So I game a little bit… Okay… a lot. I generally play in home-run “permissive” style games. A friend and I were talking about PaizoCon and he asked me why I go. I mean, logically I prefer permissive story driven gaming right? So why would I rush to play in a time-crunched restrictive mad house of a Con game? The personality conflicts, rules arguments and sometimes even INSANE background noise levels aren’t exactly endorsing my play style, that is very true. But I do it with reckless abandon for one simple reason.
To me, one of the most interesting things about fantasy is the sense of the Other that it provides. From the actual presentation to extraplanar entities to basic fact of playing in the mindscape of your GM, there is something absolutely amazing about traveling somewhere that is Else. Even as my friends unveil their masterstroke games to me, the fact of the genesis of each of their worlds being THEM means that I grow increasingly familiar with their brand of Alien. While this aspect is not a deal breaker as that other familiarities strengthen storytelling and cut down on rules discussions and the like, the fact that known is known is an unalterable thing.
Enter Con gaming.
It takes years for me to get familiar with GMs and event coordinators at a Con to remotely diminish the sense of the Alien. I can come and every single game get a new GM’s mind weaving the world and dialing up aspects of reality in ways you are not used to, emphasizing details that no one usually does in your home groups. Even the simplest of dialogue and encounters become refreshed and unexpected.
A sea of the Alien to explore.
Yes, sometimes it can be rough, the social mix can be off or the GM ill-prepared for the realities of even in there own scenarios…. But when it comes to a fresh does of the Other, it is price tag I will rush to pay. – C