So many games

I have always felt buffeted by the sheer amount of old fantasy role playing games that i would like to try. There are just too many and it becomes increasingly difficult to play them all- even just once. In fact that entails that one should learn more different game mechanics than it's hardly possible for your brain to contain without getting confused. Sure, it is also a question of time.

But nonetheless i want to. The scope of my collecting is not mere collecting, for the sake of admiring my cherished treasures through a stained glass, i want to play these games, and until now i can feel satisfied: i extensively played Powers & Perils, AD&D, The One Ring and recently Phantasy conclave.

I can manage to play four different rule systems and i learnt something different from each of them. Still, there are many more - I need to find a way to defuse the sadness of not being able to play them all. To counter my discontent i could decide to play at least one new game every half of a year or something like that.

Other questions are: will the knowledge of many different rule systems cripple my ability to master each in a decent way?
It is obvious that if you focus your effort on just ONE game at a time you will develop a talent in game mastering it which is barely obtainable splitting your attention and concentration on many. Or not?


Anonymous said...

My take on the conundrum that you face: Just buy it & play it. As a hardcore PC gamer, I used to be picky-choosey when it came to my games. "I'm not into Action-RPGs at the moment... This company just went bankrupt and I don't feel like buying the game... I don't like the intellectual property of this title even though I like the genre... What about the copy protection... " And on and on and on. Then the classic PC gaming market dried up and fast. Stores went from having a wide variety of PC games to having next-to-nothing in about 4 years (Thanks, Steam!) unless you count casual gaming (slot machine games, match-3, hidden objects... The Sims...) as games.

Now I'm left scrambling to find and play the titles that never quite made the cut. Sure, I can pirate the games all I want but it's not the same as owning them. And that's even before I know if I can even get those games to run on a modern Windows OS to begin with (Thanks, Starforce and SecuROM!).

Therefore, my advice: Just buy it and play it. Sure, you'll experience a few clunkers along the way but you'll also find some absolutely wonderful gems as well. And the gems are always worth going through the clunkers. To repeat a quote I once heard, "Books are just expensive paperweights unless you read them." The same thing with pen-and-paper RPGs or PC games.

Catacomb librarian said...

I appreciate your advice summed up in the phrase ""Books are just expensive paperweights unless you read them." Sure, it's detrimental to buy a game and play it only after months or even years have elapsed.

One should give it a try on the spur of the moment.Thanks for your input, Anonymous (will i ever know your name? :))

Catacomb librarian said...

I include some opinions collected from G+:

"I disagree (or agree with the "not"). Running multiple game systems improves your general ability to gamemaster by increasing your adaptability. Specialising in a single game system may allow you to simply become an expert in that game system.

One of the advantages of different games is that they often are designed to produce a different experience - especially if that experience is genre appropriate. Good rules systems encourage specific styles and types of play. Sure you could run a passable fantasy Japan using D&D but it won't capture the same feel as using Bushido to do so. And games which fit genre conventions (such as the ability to encompass over the top actions ["be awesome"] in a swashbuckling or wuxia game) may not be able to be run using systems that don't allow such conventions in their mechanics.

Besides broadening one's experiences is always a good thing to my mind.

I used to have a new game group that met fortnightly which gave us two sessions of a new game to try it out in actual play. Which was a good experience - and useful, for while a game may read as interesting sometimes you discover it doesn't support play as well as you thought (and vice versa).

Although I definitely hear you about insufficient time. I mean I have active campaign ideas that I want to run in at least six different types of D&D alone. And as there is, to my knowledge, only one other person who enjoys the weird and strange games I do within 732 km (and he has a young child so absolutely no time there), I don't get to run (let alone play) some of the games that really interest me. Sadly most of the local crowd is either Pathfinder or White Wolf, neither of which particularly interest me. And time zone differences make on-line play problematical (plus I have to admit that I dislike the narrow communication channels involved in on-line play - which doesn't fit my GMing style [theatrical in the main]).

It doesn't help that it is easy to sell me a new game if you have an interesting idea or presentation. And then thereare all the old games (many of which no one really remembers [present company excepted] any more). I definitely want to do some Powers & Perils again for example. ".

Alec Semicognito said...

Make a new mini-campaign for each game system you want to try, designed to last 2, 3, or 4 months (depending how often you play). That way you get a feel for each system and get some decent development for the players in each game without going too slowly through the systems.

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