Tuesday, August 28, 2018

RPGaDay Challenge 2018 - Day 28

I've been feeling a bit frustrated since posting my Day 26 entry on Sunday. 

It's not the post itself that is getting to me - not exactly - but rather a combination of it's subject matter and some of the responses to a recent post I made on my Barking Alien Gaming Group Facebook Page.

The nature of the latter was that I advocated starting a campaign with flawed and/or less experienced and powerful characters compared to what we (my players and I) are used to doing. My thinking was and is that the campaign will last longer if you start small and build upward and outward.

This was met with mixed reactions, though most of my fellow gamers agreed with me. Some even wrote me or call me to discuss the subject. 

One particular fellow, a member of one of my in-person groups, disagreed on the basis of the fact that our games don't always last long enough and we only play once a month.

That is to say, since we only play once a month, and we tend to play campaigns that last  about a year at most, he has a desire to start off a little more capable and powerful just in case we never get to that point.

I can understand that to some extent. If you're someone who feels that game 'gets good' at 5th or 6th level and the games you've been in only get from 1st to about 4th before the GM ends the story and feels like switching to something else, sure, I can grok the idea of starting at 3rd so you and your PC get to see what being 6th is like.


One of the reasons this particular GM (me) grows weary of campaigns is because we start out with really tough, really 'effective' characters who are difficult to challenge and almost universally act like they've been there and done that. Basically, the fact that we start so good and get really powerful after a while is the thing that makes the game end. 

If we actually started with flawed, imperfect characters who were challenged with staying alive, we'd get to know those characters better, build a fondness for them, and the campaign would actually last longer. 



Answering this question by naming a single individual would leave out so many people it's nearly impossible to choose one. 

I'm really not sure I can. I've learned so much from so many players and gamemasters over the years. I've had the luck, the pleasure, and unparalleled opportunity to game with some of the most skilled and talented people you can imagine. That's aside from them being dear friends.

I'll go with some of my earliest memories...

I am grateful to a 7 year old boy by the name of Tom Zizzo, who taught me to play Basic Dungeons & Dragons 41 years ago,

I am grateful to Dave Pollack, who a year later made me the Dungeonmaster for himself and our mutual friends. I am further grateful to Dave for being a good friend for many years, a damn fine player, and someone willing to play a truly Lawful Good character and do it right.

I am grateful to one Martin Lederman, a close friend growing up and one of the funniest guys I've ever known. I thank him for playing a character that was three dimensional, flawed yet powerful, and for going halfsies with me on Villains and Vigilantes.

How can I forget Joseph 'The Animal' Cangelosi. I can't. We've been friends since 2nd. We've re-kindled our friendship and it's awesome. I thank him for showing as much enthusiasm for my purchase of FASA Star Trek as I did, beginning my over 35 year obsession with running games in that universe.

There are so many more people I could mention. Dozens. A hundred? Maybe.

In the past I have done 'Player Profiles' posts focusing on friends I've gamed with who I've felt deserve special recognition. I've really only done three of them as of this writing. I am inspired by this question to make doing more of those a priority. 

How about you? Are there any gaming gurus or playing pals special to you?

Barking Alien

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