facebook, last year I reconnected with an old friend from High School who is gamer and into RPGs. He writes his own scenarios and GMs games using the Savage World system. He was more than happy to run a one shot scenario with our group so that we all could finally experience an RPG together.

So, this past weekend, the entire group came over ready to dive into a 4 hour scenario written by the GM. He brought pre-made starter characters so all we had to do was pick a character, get an overview of the game mechanics then start playing. The start was rather slow because we were learning as we go. But as time went on and we understand the game and our characters better, the pace picked and we really started enjoying ourselves. We had 8 players which is rather large for a RPG, but the GM did a great job of keeping the game moving and keeping us entertained.

The group dynamic was rather odd though because some people were role-playing their characters while others were just playing the game. I was one of those 'just playing the game' because I was so focused on the mechanics and strategy that I didn't allow myself to get immersed in the game. It's kind of like a MMO such as World of Warcraft. There is a story there to be played if you take time to read the text that the quest givers give you. But after a while you just start reading what needs to be done (ie. Kill 10 orcs), skip the text, click OK and go. The immersion is gone and then it just becomes a hack-n-slash.

Now that I understand the RPG genre a little better, the next time we play I'll embrace the character a little more. It will also help if we all 'roll' or create our character from scratch. That way you can create a character that is something you want to play and have more of a personal interest in.

RPGs have been around since the 70s and I wish I had gotten into this genre earlier. But it's never to late to learn something new and I look forward future RPGing with the LGG. Especially when the Iron Kingdoms RPG hits the shelves this summer. ;-)

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