Monday, December 7, 2009

Getting down to (gaming) business

I joined a new campaign at my local gaming store this weekend; we're playing A Song of Ice and Fire, the RPG of George R. R. Martin's Westeros fantasy setting. And even though we played for barely 2.5 hours, it was a substantive session—we got more done in 2.5 hours than my current group gets done in 5 hours.

Paradoxically, one reason why we got so much done is because none of us are friends. I mean, we're jovial and polite around the table, but we don't gossip about girlfriends or the latest movie we just saw, and we don't go off on crazy tangents about unrelated stuff. Now, these things are the staples of many a game group, and truth be told I wouldn't want to go without them—but this session was a really interesting glimpse at what can get done when the group focuses solely on the task of gaming.

5 comments:

Daddy Grognard said...

It certainly is a paradox that sometimes the group that one would expect to gel and really get down to gaming (because they've done it so often that it ought to be second nature to them) is the group that seems to prefer other stuff to gaming.

I gamed for a long time with guys I knew from the age of 11 and it was certainly an effort to keep things on track but strangely enough, not that much of an effort. It was only after the group drifted apart that I realised why - because apart from gaming, there was practically nothing we had in common.

Tim Shorts said...

How is playing Song of Fire and Ice? I have a few demo products for it, but it doesn't look like a fun game. I'm interested to hear how you like the setting and game.

Christian said...

I like this. I don't have time for 8 hour sessions. Man, that's a lot of time. I like to bust sessions out in 3-4 hours. Get in, have fun, get out.

PatrickWR said...

@Daddy: Yeah, I definitely don't want that sort of experience every time, but it's nice to know that some groups just get down to business when it's called for.

@Tim: I am rabid about the Song of Ice and Fire source material (those huge epic books) so the game was very easy for me to get into. Your comment has inspired a full post about the game, though, so stay tuned for that in a day or so. Short version: I like the game because it focuses on the macro level stuff very well.

Christian: Yeah, my group rarely goes past the 5 hour mark these days. So these micro 2.5 hour sessions feel *really* short. But strangely efficient, too.

Anonymous said...

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Thanks,
Vaughan