Sorry for the delay today. I’ve been asleep for the past 22 hours, so things slipped. Still, something must go up, and here it is.
I used to be a bit of an RPG snob. I consider it a phase, but it’s what comes out of reading many many games and having Strong Opinions about them. Plus, as I got out of college, this whole internet thing was really booming, and it showed me that A) There were lots more other gamers out there and B) that their default social mode was total dickery. I don’t think I ever fell that far, but I definitely learned some bad habits.
One of them was so stereotypical that it kind of hurts these days, and that was – of course – White Wolf bashing, almost invariably in the form of Vampire. Some of it was stuff I consider legitimate to this day (like adventure design with PCs as audience) most of it was the less-than-subtle eyeroll when a black-clad gaiman fan would go off about how it was the Best Thing Evar.
This took a turn when, in a moment of conversation with a good friend who was a big booster, I asked her to really break down what made it so great. Her answer was not what I expected. Rather than zeroing in on Clans or Disciplines or Humanity or any of that, she said she liked it because of the Nature and Demeanor. The rest of the sheet was just noise to her, but those two things really helped her play the character.
Now, I’m not holding this up as some great truth, or even as emblematic of some portion of the fanbase, but it was such a *drastic* departure from my expectations that it lead to me stepping back and reconsidering a lot of my other expectations about games and gamers.
Since then, It’s been a lot easier for me to be comfortable with the different ways in which people get their fun, and more skeptical of one-size-fits-all solutions. Even more, it’s made me more enthusiastic to look at things I don’t necessarily get and try to understand where people find their fun.
It has not simplified my gaming life, but it has improved it immeasurably.
1 – Stuff that hasn’t been a problem in the nWoD I hasten to add.
2 – For the unfamiliar, they were basically your true nature, and the facade you showed the world. Mechanically, these were really soft things, like your name, and most hardcore players I’d dleat with considered them an afterthought at best.