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The Company of Strangers A Gaming Group in the Toronto Canada area.

Player's Corner

Why do we play these games?

A forum for players to discuss what makes a game great for them, how they can improve the experience for other players, how they can get the most out of what the GM puts together, etc. Feel free to suggest discussion topics!

Why do we play these games?

Postby Le Grognard » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:41 am

I play D&D (and other roleplaying games) for a number of reasons.

D&D provides me the opportunity to play the glorious hero that saves the day/gets the girl/pulls the sword from the stone/becomes "the sheriff in these here parts"/has the audience treasure his time on screen/etc...

I also like to portray a character that the rest of the group will enjoy and embrace my portayal of. When I look down the list of my favourite characters, they are all ones that my friends speak fondly of.

And I also enjoy trying different things. Do I have a character stereotype? Who knows. I don;t think so.

Roleplaying in general provides me the opportunity to be creative in generating a persona or world and relishing the experience of living a different life. And, personally, I don't think I'm a dark, brooding, grim individual.

It also gives me the occasional opportunity to be a ham! :lol:

I prefer to play in scenarios that aren't too dark or gloomy (part of the reason why I never got into 40K). If the setting is dark and gloomy, then I prefer to play the group that is overcoming the darkness/bringing the land into the light. Very Narnia, I know ... I just get enough doom and gloom in everyday life to want to imagine it more on the weekends.

Angst? Well, I have tried it ... and MAN! was it difficult at times. Goofy? Yup, tried it too with Minris ... and it was almost as difficult sometimes. :lol:

I guess I just never grew up and stopped playing cowboys and Indians. :)
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Re: Why do we play these games?

Postby SQUAWK » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 pm

Le Grognard wrote:I play D&D (and other roleplaying games) for a number of reasons.



Well, to throw in my 1 1/2 cents.

I play for the escapism and for the chance to socialize with my friends.
Gaming is my chance to get away from the everyday and let my imagination run wild for a little while, to, as you say, play the hero etc.

I don't mind playing in the doom & gloom scenarios as they usually have the PCs as seeming even more heroic when they do perform good acts. And the darker games where the PCs are playing bad guys (or morally ambiguous, mercenaries etc.) can be a lot of fun as well as you have to tread a finer line to not cross over to an evil alignment. I like it when the PC's actions really do have consequences.

And as I said, a big part of my motivation to play is the social interaction, I like getting out and spending time with my friends.
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Postby Kildar » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:01 pm

There are several reasons why I play these games. First, like Squawk (and I suspect most other people), I can use a bit of escapism from the daily grind of eat, sleep, & work. Going off in my imagination with a group of friends (via whatever game system) to some exotic locale and doing extraordinary things has a very enticing appeal.

It can also be an outlet to blow off some steam from a hard week at work. In the game world, you don't have to be nice and diplomatic all the time to people you wouldn't normally give a damn about. Instead of having to follow peaceful "conflict resolution" methods, you can just hack your opponents to death with a bastard sword. I've yet to meet an average working stiff who hasn't thought about that (or something like it) in passing at some point. :wink: RPGs can be a bit of a pressure valve for when the real world gets too touchy-feely, politically correct, and full of BS for one's liking. Just be sure you get your headspace back in reality at the end of the gaming session, or co-workers will get a helluva surprise in the office on Monday morning.

Touching back on escapism, you can not only escape your real world environment, but also yourself. Not only can you be from virtually any occupation that ever existed (or will exist), and have any personality, but even be from a different race or species, should you so choose. I am only limited by my imagination and the mechanics of whatever game system we are playing.

I must admit that my preference is for games that are a bit more gritty, and not so much "high fantasy." Perhaps I'd used the word "dark" in the past, but I think "gritty" is really a more accurate descriptor of my taste. Just makes it easier for me to relate to. This might seem odd, as escapism is one of the reasons I enjoy RPGs, but some games can be just too "out there" for me to enjoy. And while I do like games that can be battle-intensive, having a storyline greatly enhances the experience for me. I find combat far more satisfying when it is done in context to a larger story-arc or thread.

Finally, I really enjoy getting together with my friends and doing this type of thing in a social setting. In an age of MMORPGs, email, voice mail, blackberries, cell phones, console games, and an all-pervasive attitude of immediate self-gratification, I begin to think that we as human beings are losing our ability to interact with each other in person. Being able to sit around a table or in a living room, and play a game face to face with other living, breathing people (who are friends) is something that I take pleasure in. Also, our post-game wind-down periods when we go out to a pub, have a couple of pints, and lie to each other (just kidding) with "war-stories" of past gaming, or discussing the session we just had is a very good time too.

The social interaction with friends is perhaps the most important part of the game for me. For that is where the fun really begins and ends; in sharing the experience with your friends. And in the end, having fun is what playing these games is all about. I think that when I start to see gaming as an obligation, chore, or duty, that will be the day I put away my dice. But until that day comes, I say role-on.
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Postby Kabucha » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:18 pm

I play for the social interaction, and I get to kill things.

Helps with the stress relief at work.
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Postby Le Grognard » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:52 am

Excellent replies so far. Any of the others?
Last edited by Le Grognard on Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jodi » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:47 pm

I find it's a creative way to think around problems. Many of you get this sort of thing through the video games you play - but I don't play video games so this is my outlet for that. :) Plus, it's nice to be heroic. I enjoy that too. The whole - getting to be someone else for a little while can be really cathartic. :)
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Postby Kargosh » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:05 pm

Reasons?

We need reasons?


OK- I've spent far too much money on this damn hobby to stop now!

And don't get me started on D&D v4!

(I will now go break things for a while, to calm down- goddamn WOTC Bastards!)

But seriously, the #1 reason is becasue I get to be with my friends.

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Postby Kabucha » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:58 pm

OK- I've spent far too much money on this damn hobby to stop now!


Yes you have, I have seen your collection, just blame it on Lord of the Rings, this is where it all started from anyways.
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Postby Boethermsbrukan » Fri May 28, 2010 9:27 pm

Kargosh, I sympathize: my own collection is quite vast, though I strongly suspect you've done considerably more with yours as gaming tools than in my case. :) Total books- and since talking with Jodi over Email on the matter, I made a point of an exact headcount- 318, covering a little over two dozen games worth (with one exception, having the core book/s for each). And my dice, wonderful dice: 196 in total. I haven't gotten to counting off my CCGs and miniatures, I'm afraid.

Anyhow, I've gone off-topic a touch. Why do I play? The biggest reason for me seems to be echoed with almost everyone who's responded thus far: it's a place, albeit imaginary, that I can socialize with like minds and friends and be something I could not necessarily be IRL. (Mind you, this is coming from the gamer who plays flinds, gnolls and werecreatures in *D&D.) That said, I can't say I've ever done a great deal of gaming per se; it's more that I've gotten a lot out of the dozen games (single sessions) I've been in over the last twenty years or so. RPGing is one of the remaining few places I really feel like I'm worth a damn to my fellow players and comrades, that for me is not as yet spoiled or in which I have felt thoroughly abandoned for one reason or another.

It could be argued, thus, that in my case the gaming I do is necessarily escapism. I don't necessarily oppose that thought. What makes it something I cherish is that I find myself amongst like-minded individuals, regardless of the length of time I have previously spent in their company. There are no incoherent screams of 'NOOB!' over your shoulder, no sense that someone's going to shove a metaphysical shiv between your shoulder blades at a tense moment...gaming for me is a place I feel I have both a receptive audience and fellow players who honestly care about me as well as themselves, a salient and unpretentious existence that, while in the game is fiction, the people I'm at the table with or chatting in the 'aftergame glow' when completing a session not telling me how I may have done something stupid, but enjoying the game for the game's worth and not what they think I should have done (and what an idiot I was to have done so, whether to my face or out of earshot), enjoying it as a game and as a pleasure, not a psychological fencing match. Gaming was where I stepped into this whole deal, and it's probably once of the few social fictions I still pursue.

That's my two Imperial Silvers.
From the desk of Wolfen Imperial Army Quatoria Boethermsbrukan, Chief Metallurgist And Edged Arms Expert To Her Imperial Majesty Quallonine II.
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Postby Kabucha » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:33 pm

Boethermsbrukan wrote:... (Mind you, this is coming from the gamer who plays flinds, gnolls and werecreatures in *D&D.)

That's my two Imperial Silvers.


A man after my own heart. When I had played the RPG before, I never once played a human. My reason, why should I! I play one every day of my life! :lol:
Me and you is friends.
You smile, I smile...
You hurt, I hurt...
You cry, I cry...
You jump off bridge, I gonna miss your emails.
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