Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Influence of Other Games
Ironically, it was my wife who suggested I find someone else's game to play in. It's ironic because she would prefer it if I had no life at all beyond staying home and raising our two young daughters. That's her calling, Dread Cthulhu bless her, reluctant some days as she might seem. She suggested the idea because I've been working like the dickens to find interested, reliable, and available players for my own weekly roleplaying game. Sometimes it works out, lately it hasn't.
So, that's what I did. I went to a traditional (old school) RPG meetup at my not-too-far-away game store. Didn't know what to expect, but I did know that any momentary trepidation was just the newness of the experience and needed to be overridden. It was fun; it was different. Different because it wasn't me behind the screen running the game. I got a chance to experience Empire of the Petal Throne. A fascinating setting. And, if my wife doesn't strongly object, I'll keep coming back.
That difference is part of what made it important. Besides having the opportunity to play and making contacts in order to fill my table at home, playing in another Dungeon Master's game gave me a fresh perspective. Good, bad, or weird... games influence each other. That influence keeps one's game world from remaining in a vacuum, giving it new life and energy.
Of course, sometimes it's better to resist outside influences, to keep our subjective vision uncorrupted. After all, we don't want D&D to become too homogenous or standardized. That way lies sanity - the opposite of madness. And madness, if you think about it, is where many of us want to go - into that unknown abyss of black secrets and dreams, deep down within gaming's sorcerer-demon soul. Nevertheless, all Masters of the Game will benefit from playing every once in awhile.