thread: 2009-04-30 : Magical Magic

On 2009-05-01, Moreno R. wrote:

Hi Vincent!

You wrote: "I didn't play any old school games until Ben ran D&D for me at GenCon '07. Since then I ran some D&D and some Storming the Wizard's Tower. I understand that lots and lots of people have had different - worse - experiences with D&D than I have. At the risk of, I dunno, I think that it's significant that I played D&D for the first time as an adult, with adult friends. Sometimes when I hear about people's experiences with D&D, I can't tell what's D&D and what's teenage interpersonal jockeying and bullying wearing D&D's clothing."

I heard a lot of horror stories about playing D&D with teenagers, too, but I started plating D&D when I was 22 years old, and with people of my age or older (the GM was over 30). And I observed that exact same behavior every time a new GM started (me included): at first, they would try to inject magic, mystery, detailed descriptions in the scenes...  then, after a while (depending from the person, from a few minutes to a few months) the grinding of having to add all that stuff by yourself, with very little effect on the game, turned the gameplay into this: "you enter a 3x3 room. There are 2 gnolls. Roll for initiative"

I think you are missing a vital factor: the group role in reinforcing, caring for and rewarding the work the GM do in being a "traditional" GM. You probably did it when you played without even thinking about it, but there is nothing in "old-style" gaming that address this. Without that, EVERYONE burn out.

People don't miss the "magic" of OTHER previous group: they usually miss the magic they felt in the SAME group, with the same GM, with the same game, in the same game world, at first, before all the GMs burned out.


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