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The Perfect Gaming World

Picture this, if you will.  A new gamer joins your group.  He already knows the style of game your group enjoys, and it’s their style of game as well.  They knew this from the get-go.  They walk in the first session with everything they need and start rolling up their character.  They finish and already have their character’s back story ready, so they can just step into the game seamlessly.

Across town, another new player is joining another group for the first time.  This group is all powergamers.  They make little pretension to role play.  The new player already knows how to maximize his skills and powers to make the biggest impact.  He is able to roll up his character quickly, and fits into the game seamlessly as well.

Two entirely different types of games, with the perfect additions to each group automatically.  The players know beforehand what kind of game they’re getting themselves into and the DM has already made it clear how things work in the game.  Of course, in this perfect world, the player wouldn’t have it any other way..  Inside the sessions, both players conduct themselves according to the DM’s rules, and quickly become valued members of the new group.

Unfortunately, this is a fantasy world I have written about.  As a player, you will encounter DMs who aren’t able to deal with the style of game you want to play.  If you’re a hard core powergamer, then you will have problems in a role play heavy group.  And the same is true the other way around.  This can lead to dissatisfaction and even hostility on occasion.

For both DMs and players, it’s important to understand what your style of game actually is.  With the current game I play, the DM already knew my style since we had played together off and on for several years.  However, I once played in a game where the DM was simply not prepared for PCs who put their character motivation up as highly as myself and another player did.  We literally had to reboot the session…and I think we broke the DM.  I’m not sure.

Once you understand your style of game, I can’t help but feel that you should be honest about the type of style you like to play when looking to join a group.  Now, this may lead to you being told that you don’t fit with the potential gaming group, but better to find it out now rather than later.  After all, it will come out eventually.  Why not skip the heartache and move on?

Of course, if you find yourself in a situation where there is only one group around, and they play a style of game that you hate…well…I really don’t know what to say except to keep looking.  In my humble opinion, it’s better to not play for a while, rather than play a style of game you dislike which can make you dislike gaming given enough time.

If we can achieve gaming Nirvana (and no, not the group), we will achieve greatness!  Or at the very least, have a hell of a lot more fun 😉

August 15, 2008 - Posted by | RPG |


  1. You make a valid and interesting point. If the styles of the DM and a player don’t mesh, that player will not have quite as good of a time. To this end, I’ll try to list all common gaming preferences, and will check back to this article several times for suggestions. This is mostly just for my own information, in the event a new player pops up and wants to join I can have a kind of questionairre to help determine if our group’s style meshes with what they want.

    Comment by Liambic | August 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. About the last part, if you can’t fit into the only group with your playstyle. Then start your own that does!

    Comment by Questing GM | August 15, 2008 | Reply

  3. @Liambic: Very cool! It certainly can’t hurt, can it?

    @Questing GM: Very true. Although that can be difficult, it’s a lot better than just sitting around doing nothing because you’re a hardcore role player and the only gaming group in town is a powergamer group 😉

    Comment by Tom | August 16, 2008 | Reply

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