Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taking a Breather: D&D Encounters

Every Wednesday night for over a year, I've headed to my local game store to participate in the Dungeons & Dragons Encounters program. For the first bit I've been going as a PC, but starting with March of the Phantom Brigade, I've been running games as a DM. It was great practice to run games get comfortable with the role as well as meet new people and make some new friends. Tonight though, my seat will be occupied by another, as I am taking a hiatus.

I have enjoyed seeing the progression that the seasons have made and I applaud Wizards of the Coast for improving their program. Back when I started playing, the games were little more than dungeon crawls with a sprinkle of story. Since then the backgrounds and stories being told have been more interesting with some encounters actually offering players a meaningful choice as opposed to railroading them where the author wants then to go. But even with these improvements, I still recognize that I'm playing someone else's game. I'm telling someone else's story, and that's getting old.

My home group is going to be starting the Orcs of Stonefang Pass soon to get our characters through level 6. I'm looking forward to it as it will continue off of our starting adventure, The Slaying Stone. After that, I'm hoping I can convince the other players to start a new campaign. I don't really care what level, but I'm anxious to tell a new story. A cohesive story. Bouncing around from published adventure to published adventure has left me wanting more.

I've been beginning to realize that I am close to the edge of getting completely burnt out by the system. Sessions are combat heavy and combat itself gets too easily bogged down. Especially after playing a couple games of Marvel Heroic, I've realized that I'm looking for more emphasis on story and roleplaying than combat itself. Its still fun to cut down a horde of monsters, but that's not all I want to do.

Over the last few months I've been reading through rules of various game from various genres. I've looked at lighter and kid friendly games like Mouse Guard and I've looked at dark, horror games like World of Darkness. I've been amazed at the gamut of games out there and the wide variety of systems and mechanics. And to put it bluntly, I'm getting bored by d20s. Sure games that use them (D&D, Pathfinder, DC Adventures) have their differences in theme and each add their own little touch to the gameplay, but at the heart, it feels all the same and the pages and pages of rules start to blur together.

I'm hoping that by backing away from a weekly game that I can keep my interest in it enough to wait out the arrival of D&D Next. From everything I've heard about it, I'm really looking forward to playing it and really being able to make it the game that we all want.

Have you been burnt out by a game before? How long did it take before you could give it another go, or are you still left queasy at the sight of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment