Friday, July 30, 2010

I am spoiled...or missing out.

Part of the reason I enjoy reading other people's gaming blogs is to hear about their experiences. As I've stated before, living in the wilds of South Dakota meant I didn't run into a lot of other gamers. It wasn't until my second or third year in college that I REALLY had a weekly 'gaming group' of more than one or two people. What I am most amazed at in reading other people's stories are the differences between their experience and mine.

Character rivalry is one such difference. In my gaming group, there may have been 'rivalries' between some of the characters, but the heroic nature of the campaign tended to keep this as friendly, or at the very least not 'deadly'. I never had an instance of one PC trying to kill off another. In fact, the worst instance I can think of is one character substituting 'Nair' for the shampoo of one of the other characters. No backstabbing, no murder.. maybe a little name calling, but that's it. So in my experience, this is 'normal'.

But what I hear from other folks' blogs leads me to believe my own experience was even more atypical than usual. Backstabbing seems to be a relatively common thing in many campaigns. Perhaps its just the fact that Star Wars gaming doesn't promote the same kind of atmosphere as something like D&D. Maybe D&D in particular promotes this kind of thing? Thinking back on it, a short-lived campaign I did a few years back DID have some of that kind of stuff.

In any case, game system aside, I'm not certain entirely certain if I am glad or not that I never had these experiences. Part of me likes the fact that my group always seemed to get along (more or less)- with very few instances of ill will brought to the gaming table. On the other hand, some of these stories of player treachery are really funny and really kind of engaging, pointing out a kind of gaming that part of me wishes I had been a part of, if only in my 'youth'.

So, am I spoiled or have I missed out on an important 'right of passage' of gaming. Well... that's a toughie. Maybe I should just run a Paranoia campaign to compensate ;P


  1. I've had some experience with it. In a couple of cases, it was brought on by the GM. In another, the situation arose completely out of role playing and an in-character misunderstanding. Usually, since the GM had brought it about, he made sure nobody actually lost a character. In that last case, though, someone lost a character he had invested a lot of time in.

  2. Yeah... but was it 'fun' or annoying?

  3. I vote annoying... at best. I'm far from a totalitarian GM, but I do have one table rule that effectively banishes meaningful inter-PC rivalries.

  4. I have seen campaigns break apart because of PC conflict, but this never happened in our SW campaign. I think, indeed, it was due to the tone of the setting. Your characters are supposed to be heroes, saving the galaxy from the dreaded Emperor and his stormtroopers. D&D tends to lead to PC conflict a lot. It all depends on the maturity of the players. As a GM, I like a little rivalry, but I always try to steer players away from trying to kill each other. That's when you give them something to fight where they need each other to survive.

  5. We had some backstabbing going on but the gamemaster managed to work it into the plot. In the end, it was all fun and games. No hard feelings.

    Most PC conflict is not actually PC conflict. It's usually passive aggressive conflict between players, or one player getting some kind of gratification out of messing up the game for other people.