Friday, June 25, 2010

Who Would You Rather Play With? Response & Recap

I got some great responses to Wednesday's question about whether you'd rather play with brand new or experienced gamers. My own preference fits pretty well with what several of you said, in particular: I like to get new players, so they can pick on my obnoxious habits without anyone else's to get in the way. I also like to get a mix of old and new, when possible; knowledge plus fresh enthusiasm brings out the best of both types, I think. I've had some . . . not bad experiences, exactly, but less than optimal ones with people who came into my games with a lot of pre-conceptions about how gaming "should" work, has made me kind of prejudiced towards new players. On the other hand, the most fun I've had has been in a game with people who had a lot more experience than I did, which means I need to try to keep an open mind.

Will and Mr. Gone each brought up a different side of an extremely important angle on this that I hadn't considered. With new people, there's the opportunity to teach, which is one of those things that's just fun. Likewise, learning can be a lot of fun on it's own. And when you're playing with gamers who have more experience than you, or simply a lot of different experience, you can get the opportunity to see people who know what they're doing and what kind of gaming they really enjoy to perform, in a way that you maybe aren't up to on your own, or didn't realize before could be done.

Of course, my favorite comment came from Yoo-Hoo Tom:
I'm actually running the Encounters season at a book store, even though there is a game store across the street. All of the players (minus an occasional ringer) are complete newbs. I find their enthusiasm very refreshing. I tell people that I am recruiting my next gaming group. To be honest, I was quite tired of some of the gamers I was playing with. Some of which were only playing so they could "break" the newest edition.
All I can say to that is -- rock on! This is absolutely the kind of thing I was hoping to hear come out of D&D Encounters.

(Of course, this was not the smoothest comment. That distinction, as always, goes to Doc Rotwang. But c'mon! New players!)

So yeah, pretty happy with how this turned out. I'm probably going to do something like that again; I've gotten to the point with this blogging business where I've got some really fantastic commentors, and I want to take advantage of that.


  1. I also love the idea of a proper grassroots program to get new players on board. In my hometown roleplayers are rather thin on on the ground, and old-school players don't seem to exist at all. I've signed up with the Labyrinth Lord Society and I'm looking at running some demo games at a local store, and maybe doing some at Sydcon in October...

    I've never even BEEN to a convention despite roleplaying since 1984! Should be an interesting social learning curve from my end. I certainly want to be more pro-active as a gamer. I'm kind of frustrated with my current group, and I've had wonderful responses from total novices in the past ("My druid can have a BEAR!?! That is awesome!" etc etc). :) That kind of exuberant enthusiasm is very gratifying for a DM.

    On the other hand, I must confess it's my secret dream to unearth a nest of keen old-schoolers with whom to reminisce around an actual table, as opposed to via a forum.(I know you're all out there- you can't all have moved away since the eighties...).

  2. Week 3 and the Encounters season is going well. My DM rewards got here and it was a total 4th Ed. redux of Tomb of Horrors. I'm looking forward to running my newbs through this in a couple of months. Mwa ha ha ha! The Thursday night group of Grognards just scoff at the idea. They've pretty much have the old module memorized.

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