As I have mentioned and told much of the group, I have been becoming less and less interested in table top gaming as of late. In fact, the only game that I'm currently in that I am completely enjoying and have no problems with is the Illuminati game. The other two games I am in currently, i.e. the M&M game and Champions, I am enjoying some parts of but am having trouble in other areas. Well, last night I began thinking and I had a sort of epiphany in which I realized the two major problems I run into when trying to keep interest in a table top campaign. And, interestingly enough, one problem is apparent in the M&M game and another problem is apparent in the Champions game. There is also one other reason that's not connected to any of the games, but I'll mention it anyway in here.
First, the M&M game and its connected reason:The lack of a plot that is able to catch and keep my attention. Now, I am NOT going to sit here and criticize Alex or the game because the game is young and Alex is fairly new at this whole GMing thing. Alex is doing ten times better at GMing than anyone else in this community when they first started out. So before I go on, I just wanted announce that I'm just using M&M as an example and not picking on it in particular.
I'll be the first to admit, it's not very easy to weave a plot that will really impress me. The only tabletop GM whom has been able to do it on multiple occassions is Azimer, and now Bastard has done it with his Illuminati game. So needless to say, you need to pull some really awesome shit to keep me interested in a table top campaign anymore. I wish I could elaborate on that more and say exactly what it is that catches my attention. But I honestly can't...some things just spark something inside of me and other things just leave me feeling cold. The best thing I can say is that the more creative and original your campaign is, the more likely I am to enjoy it. Pull out some old trick, and I'll probably be left yawning. It used to be that as long as I was gaming, I didn't really care what was going on. But after a good 7 years of gaming, that is no longer satisfactory. I know I'm a tough customer, but it's just the way I've become. The ordinary will no longer do.
Speaking of the ordinary will no longer do, let me expound on a smaller reason. I'm done with d20. Completely and utterly sick of it. I really wouldn't mind if I never played using the d20 system again. I want to use new and different systems. I'm excited about Lewis' Tarot Card system. I am starting to really appreciate the Shadowrun rules more now that I know them better, and Fuzion is an awesome system too. BESM, Exalted Storyteller system, Deadlands system, ANYTHING! Just not d20. It's consumed the gaming market and it's all anyone puts out anymore. And it's just plain UNCOMPATIBLE with some genres and games. Yet they try to put the triangle peg into the square hole, and they just slam it in there sideways and sell it to make a profit. It sucks.
Now on to the Champions game and reason number two. The complete and utter lack of a challenge. Now, what do I mean by a challenge? A challenge is more than just fighting a group of super ninjas, or figuring how to break into the base, or what our next move will be. It's going up against something that we may AT LEAST have a decent chance of failing against. This is my biggest problem with the Champions game. The last two big save the world adventures we were on were incredibly cool and well thought out. As usual excellent story crafting by Azimer, sharpened to a monafilament edge. But you know what made that edge dull? The fact that I knew, regardless of all the shit the was going down, we wouldn't fail because if we did the campaign would end and NO ONE would allow that to happen out of game. Because, with the exception of myself, everyone has been playing those character for three years and wouldn't stand for it ending like that. And while I realize that the group likes that feeling of their characters being permanent entities whom are able to do just about damn near anything, it drives me absolutely nuts to play that way. Because it feels like I'm playing a video game with cheat codes on. I'm still playing the game, I'm still kicking ass, but there's no chance that I will ever lose that game. And that takes all the fun out of it. I've helped save the world twice since I got into this game, but it doesn't feel like I've accomplished very much. In the worlds of Early "Does that seem right to you?". And I don't want to make it seem that Champions is the only campaign this happens in, because it's a problem I've had many times before. It's just now that I'm fully recognizing it. I want to fail sometimes. Why? Because without failures, the victories don't seem to be extraordinary or special at all. They become just the routine. And if I wanted that, I'd go back to that video game I mentioned earlier and put on the cheat codes.
Anyways, thank you for reading my thesis, heh. As always with these things, questions/comments/criticisms are always welcome and appreciated. Have a nice afternoon.