Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I did it my way

Having been frustrated with the players I had been gaming with, I decided to quit that group. For a while, I wondered where I would go from there. I wound up receiving some unexpected support. Two of my friends had recently moved back to the city where I live.

One had actually tried to game with the group I had just left. But he was even more unhappy with that group and had less patience. He had left after only a few weeks.

The other guy had never played any sort of role-playing game at all. Although he knew the DM of my last gaming group, he was too intimidated to even begin playing with them.

My friends were basically newbies to playing D&D but they said that they'd be interested in playing the game if I was the Dungeon Master.

One person decided to be a fighter and the other a rogue. We needed more players, figuring that at least four would cover the basic roles of a typical D&D party of adventurers. Someone to be a cleric or a wizard. And, if needed, I could run a fourth member of the party to fill any missing role. So we enlisted a mutual friend as a third player. He needed some convincing. But he decided to be a cleric. And I decided to run a wizard.

To make things easy, I decided to take these newbie players through the classic D&D module, Keep on the Borderlands. In order to spice it up, I decided to combine that module with elements of its sequel, Return to the Keep on the Borderlands. The original module from 1979 lacked character detail or any sort of plot. The sequel had what I needed on that front.

Unfortunately, the guy playing the cleric wasn't working out. He wasn't all that interested in the game, let alone opening up the rule book to learn the rules. I could have taken over the role of the cleric but I wasn't interested in running two DM-PCs. The one wizard I was running was already one DM-PC too many.

Eventually, I discovered and its forum. I posted a big "want ad" in the appropriate sub-forum and waited for something to happen. To my surprise, I actually got some responses.

During the course of our playing through Keep on the Borderlands, we rotated through about three different new players.

The first one seemed unhappy with the fact that I wouldn't allow all the cleric spells from all the different splat books compiled in the Spell Compendium. He soon disappeared.

The second new player that responded to the want ad was an experienced DM and a very nice person. He was interested in trying out the Psion class and so I let him do so. It was a very interesting experience. Psions make for an interesting alternative spellcaster class. I even developed a Psi Guild for my campaign world that was incorperated into his character's backstory.

The second player invited a third player to be a cleric. Now that we had four real players, I could finally put my wizard DM-PC in the background of the party. But that didn't last very long because this third player took a new job and wasn't able to attend game sessions any longer.

We completed the module around the beginning of this year. And it was at this time that our golden psion player who had been such a tremendous asset to our gaming experience informed us that he would no longer be able to play with our group. He was starting a new semester at college and was already devoting time to his own group that he was DMing.

So that effectively ended the game group. I wasn't getting any more responses to the want ad I had posted at the forum. And I felt that I couldn't run a game group with just two players.

It is so frustrating to live in a part of the country where gamers are so few and far between. We live on the fringes of society. And D&D still has the stigma of being the purview of dorks and nerds. This prejudice is gradually changing since the advent of cultural phenomenas like World of Warcraft. But even the most popular online computer game in history has a similar stigma.

Anyway, I decided to take a new tack.

1 comment:

Donjon Master said...

Take heart. I played AD&D with 2 other players (both good friends) for years. Each of us rotated as DM every 4 sessions. We each had our own world setting and PCs in each of the other two worlds. We played every Sunday at our residences. We occasionally played other games like Top Secret. It worked well.