Caution: Contents May Cause Brain Melting

…or itchy feet

Ok, kids, Uncle Doc has a couple of questions for all the Roleplaying Gamers out there. Yes, that includes you folks involved in the industry side of the hobby, cos yer still gaming geeks.

Question 1: If you are a PLAYER of table top RPGs, why? What do you get from it? What’s the attraction?

Question 2: If you are a GAMEMASTER of table top RPGs, why? What do you get from it? What’s the attraction?

My answers will appear tonight or tomorrow.

7 comments on “Caution: Contents May Cause Brain Melting

  1. unclelumpy says:

    Two things, really…
    1. SOCIALIZING: It’s a great way to meet people who you share common interests with and maybe even make friends. Sure, there’s a lot of wretches out there too, but if you keep plugging away at it you eventually find a form of freak you click with.
    2. ESCAPISM: Come on, who wouldn’t want to pretend to be Elonywynn the magic-weaving elven outcast instead of Fred from Human Resources for just a little while each week? A little escapism never hurt anyone. Sure, there’s some people who take it a bit too far, but those types tend to scare even other gamers.

  2. As a Player, I gain intense fantasy fulfillment, social connectivity with kindred spirits, and a chance to explore my inner drama geek without devoting time to rehearsals.
    As a Game Master, I gain all of the above, plus I get to weave intricate and ever-evolving heroic tales around a cast of very clever and contributive protagonists. The resulting experiences fulfill me on a creative, spiritual, intellectual, and social level like nothing else I know.

    • elissa_carey says:

      Pretty much what he said, minus the spiritual level. (I get that elsewhere.) As I’ve told someone else who had no idea what gaming was about, it’s like playing a big game of “Let’s Pretend.” For a few hours, you’re another person, in another world, living in someone else’s story and solving (or creating!) problems — and having a grand old time with friends while you do it.

  3. slev says:

    As a player, I like creating and exploiting the character, and overcoming challenges.
    As a GM I like creating a world and telling a story.
    Overall, I like it for the social & creative aspects.

  4. joshbrown says:

    I am both a player and a gamemaster.
    I became a player when I was 9. I was an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy back then, and when I was offered to play a fighter (named Joe Shmo), I discovered that this was more fun than reading a book – I was helping write the story myself!
    And then two years later, my best friend asked me to be a gamemaster so that he could play a little himself (he was our gamemaster at the time). And I enjoyed it even more. I was in control now! I was challenging the players to make them come up with ingenious solutions to my nefarious plans. And we were all having fun doing it!
    And that is why I am a player and a gamemaster.

  5. As a player: To have fun. This actually trumps all other aspects. If a game is not enjoyable I’ll generally bow out gracefully, no matter how intricate the storyline, perfect the universe and rules, or close the friends (I can always find other ways to socialize with them). The nature of the fun depends on the game, of course, but may include having an interesting character (usually the more alien the better), overcoming obstacles and challenges, discovering new things. Enabling the group to have fun is also good, in that we are creating a communal story that is different from what any of us (including the gamemaster) might tell.
    As a gamemaster (1): To have fun, usually by enabling other people to have fun. To involve the players in the game and get them to tell me a story (one which is usually quite different from what I may have planned). To challenge them as players and let their characters live and grow. To entertain, for the moment we are together.
    As a gamemaster (2): To build worlds with working societies, cultures, and systems of technology and magic (according to the paradigm of the game). To expand these worlds and see how the various facets interact and build something greater than the sum of the parts. This is usually for my own enjoyment; players usually can’t be bothered exploring the intricacies of the world/universe, and often have difficulty changing their preconceptions to fit into the game universe (which is an evolving thing).
    As a collector: To appreciate the work people have done creating systems that enable role-playing. To go “oh wow!” and look for someone to play this with. To see the universes/game worlds of other people and how they work and might grow.

  6. frabjousdave says:

    1. When I’m a player, my great pleasure is in creating a character who seems real to me and who has a connection to each of the other players’ characters and to the world the GM has chosen or created. It’s like being an improv actor who plays well with the other actors and the director, who of course are also the audience.
    1. As a GM, my usual role, I do it for many of the same reasons but because I’m not limited to a single character–a situation much more suitable for my dilettante nature. The added joy is foreknowledge of the secrets of the campaign and the delight I have in seeing if, when, and how the players discover them. I love the look of delight or alarm when someone comes to a wonderful or horrible realization, and I love to be surprised by the players’ ingenuity (or, occasionally, staggering foolishness) in addressing the present challenge.

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