Monday, August 02, 2004

Experimental Games Group

Pat and I got together again last Sunday and we talked bout reviving the experimental games group concept. The EGG would be a game group that gets together regularly but that doesn't play a regular game. We would cycle through one-shots and mini-campaigns instead of sticking to a single campaign. For popular offerings you could develop a campaign-like structure in which a one-shot could be revisited. If everyone digs a particular game and group of PCs you run it again but not right away. Imagine the overall structure of that particular game as a series of movies. You have to wait to see the sequel, right? I think that kind of delay could possibly make the experience richer than if you play the same guy everyone session. Not necessarily better than a regular campaign game, but different in texture. Pat thinks the timing may be right for launching the EGG because the Sunday game Loren played has apparently broken up. John Pedigo might be interested in at least some of the games Pat and I want to play. We might be able to get him to run something as well, like maybe a testdrive of Mutants & Masterminds. Maybe Dave Hoover would be interested as well. Just an opportunity to play instead of GM would probably thrill him. Maybe some of the local folks I've met online would give it a try.

So what does the EGG have to offer someone who might be interested in participating?

  • Variety. Like weather in Illinois: if you don't like the game, just wait a session or two.
  • Guinea pigs for mad scientist GMs. Try something really wild, knowing that next get-together will be a totally different project.
  • Missing a session shouldn't be as big a problem as it normally is when the session after that may be a totally different game.
  • Shared GM commitment should reduce GM burnout.

What are the drawbacks of structuring a game group in this way?

  • Variety. The game you're really digging will be over soon.
  • Guinea pigs for mad scientist GMs. Where do these GMs come up with these crazy-ass ideas, anyway? I just want to kill some orcs or something.
  • Missing a session is a huge problem. Last time I made it to a session we were playing time-travelling Nazi-smashers, now we're all fallen angels launching commando raids against the Pearly Gates. I think my brain just broke.
  • Multiple GMs means that the scheduled guy can whimp out at the last moment. "Dave, I got nothing. Can you run something tonight?"