I was recently invited to play the Alternity roleplaying game with a new group. I knew the GM of the game, as he has been playing in my regular D&D game for the last year, but I didn’t know any of the players until I showed up to game. In many ways, this is a little nerve-wracking. I get introverted when around people I don’t know well, and there would be no save harbor at the game since I wouldn’t know any of the players. And yet, I was more nervous about the roleplaying style. There are many different types of gamers, and I would put myself solidly in the middle of the pack. I hate dungeon crawling, but also would make a terrible LARP gamer.
So I expected the game to be a little slow at first, as you don’t want to look like a fool. It’s kind of like showing up for a job interview at McDonalds wearing a tuxedo. While the tux is appropriate at an opera house, you’d be overdoing it at a fast food joint. As the first game session started, my expectations were proven incorrect as the players immediately started playing in-character. Accents and voices were used, which is not something I can do well at all, but it immediately set the bar as to what was expected in this gaming group.
The second session, with a much larger group (most of the group didn’t make the first game), made me reset to my original plan—sit back and wait. However even this plan was deflected as I spent the first hour of the game as an active participant while the new players finished their characters and waited to get involved. Therefore I was forced to put my cards on the table first.
Overall, the experience went very well. I think the group fits my general style of gaming, and sets the bar a little above my comfort level—which has its benefits as well. Its interesting to see how other people game, so I can pull some of those experiences back to my normal gaming group to improve that game as well.
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