Monday, December 10, 2012

Group Dynamics - or - Finding a Gaming Group That You Are Right For

Notice I didn't say "finding the gaming group that is right for you".

Back in the way back time on G+, when I had folks in my circles that thought everything was an issue in gaming, and gaming without issues was impossible, there was a thread about finding the right group (thank God for last week's Circle Purge and the lessening of the noise).

Strangely enough, the thread didn't stress "finding a gaming group you are compatible with" but skewed more in the direction of "the group should make accommodations for you". Oh, it went much deeper than this, and I was called out on apparently not understanding the issues and being sexist. I know it was sexist, as I'm 45 and out of shape, so no one was calling me sexy.

Anyhow, here's how the real world works, at least for those of us that like to live there.

Groups have their own dynamics. In a way, they become their own organism, as they can generally be defined by certain attributes, especially when they are gaming groups. My group could be broadly defined as OSR, opinionated, impossible to focus and a roaring good time. Other groups may be 4e oriented, rules heavy, quest driven and serious gamers or they may be laid back, Indie style gamers, story oriented, roleplay heavy.

If you want to play 4e or Savage Worlds, my weekly group probably isnt for you unless you are interested in trying OSR type games. If you expect your RPG sessions to be serious and no bullshitting around, we are definitely not the group you want to join. If you want to spend five minutes describing your character's interaction with the innkeeper, you are more then welcome to try, but I suspect my players will try to kill him if you dawdle for too long.

Adding players to an established group is a bit of an art form. Random pick ups for an on going campaign have the potential of derailing things if if new player expectations don't match well with the group's traits. I've added folks to our established group without a hitch, because I was fairly sure the personalities would mesh.

Think about it. Gaming is a form of socializing. Generally speaking, we want to socialize with people we share interests with and share similar experiences and expectations. Do you really want to spend time with folks that you are not going to mesh with?

With G+ Hangouts, there really is no excuse to try to fit into a group whose style doesn't match yours, or even worse, try to make that established group accomodate yours. Find a group you fit with. Put out some feelers with like minded friends and form your own group. Participate in the G+ gaming community at large, play in some pick up groups and then form your own group. It really can be that simple. Not necessarily easy, but the method is simple.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to play in two types of groups. The first is at my local gaming society, and the groups are put together based on the game a GM is going to run, and a bunch of people who want to play it. It can be a bit haphazard, as people won't necessarily know each other well, but one of the points of the society, is for people to meet other gamers.

    Outside of HUGS (yeah, I know, snappy name), I tend to play with friends. Chaps and chapesses whom I've known for years and know that I'll enjoy gaming with. Sometimes it's hard to get that kind of group together, but the games we play are almost always... better. It comes down to camaraderie as well as playing the game. It does mean we are less likely to invite other people into the game though, as we all know what we want out of an evening's gaming, and don't want that potentially to get ruined by an comparatively unknown element.


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