Why play role playing games? Why not just get together with some buddies and play Risk? Or watch football and drink? There is a real difference in role playing games to me. It is not just the escape of being with different people. And I had unwittingly hampered a person’s reason to play. But, upon learning about it, swift action was taken. And now we can get back to what we want.
If you are with a serious (or semi-serious) group of experienced gamer’s who are there to role play there is a difference in how they play than just a group of friends gathering together. There will be table talk, I wouldn’t want to be in a group for very long without a little table talk. But for the most part the group is into their characters. And they want to immerse themselves in the story that the GM is weaving.
Their reasons for doing that vary. It could be about being frustrated actors, getting a chance to dive into character. Maybe they like the combat, the tactics and puzzles that come from trying to outwit the GM. But one thing they all probably have in common is that they want an escape. A chance to be in a different world and land, and person. That is fun, and in some cases people have a very real need for an escape. I need it for mental health reasons.
Well I found out this week that by introducing Jimmy to the game that this sense of escape was disappearing. I was told very politely, and I appreciate that. Jimmy was a good player, and fun to play with. But he was still a teenager, with all that brings to the table. And for some who play to escape their own teenagers than his presence was ruining that escape.
Well, upon learning about this I acted swiftly. I told Jimmy that the rest of the players wanted a more ‘adult’ game. He understood, was a little disappointed, but accepted it. So he will no longer be coming with me to Denver for my Pathfinder game.
First, I am really glad he had the opportunity to join in, even if it was just for a few sessions. He really learned a lot. It was a very good experience for him. And while things were becoming uncomfortable I think everyone enjoyed his company as well. And it was good for me to have those drives with him and that one on one time.
Second, it will be a bit of a relief for me as well. Because I did feel some responsibility for his behavior, and with that lifted I can be a little more open about what I am doing. So it is a mixed bag, but I think it will be for the better.
The big problem for the group is that we are losing one of our most dangerous front line fighters. That’s going to cause some problems. Losing that meat shield will have an impact on what we do and our strategies in combat. On the other hand we lose the loose cannon, so if we want to investigate things or do more talking that might be easier.
And after wrestling season, and when Daniel bridges to Boy Scouts, when our schedules free up more, I might look to getting into a game locally with Jimmy. Maybe at the store, where the group is readier for dealing with teenagers. And he and I might set up a small game where he DM’s for Danny & I. It is by no means the end of his time role playing or us playing together. It is just an end to this one game.