Game Specter 9 – What Do You Want Out of a Game?


When you sit at the table and grab your dice and look at a character sheet, what is it (exactly) that you’re looking to get out of a game? I’m here to mention some of the things I see, or think I see, when I sit down at a table and hopefully I can attract the types of players (or GMs) that I’d like to play with in the future by doing so.

First, let me talk about the types of people I see with the types of games that I associate them with. Stereotypes are such for a reason, kids, so don’t hammer me for being stereotypical.

D&D players tend to want to roll as many dice as possible, have very little interaction with each other on a roleplaying basis, and essentially just have a “video game experience” by battling for loot. Warhammer players tend to want to do as much math as possible while pretending to call what they do something other than wargaming… they don’t have any interactions with a roleplaying nature and if they aren’t moving actual pieces around on an actual board (or landscape simulation), then they aren’t really playing. World of Darkness players, the ones I’ve encountered, tend to be D&D players who think that all WoD is can be boiled down to “fill in the blank” superheroes (i.e. Vampire superheroes, Werewolf superheroes, etc). Fate players I don’t have an opinion on because my only experience with Fate is listening to the Knights of the Night.

What are YOU looking out of roleplaying?

Are you interested in a competition between yourself and the GM to see who can “one up” the other in the best way? Are you interested in tons of loot, some number crunching, and a butt ton of dice rolling? Are you interested a skeletal story structure that has little or nothing to do with your background and character? Well, if you answered “yes” to any of these things, then you’re the type of player I seem to run across the most and are NOT the type of player that I’m interested in playing with.

When I craft a game, I include your character’s backgrounds. Why? Because if you’re going to put effort into the backgrounds (and if you’re playing in one of my games, you MUST put effort into it) then I’m going to tie you into the story. How better a game could I present than one that directly involves your character on a deep level? Well… you’d be the first to enjoy that.

I understand that there is a market for Warhammer games. I understand there is a market for D&D games. I don’t really feel like I’m being considered when I want to sit down at a RPG table to play because I can’t seem to find the players I’m interested in playing with.

So, the question comes back to you. What are you looking for when you sit down to play a roleplaying game? Are you looking to war-game? Are you looking to compete with the GM? Or are you looking to actually ROLE play?

Game on.