Local Gamers

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Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 5th March 2011, 23:09

There are a number of Local gamers and clubs,sitting between the two local shops in redhill and Horsham. it does seem that we are a fragmented bunch.

there are pockets of gamers in Burgess hill. but we dont seem to have a larger blanket list of games or players in west sussex. we all seem to get tribal and insular.

The wargamers look down on the Role players, the Role players look down on the MTG card gamers and we all laugh at the GW kids. Unless we cross game then its fine.

I have played in groups in Hemel Hempstead, Merthyr Tydfil, Abergavenny, Gorvinon,Croydon, Crystal Palace, Burgess Hill, Horsham and of course Crawley. and in that order. from established well organised groups to house based games. each type has its own merit, one game in Croydon finished up with us going to a dive bar in central london, i didnt get back til 5 and some bugger had bashed my back wheel of the bike giving it a wobble, i though i was mashed peddling back.

Life always seems to get in the way of gaming, the dominace of roleplaying over Wargaming or bordgaming has slipped in recent times. which is a shame (for my perspective). i am not a great boardgamer unless its saturday night game night with the kids (must challenge Steve to an epic Rolfe vs Race game). and my Wargaming side waxes and wane's after everyone stopped playing battletech, though Robins 15mm game recindled it a bit.
For me it has always been roleplaying first and formost. either writing or plotting adventures, collecting and reading the books (and some time novels), listerniong to Actual play podcasts or Actually playing.
I know recently i only have myself to blame for getting too deep into this supers book and getting alittle blinkered with everything around me, i have let slip the Harry potter game (which i will return to), and have stopped posting up perposterous game ideas or actual game which no one in there right mind would play.

Not sure where i am going with this other than its been months since i ran a game or ages played in one, (seem to have missed Diggers last couple due to family comitments). anyone fancy a game?


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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 6th March 2011, 09:39

Well, you make some good points. There just doesn't seem to be much of an appetite for rpgs at the moment (Digger's game notwithstanding). I've offered, you've offered and frankly not much enthusiasm is forthcoming. I include myself in that statement. Which is ok. People have other things going on and wargames and boardgames would seem easier to organise, although there can be a lot of effort involved behind the scenes. RPGs require more of a commitment in time if they are to be carried on beyond a few sessions.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of running Justice Associates before Christmas. But I can't see myself or others turning up week on week to play a game at the moment. Hell, I pulled out of Digger's game at the last moment because of unforseen family issues and those will always come first. But that said, I think an ongoing, successful rpg group requires a fixed schedule and players who will turn up for the majority of sessions. And Digger's group seems to endure for this reason, perhaps because the schedule is tri-weekly which leaves plenty of time to organise other stuff. And, that D always provides a good enviroment, an entertaining game and a determination to get stuff done. Which is also important.
Part of our problem is also venue. Dog means my house is pretty much out for a group game. Kevin's new place doesn't have the layout (my impression anyway) which would easily allow the get togethers of old and Mike's place is just too far out of the way. Which leaves Chris' and Diggers. Digger is pretty much sticking to AD&D which leaves' Chris' and it seems unfair to assume this will always be available.
Also, on a peronal note, i'm a bit tired of gm-ing. With the exception of D's game, I believe all the gaming i've done in the last year or so, i've run rather than played in. I enjoy the gm-ing but would like someone else to step up and offer to run something and follow through with that offer.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Digger on 6th March 2011, 22:02

Well it is AD&D this coming Tuesday and as always, beer cold, chilli hot! Very Happy

Be there or be an equal sided quadrahedron!


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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 7th March 2011, 00:50

And for that I am very grateful.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 7th March 2011, 06:45

Nice one Digger. carrying the light from the far end of the tunnel.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 7th March 2011, 09:31

Ok, so what are some of the options if we accept that a weekly group or even another tri-weekly group is unlikely to happen? Well, a couple of things occurred to me today.

1- Pick Up Games. One nighters, one shots, whatever. Try and set up some games played for fun. Absolutely no intention of ongoing plot unless such a thing arises naturally from the play. To try and reignite the spark a little. I'm thinking D6 Star Wars, Cthulhu Rising, Icons, Savage Worlds. That sort of thing. Pre-gen archetype characters. Simple encounter situations which drop you in the action. This would involve some discipline on the part of the players i.e. turn up on time and get down to playing.

2 - Special Events. Like Digger's occasional Cthulhu games. Play at the weekend in the afternoon for a longer session. Not so frequent as the above ( I would probably have trouble getting to many of these) but more time to get stuck in.

Anyone have any opinions on these?

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 7th March 2011, 09:34

Personally, by the way, i'm not so keen on getting involved with new gamers in the area. As our time together seems so limited, i'm happier spending it with friends. That said, nothing to stop those of you who feel differently getting involved with new people if you can find them. Don't forget there is at least one group which meets in Crawley once a week and I gather there are roleplayers who attend.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 7th March 2011, 10:45

The Pick up games could work, a quick short adventure which could expand if the players wanted. i like the idea.

I would like to playtest the superhero campaign that i have put together for the revised Golden Heroes. i imagine that no one on our forum would be able commit to a weekly campaign. so have been looking for a temp-group to run it for. i started looking friday. and have gotten nowhere. this is nothing to do with finding a new group, but a need to run the campaign as a full game. the walkthrough/talk through will help but a full on group playing the game will be usefull to iron out the more flaky kinks in the stuff i have.

I have gottine no where with the other local group. there web site is not working for me.


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Re: Local Gamers

Post by rogartheranger on 7th March 2011, 11:21

Im keen to play some pick-up games or special events, and am happy to offer my place for a venue if anyone has something they would like to run?

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 10th March 2011, 00:47

I agree, I think there are lots of little groups tucked away. There's a boardgame group in Horsham, the Crawley Wargames club and MTG club in Tilgate (and I know for a fact that there are RPGers in those clubs). There is a gaming club in Redhill and I'm sure there are many little groups of roleplayers/gamers dotted around the Crawley area. Hell I even know there are fellow gamers at my work, at least according to Leisure Games...

I actually think that there is a good case for creating some sort of forum to cater to these gamers. Like the UK Roleplayers forum but specific to this area. A Crawley Gamers Forum for gamers to chat and organise games and build up a community. Obviously there is Renny's, there is also Rottenlead and both the MTG and Tilgate Wargamers have forums too, but it would be nice if there was a central point that was easy for people to find and meet other gamers in the area, whether they play RPGs, boardgames or wargames. Or perhaps a simpler way to achieve the same results would be to create some sort of Facebook page that does the same job; creating a focal point for getting local gamers together.

It is a fact that wargames require more effort up front to prepare i.e. assembling and painting minis. However once that is done you're good to go at any time and can throw a game together quickly. The added benefit being that you can flog the fruits of your labours on ebay when you're done with them. With an RPG you have to come up with fresh material every session. You are still spending time prepping, but once you've run the game you need to do it all again. Once minis are painted, they stay painted. Win.

Wargames also have the advantage that you only need two people (and more can be accomodated if needed) to play and can be organised at short notice and fit around people's lives. Win.

Boardgames on the other hand suffer from none of these problems. They are self contained, entertaining, often very engrossing and you don't have to do any prep apart from learning the rules. Win

For RPGs to work you need a solid, regular block of time (and committed players you are prepared to make the effort). That means regular short sessions (2-3 hours weekly) or longer less regular sessions (4-5 hours monthly say). It would seem that neither of these are acceptable options. That's a shame because alternatives like online/forum games don't seem to meet much favour either. The simple fact is that if you want to RP you need the same people, in the same place, at the same time, on a regular basis. There's just no avoiding it.

That leaves you with short 'one-off' games on an irregular basis. However that means you miss out on the good stuff of RPGs; like complex, ongoing narratives and playing the same character over a period of time. If you are trying to run a game as a one-off it basically means that you will be trying to run a complete, self contained game in about 2-3 hours (a con game in other words). No small ask given even simple, "single session" scenarios usually take 2 to 3 sessions to complete... This to my mind is barely enough time to tell an interesting story and no real chance for character stuff. I also think that a protracted regime of such one-offs wouldn't actually be all that satisfying in the long run.

I might seem to be a bit down on RPGs. Not really. Speaking for myself I would like to do some GMing, but in the current climate there is no point in trying to get a campaign like Masks or even a short mini campaign going. And if RPGing is to be resigned to something that happens only a few times a year, it can't see it doing much to rekindle people's interest.

I like RPGing, but luckily I also enjoy boardgames and wargames and given the choice - gaming or not gaming - I will happily get together and play those types of games rather than noting at all.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 10th March 2011, 09:27

Well hopefully those who played in the last Justice Associates game would disagree with your assertion that two to three weeks is barely enough time to tell an interesting story or provide the opportunity for interesting character stuff Very Happy. I would perhaps turn this on it's head and say that two to three weeks might be the minimum required to achieve these aims. That said, there may be an argument for simply turning up for a one shot and slapping some pregens down on the table and going for one short encounter or situation. The Justice Associates one off I ran for Chris on his own was one of the most satisfying games I have run. Savage Thunderbirds also seemed to go down well, given it ran for two weeks only. I suppose the rpg element of our small community may just need to evolve to survive. The great thing is that Digger's regular, ongoing campaign provides a core thread for this. Digger manages to achieve depth of plot, memorable action, humour and fun memories by the bucketload. If this is the only rpg-ing i'm able to participate in, then I guess i'll still count myself lucky.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 10th March 2011, 18:05

ditto.

but also the 3 session format gives you the beginiing middle and end which an openeded game does not. one shots can be wiyh much more powerful PC's or with an understamding that they are doomed heroes alowing the player to choose his/her heroic death .

either way role playing of any kind is better that not roleplaying.


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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 10th March 2011, 19:03

kevinrolfe wrote:though Robins 15mm game recindled it a bit.
I'm currently helping Robin build a game board for his Gruntz demo game his is planning to run at Salute.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 10th March 2011, 19:06

That makes more sense. When you were talking about on-shots I thought you meant a single session. I would say that 3 is probably the right number of sessions to tell a decent story. Of course that works best if those sessions are run back to back rather than over a period of months.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 10th March 2011, 20:41

I would agree that the three session model would probably work better if the sessions could be run concurrently. That was the downside of the JA game that due to the time of year (i.e. Christmas) it had to happen with gaps. For this years JA adventure, i'll try and schedule it to run over a three week period.

BTW, i'm still considering running one shots (i.e. one night games) although these would be set up with pre gen characters and a narrowly defined encounter to play through. As an example, the Icons superhero Battlescenes products, or running the sample of play encounter presented in the Star Wars Saga Edition corebook as an actual session. These would not be intended to be ongoing campaigns but rather as trailers or teasers for a system\setting. If we can find a setting or system that people are enthused by then it follows it will be easier to establish an ongoing game. The problem is that trying to drum up enthusiasm via forum seems to be hard work at times.
On a side note, perhaps we should think about organising a large wargame event which will support simple play and a largish group of players so we can allget together and play. Make it a Saturday\Sunday afternoon event sometime, or even if a bank holiday. Bonus points if it's something I can bring Maddie to Very Happy

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 10th March 2011, 21:17

One shots can work just as well,

Harry Potter / All flesh Must be eaten etc.

must run HP4

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 10th March 2011, 21:30

I think the trick with a one shot is probably to keep the focus narrow and high concept. And also do a lot of prep beforehand, like supply the players with characters beforehand and so on.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 10th March 2011, 22:44

Renny wrote:BTW, i'm still considering running one shots (i.e. one night games) although these would be set up with pre gen characters and a narrowly defined encounter to play through.
Single combat encounter, with pre-determined forces played in isolation. Sounds like a miniature wargame to me.

Wizards had something along those lines run officially through games stores for 4th edition. It was a mini campaign run on a regular night, but the sessions were designed to be very short. Can't remember the details but I think it was along the lines of each session was a single encounter that could be played through in an hour or so with each new instalment coming out weekly.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 10th March 2011, 23:23

You have a point although this presupposes the encounter is combat focussed only. To use the George Holmes example again, the adventure was predominantly roleplaying with one bout of fisticuffs only, and most of the fun came from the character interaction, not the fight. But hey, let's not degenerate into wargames vs rpg bashing.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 10th March 2011, 23:57

If that's what you're going for you should probably check out the Indie RPG scene. There are a lot of games that would fit these criteria i.e. designed not as campaigns but as self contained one off sessions. For instance Danger Patrol or Hi-Octane.

See also: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/home.php

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Renny on 11th March 2011, 00:30

Well, Danger Patrol is one i've got on my hard drive somewhere but thanks for the heads up Very Happy

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 11th March 2011, 02:01

Shotgun Diaries is another (zombies).

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 11th March 2011, 03:12

All Flesh Must Be Eaten is perfect for one shot survival horror.

But not sure i would want to learn a new system just to run a one shot. i have loads of rules to choose from if i have come up with an adventure. but thats me

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by Great Teufel on 11th March 2011, 19:38

A lot of these indie style games are specifically designed to work as a one-shots. Usually these rules are geared to a particular type of situation or genre and specific mechanics to match.

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Re: Local Gamers

Post by kevinrolfe on 13th March 2011, 01:13

Still not sold on the idea of a system just for one shots, when i have a perfictly good one already.

I have been listerning to a lot of Delta Green Actual Play games which were all one shots. and not just because the Team went mad or all died, though that did happen a couple of times.

its all about the adveture fist system second. i have an idea for what became "The seige of Deadwood" this began as a BRP system, then i thought Victoriana but finally settled on Deadlands. and that is a single session adventure in the Survival Horror Genre. the Deadlands system gives it a rich history and if events on the ground playout in such away as to require more gaming then the system has the background to compliment it. Thats not to say these Indy press books dont have merit, but if you have BRP or GRUPS or Savage Worlds then you dont actually need any other book. Story first system later. INMO

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