Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Apropos of Nothing

Just some thoughts going through my head at the moment...a kind of 'State of Gaming 2020' type musing.

I think Barkley's face here
speaks for us all in 2020.

Amid the awesome sessions I've had lately with my old High School buddies and a few of my other gaming endeavors, my mainstay campaign still feels more frustrating than fun.

Honestly, I don't feel any of my campaigns are currently at the level of my 'best work', though that doesn't mean they aren't a lot of fun. I just feel a longing for something on the quality and scale of our Red Dwarf/Yellow Sun campaign from not long ago or the Alien RPG campaign ALIEN FRONTIER from the before times (pre-Global Health Crisis).

I continuously feel 'held back' in a way that I can't seem to accurately articulate. I wish I knew the source of this feeling. Being someone who closely analyzes such things, it is especially frustrating not to be able to solve this particular mystery.

Part of it I realize is my player base. Yes, a part of it is clearly me and no, I am not blaming my players for anything. Rather, I am now hyper-aware that my style of play and that of many of my players is intrinsically different. This became incredibly obvious after playing with my High School pals. Even after 30 years we snapped right back into the dynamic that made all those old games work so well. 

I haven't gamed with some of these guys in nearly three decades and a few others I've only played one-shots with once a year here and there. Yet when assembled, its like no time has passed and the two Ghostbusters sessions (one this past October and one in May of 2019) were some of the best games I've had in ages. 

 At present my gaming schedule consists of:

I am running a weekly Star Trek Adventures campaign inspired by Star Trek: Lower Decks.
I am running a bi-weekly Star Trek Adventures campaign set in the TOS era.
I am running the occasional fill-in/one-shot for the GMs I'm playing with when they need a break. 
I am running the occasional one-shot with my old High School group when we can organize it.

I am playing in a weekly Star Trek Adventures game set post-Dominion War.
I am playing in a bi-weekly Hogwarts/Wizarding World campaign.
I am playing in a D&D 5E campaign (yes, really) - See below.

Some buddies of mine have started a...*gag*...Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game run by a friend of mine, the first session of which went fairly well. In trying to describe it I keep coming up with the analogy that it was a finely brewed cup of tea and I am a coffee drinker. It just isn't my thing no matter how well put together it was and it was well put together. That said I am going to give it my all and try to enjoy it. As D&D games it is good so far and that is promising. 

I'd give it all up for one ongoing, in-person campaign of something really different, with at least six players.

Either that or a Star Trek or Star Trek game with five to seven players that really rocked the feel of my style of play - lots of role-play, bold heroic action, deep genre/setting immersion, creative problem solving, and fast paced gaming. 

That's it. That's all the self-indulgent gripping I can muster. I feel a little better.

Now, what else is going on...

Barking Alien

1 comment:

  1. That's an incredible gaming schedule - make sure you don't burn out! Sometimes it's good to unburden yourself, get the weight off your shoulders as it were.

    Our 5e campaign is coming to a halt in January, one last session to get us to the gates of Castle Ravenloft, then we hit pause until we play face-to-face again. And I can't say it's coming a moment too soon - mid to high-level D&D is such a grind.

    Next on our agenda is, supposedly, a GURPS Atomic Age campaign - which I'm cautiously optimistic about (having never played GURPS, but loving 1950's sci-fi).