Home > NaBloPoMo, Pathfinder, role playing games > NaBloPoMo 2011: Day 21 – Roll Playing vs Role Playing

NaBloPoMo 2011: Day 21 – Roll Playing vs Role Playing

21 November 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have posted, recently, on the topic of Role Playing Games and got some nice responses.

I need to rant a bit so, since I have your attention…

I LOVE Role Playing… Role Playing Games: Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, etc.
(The OTHER kind of role-playing is a topic for a different day)

I love getting together with friends, old and new, around a table strewn with paper, pencils, dice, miniature people and a large map, where we can pretend we are other people or creatures, chat, cut up, giggle at our own jokes and create some shared memories of fun and danger in an imaginary world. It is the “pretend we are other people” part and the resulting conversations and comments, sometimes very interesting conversations, that I play for. Those evenings where everyone around the table can put their lives on hold for a few hours and sink into the game, fully; Those special times when we all can “click” and have fun – those are the times I treasure.

Too often now, the games have all the same things, save one – the fun. The RPG sessions on Friday night have become Roll Playing instead of Role Playing, where the people try to play their characters – their ROLEs, but the game master is only concerned with the ROLL of dice and creating as deadly (or challenging, if they cannot be truthful about it) an adventure as they can.  The Game Master has gone so far as to tell some Players to stop acting in Character. If I wanted a game where I was just struggling against ever-increasing odds until it defeats me, I’d play video games. RPGs are an expensive hobby, with the books, the learning, the time in preparation and playing and if it is not fun, then why do it? I do it for those magical evenings when it all comes together – those memories that you recall, even many years later with fondness and nostalgia, as good times.

For too many weeks, I have had the Friday evenings that have been, at best, mediocre and , at worst, disappointing. I leave grumbling and swearing that I will not do that again, but sometime during the intervening week, I remember the fun times and get excited about playing again. I talk myself into going and then I am even more disappointed when I have less fun than the week before.

I have played these weeks with different people, with different characters, and different adventures – the only constants are myself and the game master. Since I cannot morph into someone else, that only leaves the Game Master. I find myself at a decision point, again, but this time I am so dissatisfied that I feel the need to share, instead of grumble, and make a decision:

  1. Do I return on Friday night, but bow out if I am offered only the Game Master I am not enjoying?
  2. Do I express my dissatisfaction with the Game Master to the owners of the store and see where that gets me?
  3. Do I express my dissatisfaction by trying to make the game as “unfun” for the game master as it is for me?
  4. Do I refuse to go at all and try to find my fun elsewhere (another group, play at home, etc.)?
  5. Or do I return on Friday night, grumble and try to make the best of a bad situation?

I am undecided. I could use your help. What would you do? (I’ll let you know what I decide and how it goes.)

  1. 21 November 2011 at 13:15

    Chris, I think what your describing here is the main reason I first seriously thought about attempting to become a DM. Of the options you listed I like #4 best, but I am a loyal fella though, so I might consider asking your friends at the shop where you play to consider adding in a new Game Master to keep the ‘mix nice and fresh’. Successful Game Mastering requires a lot of preparation time. Too much for me to ever consider it these days to my kids and some of my friends dismay. But if I can’t prep enough for it to be an enjoyable experience it is not worth it to anyone present!

  1. 28 November 2011 at 10:35

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: