Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reflections on RECESS

Attending RECESS is fast becoming my favorite venue for gaming outside of running a long term campaign with my closest buddies.

Since running a long term campaign seems to get harder and harder, the thrice a year RECESS events are starting to feel like oasises in times of gaming drought.

As it stands right now, my Champions campaign is on indefinite hold because one of the three players just got married (Congrats again Jeff!). No matter, that universe is frozen in time until it's needed once more and we move on to something else. But what?

The game most in demand is, of course, my least favorite, Dungeons & Dragons. Granted, my version of D&D is a bit atypical in style but seriously, I just don't want to play D&D. I'm bored of it. Even my own.

This leads me back to my affection for RECESS...

While there is no short supply of people running and playing D&D in its various incarnations (including Pathfinder), I am constantly astounded and heartened by what else I see at the RECESS events.
This past RECESS saw people running a hack of
Dogs in the Vineyard, Dread, Leverage, MAID, Psi Run, Steal Away Jordan and even some wacko's homebrewed Muppets RPG. Heheh.

It is an amazing feeling to see this kind of gaming diversity, at least for me. It is moving, inspiring and just so dang cool in my opinion. There are times when it feels like no one is playing anything out there except the one game I don't particularly care for. That can make you feel lonely and even a bit singled out. Then you enter a room of 75 to 100 people and overhear discussions about Gumshoe and Carnage Amongst the Stars.

With all the buzz about D&D 5th Edition coming out, I can't help but wonder what you happen if we actually started teaching our next generation 'next generation' RPGs. D&D, even the original Basic set, is no where near as simple in mechanics or concept as Toon, Faery's Tale Deluxe and even Psi Run. If we started with those and then when on to D&D and others, would we still see D&D have such a dominant position. We as a hobbyist community seem to be reinforcing Wizards of the Coasts prominance ourselves. Even if you play Labyrinth Lord or Pathfinder, you're playing D&D and WotC is the owner of that game.

Start a young player on a diet of diversity and maybe they'll be more likely to taste new things as they grow up. Or, we can continue to feed them Happy Meals and wonder why they end up being so picky the only thing we can get them to eat is Mickie D's.

Sorry, entered rant space there for a bit.

Anyway, one last little tidbit that made me feel great about RECESS...

I walk into the room where they are calling out the numbers each person has so that individual can come up and sign in for their game of choice. I hear someone call me name. I turn and see a fellow I don't recognize. As I smile and go to shake his hand, he tells me that no, we don't know each other. He says he reads my blog. This blog. He tells me how much he enjoys it. Highlight of my day, maybe my week. Thanks again, man.

OK, off to bed and dreams of my new projects. I've got a bunch.


Barking Alien

1 comment:

  1. Quite often it's about convenience. I used to play a wide variety of games, but if it's a new game, you quite often spend your time explaining how to play, instead of playing. I can remember a friend who loved Stormbringer, but why play it when he was the only one with the rule book and everyone already knew D&D? Same thing with Tunnel and Trolls.

    It extends beyond just RPGs. I still play Risk and Monopoly, because people know how to play already, there is a five minute debate about rule variation, tops. Which often is crucial as someone goes to drag out his new expansion pack of Catan and the turkey is kicking in on Thanksgiving evening.