Monday, October 24, 2011


Hark, it's the penultimate entry in what one person has dubbed the Mattifesto. Nothing too dramatic here -- the symmetry-loving part of me wishes that these somehow aligned, but really they're just the second-to-last entries on the piece of paper I'm looking at.

I like pretending, I like exploring, I like world-building. But that's not why I roleplay. I do it because I like hanging out with my friends. The social aspect of roleplaying is the most important thing to me. Spending time together, laughing at the same old inside jokes, trying to separate Jason from the popcorn bowl - that's what it's all about. Some people watch football together or go to bars together. When my friends are gathered, I like to roleplay. As a GM, I run a pretty loose table. Out-of-character conversation and interaction isn't a problem to me, unless it's actually drowning out the events at hand.

One odd side effect of this is that I don't particularly enjoy conventions. Playing games with strangers isn't a lot of fun for me, since there isn't much of a basis for interaction. You're all just trapped at the table together, manipulating a ruleset until the time slot expires. Yawn.

If I wanted a tactical minis game, I'd play Warhammer 40K. I don't and I'm not. Don't slow combat down to a crawl so that everyone can consider all the ramifications of every possible +2 modifier. DO STUFF AND MOVE ON.

This doesn't entirely square with my longstanding passionate affair with the Hero System. However, most of my other favorite RPGs (Star Wars, Castle Falkenstein, Cyberpunk, 7th Sea) have very quick combat systems. Real combat moves fast. So should roleplaying combat. Otherwise, you've got a recurrence of the split-the-party problem, where one person's doing stuff and everyone else is sitting around, waiting for a chance for their character to do cool things.

...if I were to tie this all together, I could point out that the Social Aspect can be used to fill the holes caused by Slow Combat. But I'm not that compulsive.

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