What is it that made and continues to make games with this group so amazing?
To begin with, I love these guys. They love me. We all love each other. I am serious. This is not just a gaming group or a group of friends. These guys are family. We've been friends through thick and thin, births and deaths, feast and famine for over 35 years.
There is an understanding, a rapport if you will, that goes beyond that of the average gamers playing a game once a week. We can not have seen each other in years, not have gamed together in a decade or more, and be one hundred and ten percent certain that we're on the same page at any given moment. Without the connection we all share in the real world, this would be impossible to duplicate in a game.
Additionally, perhaps because of our mutual long-term mutual understanding of and affection for each other, we see very positive dynamics in play. No member of the group tries to hog the spotlight. Every PC has every other PCs back. Immersion in the setting, characters. and situation is deep because everybody trusts that all the other players and the GM are taking the same approach.
No one argues about rules, sights rules, or refers to the mechanics in any overt way unless absolutely necessary. The rules are the least meaningful part of our games and drawing attention to them breaks immersion. Add to this the idea that no one is concerned that the GM is out to screw them, they're not out to screw each other, and everyone is hoping the next great idea and not the next die roll is what saves the day.
I've been in a lot of games in 2020 with a lot of groups, many featuring overlapping members but not all. In that time and among those experiences I've had some great games, some good ones, some that were only OK, and a few that make me contemplate giving it all up and taking on the exciting hobby of lint collecting.
Luckily, it seems that once or twice a year at least I will get the opportunity to see the craft at its fullest potential. I will sit down, in person or online, and interact with this band of brothers, fighting the good fight against ego, negativity, pettiness, and then whatever the game is about of course.
Miss you guys already. Can't wait for the next excursion.
Which will be...Where No One Has Gone Before...