Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A, B, and/or C

In my ideal world, I'd have 3 different RPG groups every week, or at least biweekly. (They need better names than what follows, but at the time of writting the following in an email to a friend, I didn't want to spend a bunch of time brainstorming names, so letters were good enough.
  • Group A would be a serious method-acting group, where the goal was to tell an ongoing narrative as artfully and entertainingly as possible.
  • Group B would be a more freeform group, where we tried different things. Everyone would try to resist getting too attached to their characters, and in general take the game a little less seriously. That grants the freedom to experiment.
  • Group C would be somebody else's campaign, so I could learn from sitting in a players chair, and seeing what did and didn't work for them.
I've got a pretty solid Group A up here, meeting nearly every week with long-term plotlines and character development. I've been mainly getting my B and C fix just once-a-year of late, at Gwen Con.

Getting to blow off some steam via slightly off-kilter D&D in Portland sounds like Group B Heaven.

Of course, nobody with a real life ever has the time for 3 gaming groups*, let alone the social dynamics of hanging in three circles. It almost has to be 3 different circles, too, as there's some danger if you have too much crossover between A and B. Either you end up taking B too seriously, or A gets disrupted by B's lighter/experimental influence. It seems there needs to be at least one player in each group that isn't in the other groups for it all to flow naturally without the streams ever getting crossed. Of course, some folks who do have (or make) the time for 2 or more groups just pick A or B (as fits their style) and focus on it to the exclusion of all else. I bet that's far more common than the A/B/C pattern I try to follow.

*: Then again, some would argue I don't have a real life.

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