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Picking and choosing

WISH 44 is all about picking games.

How do you choose games to join or to run? What factors influence you: timing, people, system, genre, etc.? Do you weigh different factors for different kinds of games, e.g., online vs. tabletop vs. LARP? Is it a group decision or a decision you make on your own?

Well, the easy answer is “yes.”

I’m attracted to games based on genre and people. For a new group, the genre needs to be interesting and the people need to seem suitable. I’ve never been particularly interested in random D&D games, and I’m careful about getting into games with people I don’t know.

Once I know people, though, I’ll try almost anything. If Carl wanted to run Senzar, I’d give it a try, because I’d know the people would be fun and in the worst case we could while away the hours mocking death jesters. In fact, I once joined a Lords of Creation game, fully aware of what I was getting into, because I trusted the GM.

For the past half a decade or so, my gaming group was pretty stable at the core: the aforementioned Carl (usually GMing), along with me, Brad, and Gretchen. Add a variable number of people from the greater gaming pool. This shouldn’t be taken to imply that we were the center of the gaming group, just that when I was gaming I tended to play with those three. This made decisions pretty simple. Moving out to Boston threw a wrench into this simplicity, but I’m pretty darned happy with the group I seem to have found.

All that said, the time factor is a limiter on what I can do. No matter how much I might want to play in four or five games, I just don’t have that kind of time to burn. I won’t join a game just cause I have time to do so, but lack of time can keep me from joining games I want to play.

Regarding mediums: I don’t LARP much, which is to say at all. I almost got into a cool UA LARP back in California, but knowing I’d have to move soon took some of the fun out of it and I’m probably too much of an introvert to LARP heavily. My online play has tailed off a lot; when I did RP online, it was mostly on one specific MUSH. A couple of people have been able to drag me into other MUSHes but that’s really a case of making a gaming choice based on people.

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